Reflections on Completing 39 Years of Teaching
May 2011

I finished my doctorate (Math) in 1972 and have been teaching ever since. I've taught at a number of universities and colleges, large and small, prestigious and little known. I have had a large number of students over the years, each of whom has taught me something. In particular they have taught me how to be a better professor. I thank you all.

I have always striven to push my students to the limits of their ability - and then a bit farther. Mostly they accept this challenge and mostly they have grown from working against the resistance, just as a champion athlete must. And champions, I think you are.

I have recently told my students that my job is not to teach them what I know, since much of that is garbage, especially in a field as rapidly changing as Computer Science. My job, I believe, is to teach them how I think. Not that they must necessarily emulate it in all cases, but at least it has served me well to follow changes, challenges, and opportunities.

If you have been one of those students over the years, I continue to wish you well. I hope you are succeeding on your own terms, in your own way.

I have had wonderful teachers myself, and have tried to emulate them. I've tried to give back to the next generations what you gave me. I hope my students feel the same.


Seidenberg Scholars





* Photos by Stacey Oliver Sarris.


Last Updated: May 15, 2011