Sedgewick recognized for contribution to computer science education

April 24, 2019

Robert Sedgewick, the William O. Baker ’39 Professor in Computer Science, is the recipient of this year’s Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, the Association for Computing Machinery announced today.

Sedgewick, the founding chair of computer science at Princeton, was recognized for “developing classic textbooks and online materials for the study of algorithms, analytic combinatorics, and introductory computer science that have educated generations of students worldwide,” the ACM said in announcing the award.

His books series Algorithms, first published in 1983 and including 12 books in four editions, has become a standard in the field. The books examine algorithms and data structures (in five different programming languages), with applications to science, engineering and industry. Sedgewick’s book for advanced graduate students, Analytic Combinatorics (co-written by Phiippe Flajolet), was the recipient of the 2019 Leroy P. Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition from the American Mathematical Society. His recent book (with Kevin Wayne), Computer Science: An Interdisciplinary Approach, is a comprehensive introduction to the field and was named by ACM Computing Reviews as “Best of Computing Notable Book” for 2017.

Sedgewick has been extremely active as a pioneer and innovator in online education. He has co-developed extensive online content associated with his books that attract millions of visitors annually. Sedgewick has also recorded over 100 hours of online lectures on programming, computer science, and algorithms that reach hundreds of thousands of people around the world. The Sedgewick-Wayne Algorithms online course has been listed as one of the top 10 Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) of all time.

Sedgewick received his doctorate in computer science from Stanford University. He was a professor at Brown University before joining the Princeton faculty in 1985, and has held visiting research positions at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Princeton, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, and the French national research institute for computer science (INRIA). In addition to other honors, he is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.

The Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award is presented annually to an outstanding educator who is appointed to a recognized educational baccalaureate institution.  The recipient is recognized for advancing new teaching methodologies; effecting new curriculum development or expansion in Computer Science and Engineering; or making a significant contribution to the educational mission of ACM. Sedgewick and other ACM award recipients will be honored at the ACM Awards Banquet on June 15 in San Francisco.

by the Office of Engineering Communications and the Association for Computing Machinery