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International award for Computer Science Professor

View of John Anderson Campus from the north

A Professor of Computer Science at the University of Strathclyde has won an international award for his exemplary service to the computing field.

Emeritus Professor Andrew McGettrick has received the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award for his scholarship and tireless volunteer work and contributions, which have fundamentally improved rigorous computer science as a field of professional practice and as an academic pursuit.

Professor Andrew McGettrick

He is one of five recipients of the 2020 ACM Awards, which are made for longstanding efforts that have strengthened the community.

The Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award, a $10,000 prize provided by Pearson Education, 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.

Professor McGettrick said: “Receiving this award is a great honour, especially as it came via fellow educators in ACM. It is somewhat uncommon for a European to be so honoured and I hope that other European Informatics educators who have supported me can share in this achievement.”

Over five decades, since joining Strathclyde in 1969, Professor McGettrick has consistently made outstanding contributions to computing education. At Strathclyde, he drove key curriculum improvements in Computer Science and Software Engineering. Additionally, his programme evaluation initiatives for other universities and colleges improved the quality and rigor of undergraduate, Masters, and doctoral programs around the world.

Professor McGettrick’s work for the UK Government, including driving the first benchmarking standard for computing degrees and chairing the five-year revision of the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency) benchmarking standard for Masters degrees in Computing, was similarly transformative.

Professor McGettrick has played multiple leadership roles within the British Computing Society (BCS) and has served on the ACM Education Board for two decades. With Eric Roberts, he launched ACM’s Education Council, and he served as its Chair from 2007 to 2014. He recently served on the ACM Education Board’s Data Science Curriculum Task Force and helped launch the Learning at Scale series of annual conferences.

Professor McGettrick was involved in the Committee on European Computing Education and was a co-founder and member of the Steering Committee of the Informatics for All coalition, a multi-organisational advocacy body that collaborates with the European Commission.

Professor McGettrick’s publications include more than 130 research articles, textbooks, and scholarly papers. His white papers have shaped the nature and progress of computing in Europe.

In 2018, Professor Andrew McGettrick was one of three 2018 winners of the ACM Presidential Award. He became one of only 24 people to have received the award by then since the mid-1980s and the first UK-based winner.

ACM is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.