ENGINEERING NEWS

McCormick Names Teacher and Adviser of the Year

Ian Horswill, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, was recently named McCormick Teacher of the Year, and Karen Smilowitz, associate professor of industrial engineering and management sciences and Junior William A. Patterson Chair in Transportation, was named McCormick Adviser of the Year.



Students nominated professors for the honor, and winners were chosen by a committee.

“Professor Horswill is an exceptional educator in and out of the classroom,” wrote one nominator. “Always willing to take extra time out of his day to help students, he is both encouraging and understanding when problems arise… Professor Horswill has succeeded in getting me interested in learning again.”

Another student wrote, “It's hard to describe how great his dedication to teaching is but it’s easy to ask students what they think of his classes. The most common adjective is probably an unqualified ‘awesome.’”

Students said Smilowitz is “extremely helpful and truly cares.”

“She is more than enthusiastic about meeting and generously offers her time to help me find classes that I want to take while keeping in mind the best strategy for graduating on time,” one student wrote.

Horswill’s research is in artificial intelligence and interactive art and entertainment. His work focuses on control systems for autonomous agents and the modeling and simulation of emotion, personality, and social behavior for virtual characters for games and interactive narratives.  He received his PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where was a post-doctoral professor before joining McCormick in 1995.

Smilowitz's research focuses on improved operating strategies for goods movement. In particular, her research explores the impact of different operation choices on vehicle routing and scheduling and has applications in freight transportation, delivery services, and emergency response. She earned her PhD in civil and environmental engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. She joined McCormick in 2001.