Assistant Professor Todd Humphreys has been selected to receive the prestigious 2012 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award from The University of Texas System.
Established in 2008, the awards are offered annually in recognition of faculty members of the nine University of Texas System academic institutions who have demonstrated extraordinary classroom performance and innovation in undergraduate instruction, and are the Board of Regents’ highest honor.
“Professor Humphreys is a truly special case, “ASE/EM Department Chair, Professor Philip Varghese said. “He joined UT a couple of years ago and has excelled in teaching and in every other respect. He has significantly overhauled two undergraduate courses, making them more engaging and, probably, more demanding. Despite the rigor of his courses, he has stellar teaching evaluations in both graduate and undergraduate courses.”
Competition for the awards include rigorous evaluations by students, peer faculty and external reviewers over a period of three years. A large range of criteria and activities are examined such as classroom expertise, curricula quality, innovative course development and student learning outcomes.
Students, both current and past, have nothing but positive words to say about Humphreys’ teaching abilities.
“Dr. Humphreys is an outstanding professor in both the Aerospace Engineering Department and the Cockrell School as a whole,” a current ASE graduate student said. “His commitment to education goes above and beyond that of most professors and shines through in the effort he puts into crafting his lectures. He also does an amazing job of encouraging students to take interest in a subject beyond what is required by the courses he teaches.”
Humphreys takes his commitment to teaching very seriously, but enjoys it while doing so.
“I enjoy teaching and am committed to it,” Humphreys said. “Both of my parents and many of my heroes are educators. When I consider the far-reaching influence of teaching—that poor instruction can stultify and excellent instruction can magnify a student’s progress—I feel a moral responsibility toward quality teaching. It has been my privilege to learn at the feet of some masterful teachers, and it is my goal to carry on in their grand tradition.”
A monetary award as well as a plaque was awarded to Humphreys, at a special dinner honoring all of the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award recipients this August.
Humphreys specializes in the application of optimal estimation techniques to problems in satellite navigation, orbital and attitude dynamics, and signal processing. He directs The University of Texas at Austin Radionavigation Laboratory, where software-defined GPS receivers are developed as a platform for GPS technology innovation and study of the ionosphere and neutral atmosphere. His recent focus has been on defending against intentional GPS spoofing and jamming.