Professor Robin Cohen receives 2019 Distinguished Teacher Award

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Professor Robin Cohen is one of four faculty members to receive a 2019 Distinguished Teacher Award, the University of Waterloo’s most prestigious honour for teaching excellence. The Distinguished Teacher Awards will be presented by Mario Coniglio, associate vice-president, academic, at the June convocation ceremony.

photo of Professor Robin Cohen

First conferred in 1976, Distinguished Teacher Awards are given by the University Senate each year in recognition of a continued record of excellence in teaching. Recipients are chosen by a committee of students, faculty, staff and alumni based on nominations from the university community. 

About Professor Cohen

Professor Robin Cohen keeps her students engaged in her lectures at all times, on topics as diverse as artifical intelligence and the societal impacts of technology. She has facilitated many group discussions within large classes and guides students through extremely challenging and controversial topics. The dynamic and collaborative learning space she creates keeps her students interested and motivated. 

As noted by a student, Professor Cohen’s teaching methods help to eliminate the sense of isolation in the classroom and improve group dynamics. Students appreciate the detailed feedback she provides on assignments, as well as how she relates course content to their personal experiences.

Professor Cohen, a past recipient of the Faculty of Mathematics Award for Excellence in Teaching, is often described as passionate, knowledgeable and caring and her exemplary teaching has been recognized by her peers and students alike.

“I was Robin’s first master’s student and her first PhD student,” said Peter van Beek, Associate Director of the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science. “Now that I am supervising graduate students of my own, I appreciate Robin’s supervision all the more and attempt to emulate her actions with my own students. Robin has been an excellent teacher and mentor to many students and I can think of no one more deserving of a Distinguished Teacher Award.”

Professor Cohen has taught computer science courses spanning all four years of undergraduate study to both computer science majors and nonmajors, as well as graduate-level computer science courses. Recently, she has taught CS 330 (Management Information Systems), CS 492 (Social Implications of Computer Science) and CS 886 (Topics in Artificial Intelligence).

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