The winner of the 2013 Student Academic Choice Award for Best Teaching for Undergraduates was Dr Alastair Donaldson, of the Department of Computing.
Alastair Donaldson is a Lecturer in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London. He teaches courses on Object Oriented Programming (first year) and Software Reliability (final year), as well as leading the Multicore Programming research group. Alastair's research interests include automated techniques for analysing concurrent software, with the aim of improving software reliability, and programming models for multi- and many-core architectures that aid in productive development of efficient software. He is the Scientific Coordinator of CARP: Correct and Efficient Accelerator Programming, an FP7 project involving many key European partners in the field of accelerated computing, and is the main designer of GPUVerify, a verification technique and tool for automatic analysis of GPU kernels written in OpenCL and CUDA. In addition, his research group is supported by EPSRC, and by industrial funding from ARM and Intel. Before joining Imperial, Donaldson was (in reverse chronological order) a Visiting Researcher at Microsoft Research, Redmond, USA, an EPSRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, and a Research Engineer at Codeplay Software Ltd. He holds a PhD from the University of Glasgow.
"I start looking forward to his lectures the day before"
Dr Donaldson's reaction to winning a SACA:
"It meant a huge amount to me to be nominated by Imperial students for the "Best Teaching for Undergraduates" award. I was surprised and delighted to be nominated, and really overwhelmed when I learned that I was the winner for this category. I was very sorry to miss the award ceremony due to being in the USA visiting Intel at the time. I love teaching and find it very rewarding, but I find that doing a good job requires a lot of work in terms of preparation and organisation, so it's always a pleasure to hear get positive feedback from students, and this extra special "thank you" is a real honour."
Quotations from Dr Donaldson's nominations:
“[Dr Donaldson] explains complicated concepts very well and is very engaging. He’s a teaching genius. I start looking forward to his lectures the day before”
“Introduced a new research-based course for fourth year computing students. It is by far the best course I have taken during my degree… It has radically changed my view of the research being conducted at the moment by researchers in my department, and in wider Computer Science for the better”