Professor Margo Seltzer won a 2023 UBC Killam Teaching Prize, adding to her numerous awards and prizes received since she began teaching.
The Killam Teaching Prize is awarded annually to UBC faculty who are nominated by students, colleagues and alumni in recognition of excellence in teaching.
Dr. Seltzer has been a computer science professor with UBC for approximately five years now, having joined the department after retiring from Harvard’s computer science department. The award recognizes her teaching of CPSC 313: Computer Hardware and Operating Systems.
Margo’s previous teaching and mentoring awards include the Phi Beta Kappa teaching award in 1996, the Abrahmson Teaching Award in 1999, the Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising in 2010, and the CRA-E Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award in 2017.
She is also prolific in her research endeavours, as a Canada 150 Research Chair in Computer Systems, Cheriton Family Chair in Computer Science at the University of British Columbia, and leads the department’s Systems Research group, Systopia.
Throughout her teaching career and no matter the class or students she’s taught, Margo says she always strives to remain interactive. “I try not to lecture at students. They don’t want to be talked at. There’s always a story to tell that is motivated by a problem and requires discussion.”
Dr. Seltzer prompts and pushes for engagement in her classes, encouraging students to be creative in problem-solving. “This is such a rapidly moving field. My goal is always to first identify a problem we have, and then dispel the myth that there’s only one way to solve things.”
Winning the Killam Teaching Prize is humbling for Margo. “I am truly honoured by this,” she said. Margo credits UBC’s Educational Leadership (EL) stream and the Computer Science EL faculty who generously share their time and expertise to facilitate such a high calibre of teaching in the department. “It’s particularly meaningful to me, because the quality of teaching here is so high.”
We appreciate your commitment to exceptional teaching, Dr. Seltzer, and we are positive the students who have passed through your doors do as well.