Cynthia-Furse-portrait-600x400Congratulations to University of Utah electrical and computer engineering professor Cynthia Furse, who was honored with the Distinguished Teaching Award during the 150th annual University of Utah Commencement as well as the College of Engineering’s convocation on May 3.

From the university’s @theU newsletter that describes some of Furse’s accomplishments:

Cynthia Furse — Distinguished Teaching Award

“Dr. Furse [who is also the U’s Associate Vice President for Research] is the most outstanding and exceptional professor that I have ever known, for many reasons. … She is a true teacher with a heart of gold and level of dedication to her students and discipline that I have never seen before or since,” said one nominator. “Dr. Furse demonstrates true concern for and a sincere interest in her students. In fact, anyone who regularly passes Dr. Furse’s office, located in the Merrill Engineering Building, knows that a crowd of students is often found outside her door. These students know that Dr. Furse spends countless hours giving direction and encouragement, and she gives this time freely and without reservation. I personally know how grateful many of these students are for her dedicated service and mentoring. Friends of mine have often said things like, ‘She is probably the best person I know.’ This statement exemplifies how her students feel about her.” Furse is particularly well known as an early pioneer of the Flipped Classroom, which uses pre-class video lectures to enable and fully utilize in-class active learning. All of her course materials are freely available and are used by faculty around the world. She began developing and experimenting with this method in 2007, one of the first university faculty in the country to do so, and has mentored and trained over 2,700 faculty throughout the state, country and world in this method. Furse has also led two major NSF projects that have had major impacts on her department and college.