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Remson, Gillam, engineering student receive Gores Awards

STANFORD -- An earth sciences professor, an American studies scholar, and an engineering teaching assistant received Walter J. Gores awards for excellence in teaching at Stanford commencement exercises June 14.

The winners were Irwin Remson, the Barney and Estelle Morris Professor of Earth Sciences; Richard Gillam, acting associate professor of American studies; and Brian Curless, a graduate student in electrical engineering.

Remson, whose specialty is geology, was honored "for sharing a remarkable enthusiasm for his subjects with students at all levels" and "for his prescient founding of programs in Environmental Earth Sciences and in Earth Resources, long before the real need for these programs was evident to us all."

His concern, the citation said, "has made him memorable as friend, advisor and teacher to generations of students."

Gillam was recognized for helping Stanford's Program in American Studies grow into one of the university's largest undergraduate interdisciplinary majors, and "for presenting material in a challenging and compelling way, and leading discussions so inspiring that all students participate."

His creative approach to course design, the citation said, "includes not only textual enrichment and curricular reorganization, but the encouragement of a remarkable number of honors theses."

Curless, a teaching assistant in "Computer Graphics: Image Synthesis Techniques," was recognized "for anticipating students' needs at every turn, and patiently answering the endless queries generated by a course using cutting-edge technology and requiring sophisticated new software."

In the words of his students, Curless "poured his soul into the course, showing a devotion to teaching that makes the very word devotion seem an understatement."

Three Gores awards are given annually for excellence in teaching at Stanford: one to a senior faculty member, one to a junior faculty member, and one to a teaching fellow or assistant. A fourth award may be given for a special innovative contribution to teaching.

The awards are named for Professor Walter J. Gores, a member of the Stanford Class of 1917.



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