John Dickerson Receives the Graduate Faculty Mentor of the Year Award for 2020

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Assistant Professor John Dickerson received the 2020 Graduate Faculty Mentor of the Year Award. This university-level award recognizes the outstanding mentoring provided by individual faculty.

Dickerson was nominated for the award by Duncan McElfresh, a fourth-year PhD student in the Applied Mathematics & Statistics, and Scientific Computation (AMSC) program, and was supported by several other students.

“Working with John has made the challenges of graduate school seem easy, and even enjoyable,” said McElfresh. “John is extremely supportive and treats his students as collaborators, I am grateful to have John as an advisor and collaborator,” he explained.

On receiving the award, Dickerson says he is consistently impressed by not just how strong and driven the graduate students are, but also how collaborative and supportive they are with each other, with undergraduate students, and with the faculty. “It’s been incredible to watch as my own students identify research projects that tend to have deep computational components while largely remaining broadly applicable to areas outside of traditional academic computer science,” he said.

Dickerson’s graduate students feel fortunate to have him as their advisor and had high praise for him.

“John is getting the recognition he deserves! He tailors his mentoring to everyone and is never prescriptive about his advice,” said graduate student Samuel Dooley.

Dickerson’s mentoring and positive contribution in the professional development of students has led the students in achieving high honors.

“John is optimistic to new research directions and considers the wellbeing of his students a top priority”, said Vedanta Nanda, a first-year PhD student in the Maryland Max Planck Ph.D. Program in Computer Science.

In addition to being an Assistant Professor in Computer Science, Dickerson holds a joint appointment in University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies.

“Of the awards and recognition, I’ve received as junior faculty this is easily one of the most meaningful,” said Dickerson.

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