Christopher Kauffman Joins UMD’s Department of Computer Science

Kauffman is one of two new instructors who will join the department in fall 2023.
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Christopher Kauffman will join the University of Maryland's Department of Computer Science as a Senior Lecturer in the fall of 2023. Kauffman brings a wealth of experience in machine architecture, parallel computing, discrete structures and more. He will help fulfill the department's commitment to delivering a comprehensive and enriching educational experience to its undergraduate students.

Kauffman—who spent the last six years as an associate teaching professor in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering and five years before that teaching at George Mason University—hopes to make an impact within the department and beyond.

"I am thrilled to join the University of Maryland. It is an incredible opportunity to contribute to the education of aspiring computer scientists and to help shape the future of the field,” Kauffman said. “And I'm very excited to join the University of Maryland because of its reputation. The Department of Computer Science, in particular, is outstanding. So, I am looking forward to meeting the people that are responsible for the exemplary performance."

Kauffman dedicates time in the classroom to preparing students for real-world computer science uses. He brings his many insights into the classroom, enabling students to understand better and navigate the demands of the ever-evolving tech landscape.

"I think it's essential for those in academia to be cognizant of developments in the industry, factor those in, and show how they relate to the past and the important pieces in computing,” Kauffman said. “Those things will help students to have a perspective so they are not caught off guard. This will give them a general understanding of how the pieces of computing fit together, and then they will be ready for not the next five years but the next 50 years of their careers.”

Moreover, Kauffman highlighted the importance of mentorship and guidance in shaping students' academic and professional journeys in computer science. He firmly believes in the power of mentorship and intends to work closely with students, providing them with valuable mentorship opportunities to navigate their academic paths successfully. 

“This is an enriching experience for me. I've seen it during teaching and felt it as a student when you go through exponential growth in understanding,” expressed Kauffman. “As I've gotten older, that doesn't happen to me as much anymore, and I miss that period of life when everything is a little bit new, and there's someone who's caring and patient enough to sort of see you through that journey of how those things fit together. Overall, it excites me to see students struggle, discover their grit and then overcome.”

The appointment of Kauffman, accompanied by the recent inclusion of lecturer Fardina Alam, marks a significant boost to the instructional faculty within the department. With a focus on enhancing undergraduate education and preparing students for the challenges and opportunities of the digital age, the department continues to foster an environment of innovation, learning and growth.

 —Story by Samuel Malede Zewdu, CS Communications 

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