Three CSE faculty named teaching professors
Three faculty in the CSE Division have been awarded the title of Teaching Professor, a new designation at the University of Michigan which recognizes expertise and excellence by career teaching faculty. Mark Brehob, David Chesney, and Jeff Ringenberg will hold this title effective September 1, 2023.
Mark Brehob is the Kurt Metzger Collegiate Lecturer and Lecturer IV in the department. His teaching philosophy is centered around student engagement, and he sums this up by paraphrasing Benjamin Franklin and saying, “Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Have me do and I understand.”
Brehob typically teaches courses related to computer architecture and embedded systems, but also teaches courses on data structures and discrete mathematics as well as freshman engineering classes. Over the years, this has included Engineering 100 and 101, and EECS 203, 270, 281/380, 370, 373, 376, 452, 470, and 473. He has been the primary faculty academic advisor for all computer engineering undergraduates at Michigan for most of the last 22 years. He is the director of the Michigan Embedded Systems Hub, a shared resource for all U-M students, faculty, and staff that provides resources for basic embedded systems work, and runs the Student Projects Lab, which provides lessons and support for students in the fundamentals of embedded systems projects.
Brehob received his PhD in Computer Science from Michigan State University in 2003.
He has taught in the EECS department at Michigan since 2000. In 2021, he received an EECS Outstanding Achievement Award and in 2005 was recognized with the College of Engineering Thomas M. Sawyer, Jr. Teaching Award. He has been elected by EECS students as HKN Professor of the Year five times, in 2001, 2002, 2007, 2009, and 2012.
David Chesney is the Toby Teorey Collegiate Lecturer and Lecturer IV in the department. He is well-known for involving his students in projects aimed at “Engineering for the Greater Good” and for his numerous efforts and initiatives aimed at support for individuals with disabilities. As an instructor, he is focused on demonstrating for his students how context matters.
Chesney typically teaches courses related to programming, data structures, algorithms, discrete math, and software engineering. When possible, he tailors his courses to include projects related to assistive technology. He has developed a long-term relationship with the U-M Mott Children’s Hospital which has enabled his students to develop projects for use by patients and clinicians at the hospital. Projects his students have developed over the years have addressed issues related to cerebral palsy, autism, blindness, mobility impairment, COVID-19, and traumatic brain injury, and have leveraged technologies from computer games to extended reality.
Chesney received his PhD in Computer Science from Michigan State University in 1995. He has taught in the EECS department at Michigan since 1998. In 2020, he received an EECS Outstanding Achievement Award, and he was recognized with the Distinguished Diversity Team Leaders Award from the office of the Provost in 2019. He received the U-M James T. Neubacher Award in 2018, the Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize in 2016, the College of Engineering Raymond J. and Monica E. Schultz Outreach and Diversity Award in 2014, and the College of Engineering Thomas M. Sawyer, Jr. Teaching Award in 2010.
Jeff Ringenberg is a Lecturer IV in the department. He has long been focused on mobile learning software development, methods for bringing technology into the classroom, and studying the effects of social networking and collaboration on learning. His teaching is often in these areas.
Ringenberg was an early proponent of mobile app development at Michigan, and together with Thurnau Prof. Elliot Soloway, helped to lay the foundation for student exploration of this space. In 2011, he was the faculty advisor for a student team that developed a mobile version of CTools, the predecessor to Canvas, which the students sold to the U-M ITS department for integration as an official university app, one of the very first. Also in 2011, Ringenberg and his collaborators won the John A. Curtis Lecture Award at the ASEE conference for development of a mobile-based student/instructor classroom interaction system.
During the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, Ringenberg helped lead a cross-disciplinary faculty/staff/student team that developed online tools designed to help local and state officials reopen the economy safely and gradually. This included a mobile app and desktop dashboard for reporting and monitoring status related to Covid. Throughout 2022 and 2021, the app helped more than 2500 employers in Michigan meet state requirements. More than 5.6 million Michiganders built profiles and used the system’s questionnaire. For his contributions to this initiative, Ringenberg was recognized with the College of Engineering Ted Kennedy Family Team Excellence Award in 2022. He also received the College of Engineering Thomas M. Sawyer, Jr. Teaching Award, in 2012.
Ringenberg received his PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2008. He has taught in the department since 2007.