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Saltaformaggio Wins Class of 1940 W. Roane Beard Teaching Award

Atlanta, GA

ECE assistant professor Brendan D. Saltaformaggio was selected by Georgia Tech’s Faculty Honors Awards Committee as the 2022 recipient of the Class of 1940 W. Roane Beard Outstanding Teaching Award. Saltaformaggio holds a joint appointment in the School of Cybersecurity and Privacy, and holds a courtesy appointment in the School of Computer Science. He was honored with the award on Friday, April 19 at the annual Faculty and Staff Honors Luncheon.

Established in honor of 1940 industrial management graduate W. Roane Beard, the Class of 1940 W. Roane Beard Outstanding Teaching Award recognizes exceptional performance in the classroom. Criteria used for the award selection include extraordinary efforts in teaching, inspiration transmitted to students, direct impact and involvement with students, intellectual integrity and scholarship, and impact on post graduate success of students.

Since the Fall 2017 semester, when Saltaformaggio joined Georgia Tech and ECE, his courses have been widely praised by students and recent alumni. He has scored 4.9 or higher (out of 5) in 15 out of the 17 on-campus sections on which he was evaluated through the Course Instructor Opinion Survey (CIOS).

“These scores are the best that I have ever seen for a professor at any level,” said Arijit Raychowdhury, professor and Steve W. Chaddick School Chair of ECE. “Brendan is an excellent and extremely passionate classroom lecturer who provides a rigorous but caring environment for the students he teaches.”

Saltaformaggio’s passion for, and dedication to, teaching come across clearly when reading student letters. Here are just a few representative quotes:

  • “With his guidance, the impossible assignments became possible and my love for them grew.”
     
  • “Taking this course was a turning point that changed my future path.”
     
  • “[Professor Saltaformaggio] is more of a coach than a teacher, and is on our side instructing and guiding us at all junctures.”
     
  • “The material I learned in these courses drastically impacted the trajectory of my professional life.”
     
  • “The course was so packed with interesting material it is a wonder he was able to fit it into one semester.”

Saltaformaggio’s courses have been instrumental in creating the Cybersecurity thread in ECE’s new threaded Computer Engineering curriculum. He is also a member of ECE's Program Educational Objectives Committee tasked with redrafting the School’s curriculum objectives for accreditation, and is a founding member of the Curriculum Committee in the new School of Cybersecurity and Privacy.

“The ability for students to have a formal emphasis on cybersecurity in their undergraduate studies is a strong selling point for our Computer Engineering degree program and is a feature that is unrivaled at any other top university in the country. This would not have been possible without Brendan’s contributions,” said Raychowdhury.

His educational achievements are more remarkable in light of his very high level of research activity. His research program has successfully been awarded numerous large and highly competitive research grants including a recent NSF CAREER Award.

Last revised May 20, 2022