The College of Natural Science Teaching Excellence award was created with the intention to promote quality teaching in CNS by recognizing faculty members that have had a positive influence on the education of their students. Every year each CNS department has the opportunity to nominate a faculty member for the award. This year, The University of Texas Computer Science department is proud to announce that our own Sarah Abraham was awarded The Teaching Excellence Award 2021. 

Sarah Abraham is an Assistant Professor of Instruction in the Department of Computer Science. She pursued her undergrad in Welsey’s college and earned both her Masters and PhD in computer science at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Abraham joined UTCS faculty in 2016, and has taught programming classes related to graphics and video game development. Some of these classes include: Computer Graphics, Game Technology, Game Programming Paradigms, Contemporary Issues in Computer Science, and Elements of Mobile Computing.

Dr. Abraham's research is primarily related to video game development and artistic tools. She is interested in non-photorealistic rendering, as well as creating tools that make physical simulation intuitive and accessible. Her work is inspired by the filmmakers Andrei Tarkovsky, Akira Kurosawa, and Yuri Norstein, as well as the philosophy and humanity of the 19th Century Russian writers such as Lev Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Video games have always fascinated Dr. Abraham both as an entertainment medium as well as a vehicle for fostering greater cooperation and empathy.  She is able to explore this aspect of video games in the company that she founded, called Akula Games, which focuses on developing collaborative, artistic and educational games.The company's main project, Skazka, explores prosocial cooperative mechanics for fostering empathy.

This school year was an especially difficult one, each award winner went above and beyond to deliver their best in the classroom. Dr. Abraham won this year’s Teaching Excellence Award because she emphasizes collaboration and teamwork in addition to technical skills in her classes. For her students, she goes the extra mile by bringing in guest speakers from industry to make sure her class material feels practical and relevant. 


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