Alexander H. Slocum, professor of mechanical engineering and MacVicar Faculty Fellow, has been named the 2000 State of Massachusetts Professor of the Year, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) announced on November 14.
"I am deeply honored and indeed humbled by the entire notion of the award, for I am part of a complex team of professors and support staff that makes what we each do possible. We are all inextricably linked," commented Professor Slocum on learning of his award.
Professor Slocum received the SB (1982), the SM (1983) and the PhD (1985) in mechanical engineering from MIT. He was assistant professor from 1990-91 and associate professor from 1992-96 before being named a full professor in 1998. He has dozens of patents and product design awards as well as nine R&D 100 awards. Professor Slocum also orchestrates MIT's famed annual machine design contest, Design 2.70.
In an essay on his philosophy of teaching submitted to the CASE, Professor Slocum described himself as committed to instilling a "thirst and ability for lifelong learning in my students. I seek to first and foremost try to become a good friend to each and every student I possibly can. I show my students by example how my passion for design empowers me to keep learning so I can continue to become a better designer. I live what I teach."
The Professor of the Year Award was established in 1981 by CASE and works in conjunction with the Carnegie Foundation and various higher education associations in its administration. There were 476 entries, including 17 from Massachusetts, representing 346 US institutions of higher education in this year's contest.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 6, 2000.