Jim Greer

Distinguished Graduate Supervisor Award - Fall 2005

Dr. Jim Greer obtained his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 1987. He joined the Department of Computer Science as an Assistant Professor in 1989 following a two-year post-doctoral fellowship. He was tenured in 1993 and promoted to Full Professor in 1996. He served as the Head of the Department of Computer Science from 2000 to 2005.

Dr. Greer has supervised 5 PhD and 23 MSc graduates to the completion of their degrees and currently supervises 5 graduate students. He has served on dozens of thesis committees and acted as the external examiner on a number of student theses in Canada and abroad. 

Professor Greer has made a number of innovative contributions in two distinct areas of Applied Computer Science: 1. in the area of Artificial Intelligence in Education, and 2. in the area of User Modelling and Personalization. He is on the editorial board of major international journals in both of these areas. These areas require an interdisciplinary perspective and integrate Computer Science concepts with theories from Social Sciences and Education. Much of Jim's research work is aimed at developing and improving learning and teaching in the broader context. His work focuses on activities related to mentorship, collaborative learning, and project-based learning and supports his belief that it's beyond the classroom walls where much real learning takes place. He has been an innovative and highly successful Graduate Supervisor, devoting considerable time and energy to various tasks that enhance his Graduate Student's academic as well as personal experience (as attested to by his numerous graduate students in their letters of support). 

Of Jim's fifty refereed journal and conference papers in the past six years, forty-six were co-authored with his graduate students. Several honours have been conferred upon Jim in his academic career including four best paper awards at international conferences (all four of which were co-authored with graduate students) and a University of Saskatchewan Master Teacher Award in 1998. 

His former graduate students have gone on to careers in academia, industry and research organizations including Microsoft, Lucent, Intel, IBM, SED Systems, PMC Sierra, General Electric, the Educational Testing Service, and five Canadian Universities. 

It is noteworthy that individuals who submitted a letter in support of Jim's nomination had their own unique prospective on "why" he is such a remarkable supervisor. They have compared him to a whole gamut of diverse things: a Papa Bear, an old father, an indelible influence, a role model, a personal friend, an inspirational mentor. They all share a strong conviction that he is very deserving of this award.