Don Johnson, the J.S. Abercrombie Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), is the recipient of the 2022 Award for Excellence in Teaching in the School of Engineering. He is recognized for “continual excellence in teaching and exemplary commitment to the education of undergraduate or graduate students within the School of Engineering.”
Recipients of the award are selected based on peer reviews, student commentary and evaluation, and contributions towards improving the student experience.
His teaching is the heart and soul of the department’s undergraduate curriculum and he deserves recognition at the School level and beyond. In recent instructor evaluations, several students fittingly used the word “legend” to describe him, said ECE Professor in the Practice Gary Woods.
Johnson received his S.B. and S.M. in 1970, his E.E. in 1971 and his Ph.D. in 1974, all in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the Rice faculty in 1977.
He served as president of the IEEE’s Signal Processing Society, received the 2000 Signal Processing Society’s Meritorious Service Award and is an IEEE Life Fellow. Johnson received the Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1988. He was also the recipient of the Award for Superior Teaching in the school of Engineering in 1982, 1985, 1986, 1995 and 2005.
Johnson’s research focuses on statistical signal processing, including the identification of the weave characteristics of the canvases of master paintings, and non-Gaussian signal processing.
He will formally receive the award at the annual University Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Center for Teaching Excellence and held in McMurtry Auditorium, Duncan Hall, on April 26, from 3 to 5 p.m.