has been named a distinguished professor in the practice of computer technology in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE).
He has served as an ECE professor in the practice since 2008. According to university policy, “Distinguished professorships are awarded to outstanding faculty members who, through their significant accomplishments, have brought special renown to Rice.”
Ashutosh Sabharwal, professor and chair of ECE, said of Woods: “Gary is undoubtedly one of the most innovative, vibrant and dedicated educators in the university. I often call him the ‘selfless idea factory’ – someone who is constantly not just thinking of new ideas but acting on them, for everyone’s benefit.”
Woods earned a B.S. in electrical engineering and a B.A. in physics from Rice in 1988, and went on to get his M.S. and Ph.D. in applied physics from Stanford University in 1991 and 1997, respectively. His research focuses on optical probing of integrated circuits and work on ultra-low-cost medical devices for developing-world neonatal wards.
“Gary’s scientific contributions before and after joining Rice are evidenced by the significance of his journal publications, conference proceedings and patents, which are well recognized," said Joe Cavallaro, professor and associate chair of ECE. "He’s an enthusiastic educator, an established researcher, an excellent collaborative colleague, and he’s doing all the right things. He is truly a star!”
Woods has taught senior design to all graduating B.S.E.E. majors since 2009. His teams have won the top prize at the OEDK Design Showcase in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2017. In 2016, Woods was honored with the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching, as voted on by Rice alumni. He serves as host of the annual “Moscars,” the ELEC 305 video competition that challenges students to explain complex engineering topics through video.
The only other faculty member in the George R. Brown School of Engineering holding the distinguished professor in the practice title is Scott Cutler in computer science.