Ed Jernigan, recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award, 1986

Systems Design Engineering

Ed Jernigan is an associate professor in the Department of Systems Design Engineering, where he has been teaching for ten years. Professor Jernigan is a scholar actively engaged in research on pattern recognition and image processing. His teaching reflects his scholarship, showing not only a mastery of the details of his subject, but also a deep understanding of its foundations. Dr. Ed, as he is affectionately called, is appreciated by his students for teaching very difficult material in a way which makes it accessible. His courses are intellectually demanding. They are also superbly prepared and delivered with skill, enthusiasm, and a keen understanding of how students learn. His students recognize the effort involved. Ed's nomination was supported by dozens of individual letters from students who applauded him for it. These letters came from students in second, third, and fourth years, from alumni, and from present and former graduate students. There were also letters of support from his colleagues who recognize his outstanding abilities. It will not surprise anyone in the systems design (SD) graduating class that SD 212 was mentioned most frequently. The references to that course are best summed up in the words of one third-year student: “this potentially disastrous course had been tamed and then injected with a new vitality that only he could give.” It is evident that Ed Jernigan's teaching extends far beyond the classroom. He supervises workshop projects and research theses, he advises students on their studies and on their careers, and does this in a way which provides both help and motivation. The letters from his students reveal that he is respected not just for his knowledge and skills, but also for his high standards, his integrity, and his understanding of student needs.