UChicago announces 2024 winners of Quantrell and PhD Teaching Awards

UChicago announces 2024 winners of Quantrell and PhD Teaching Awards

In a graduate course on silicon chip design, he gained insight into the construction and spatial arrangement of these components, understanding their impact on performance, cost, and energy consumption.

“It turns out that this spatial view of technology gives the core intuition of why even today’s machine designs have a certain speed, cost, and energy consumption – essentially, the smaller the better,” he said. 

He now teaches Quantum Computer Systems and Computer Architecture, and has taught Honors Introduction to Computer Science. The University of Chicago marks Chong’s third institution as an instructor, and while he has cherished each experience thus far, he said the learning environment at UChicago is unique.

“The truly exceptional and curious students, coupled with small class sizes, allow me to go deeper into very advanced topics,” Chong said. “Perhaps my favorite part comes from student questions. After 28 years of teaching, I can still get questions that surprise me and make me rethink some of the fundamentals of my field.”

Chong’s courses and research are centrally about understanding the trends in technology and shaping the future of computing. On the last day of class, he typically gives a lecture on some of these trends, and some of the more visionary ideas emerging in the future. 

“For the last 10 years or so, this last lecture has focused a bit on quantum computing, which could potentially solve problems that are unsolvable by classical computers,” he said. “If I were to distill this down to a message, it would be to “think outside of the box and be open to what is currently impossible.”

Anton Ford, Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy

When Anton Ford was in high school, he found a steamer trunk in the basement of his house that contained his parents’ books from college. He spread them on the floor and took the most appealing for himself. 

As he recalls, the trunk had a wide variety of books: novels, poetry, history and sociology books, political texts and philosophy books. He said he remembers reading some Platonic dialogues, and developing an interest in Emerson and Nieztsche. 

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