Peter Grogono given first President’s Teaching Award

Barbara Black

Peter Grogono’s commitment to faculty development and teaching spans 20 years. His award was presented at the final session of the Spirit of Inquiry teaching conference on May 15. He told the younger teachers in the audience, “It gets better.”

Photo by Rob Maguire

The name of the first recipient of the President’s Award for Teaching Excellence was kept secret until the announcement, but to many who know his career at Concordia, it was no surprise.

Peter Grogono’s interest in computers started at the age of 15, when he built a simple differential analyzer. After obtaining a degree in mathematics from Cambridge University, he worked in several areas of computing, including pattern recognition, operating systems, real-time systems, electronic music, accounting, and civil engineering.

In 1976, he joined what was then called the Computer Centre at Concordia, now IITS . There he took graduate courses in computer science, and after completing his PhD in 1984, joined the Department of Computer Science. He is now an associate professor and associate chair of the department, where he has supervised 55 theses.

He was the principal architect of the Faculty’s undergraduate software engineering degree, the first in Quebec. He introduced a number of courses, which he himself taught.

Grogono has published six books. His textbook Programming in Pascal has been translated into eight languages and sold more than 500,000 copies. It had a major influence on teaching introductory programming languages all over the world.

He received awards from the Engineering and Computer Science Student’s Association for “outstanding contributions to student life” in 2002, 2003 and 2004 and was the first recipient of the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science Teaching Excellence Award in 1998.

He has been active in educational conferences and internal teaching workshops at the Centre for Teaching and Learning Services, and a valued mentor to new faculty members across the university. 

“He has consistently demonstrated his commitment to perfecting his teaching skills,” President Claude Lajeunesse said, presenting the award. “For his profound dedication to both teaching and his students, I am delighted to present this inaugural President's Award for Teaching Excellence to Peter Grogono.”