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Clarkson University Professor Christino Tamon Honored with Distinguished Teaching Award

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Christino Tamon, associate professor mathematics and computer science at Clarkson University, was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award during the University’s 116th commencement ceremony today.Teaching2009

The award was created in 1960 to recognize "the importance of superior teaching." Clarkson University alumni nominate candidates and the recipient of the $1,500 award is chosen by a faculty committee.

A native of Indonesia, Tamon grew up in the small town of Manado in northern Sulawesi, before moving to Alberta, Canada.

He received a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and computer science from the University of Calgary in 1990 and a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Toronto in 1992.

Moving back to the University of Calgary in 1993, he completed a Ph.D. degree in computer science there, before joining the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Clarkson in 1996. He received an Outstanding New Teacher award in 2000 and has been a tenured associate professor of computer science since 2002.

With research interests in theoretical computer science, Tamon has worked in machine learning, theory of computation, and quantum information. Some of his published works appeared in Journal of the Association for Computing Machinery, Algorithmica, Journal of Computer and System Sciences, Quantum Information and Computation, and International Journal of Quantum Information.

His first published joint work in 1994 established a method for using non-determinism in learning algorithms, which had unsuspected applications in other theoretical areas of computer science.

His subsequent and current efforts have mainly focused on Fourier methods in machine learning and quantum information.

He has served as program committee member for several conferences in machine learning theory and is currently serving as an editorial board member of an online journal on algorithms. Since 2000, he has been a faculty advisor in the undergraduate mathematics summer research joint program with SUNY Potsdam, which has received continued support from the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency.

Since arriving at Clarkson, Tamon has taught a wide variety of computer science classes, including symbolic computation, programming languages, cryptography, and compiler construction. Most of the courses he teaches tend to involve offbeat programming languages and oversized projects, with cryptic and malleable deadlines.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University President Tony Collins (left) presents the 2009 Distinguished Teaching Award to Christino Tamon.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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