Paul Haiduk, coordinator of the WTAMU Computer Science program, received the 2012 IBM Faculty Award. The award includes a $20,000 prize to benefit the program. Haiduk has been teaching for 40 years, with his most recent stint at West Texas A&M.
“I got started teaching when I was working on my master’s degree,” Haiduk said. “The faculty here at WT invited me to teach alongside them. It was my first time thinking about starting a career in teaching.”
After starting a teaching career at WT, Haiduk continued on to teach computing after receiving his doctorate.
“There is a critical demand right now for software development students. It’s also the toughest degree to discipline yourself to go to school for.”
Because of Haiduk’s research and dedication toward the computer science program at WT, students are beginning to realize the potential in this field.
“Until now, I had no idea computer science was such a high demand field to go into,” Yesenia Castro, freshman Math Education major, said.
“When I was asked to revise the computer science program, I wanted it to be for the twenty-first century,” Haiduk said, who is continuing to expand on the award. “I then was approached by IBM to see if WT could incorporate super computers in our programs.”
Haiduk, after conducting research, concluded that involving super computers in computer programming would be a viable option.
“This fall alone we have seen a 40 percent jump in enrollment to our computer science program,” he said.
Students around the campus are interested in seeing the program grow.
“After hearing about the recent peak in enrollment, I began to think about computer programming as a major,” Yvette Lujano, a freshman English major, said.