Mordechai Ben-Ari

Digital Library

ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award

Israel - 2019


For his pioneering textbooks, software tools and research on learning programming, concurrent programming, program visualisation, logic, programming languages and robotics, spanning four decades and aimed at both novices and advanced students in several sub-fields of computing.

Mordechai (Moti) Ben-Ari, professor emeritus at the Department of Science Teaching at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel. Early in his career, Ben-Ari made several contributions to the development of foundational theory for our field (e.g. the temporal logic of branching time and algorithms for on-the-fly garbage collection). However, the bulk of Ben-Ari's work has been focused on achieving long-term improvements to computing education, with emphasis on foundational concepts like concurrency, mathematical logic, programming and program visualisation. Ben-Ari has authored a number of well-known textbooks on a broad spectrum of topics, including concurrent programming, language design, programming, distributed algorithms, mathematical logic and robotics. He has also authored a more general and highly recommendable book on the nature of science. Ben-Ari's books are characterized by a combination of deep insight and an unusual succinct and pedagogical style of expression. Ben-Ari has distinguished himself with the development of a range of carefully thought-out software tools that illustrate key concepts and help students to understand often inaccessible fundamental concepts. Through the use of simulation, animation, and visualisation, Ben-Ari has shown how traditionally difficult material can become accessible even for students with little or no prior exposure to computer science. In these efforts Ben-Ari is setting a great example for others to follow, and a high bar to meet. Ben-Ari has especially left his mark in the development of learning materials for the traditionally difficult concept of concurrency. His books and his teaching methods have helped to educate and inspire generations of students in computing, primarily in higher education but more recently also in secondary education. Ben-Ari is one of a few researchers who has not only advanced but helped shape, define, and mature the field of Computing Education Research. Over four decades, Ben-Ari has consistently made outstanding contributions to Computing Education. He has worked in different sub-fields and made contributions of such differing nature that it seems he has managed to squeeze several successful careers' worth or work into a single professional lifetime.
Press Release

ACM Distinguished Member

Israel - 2009