Andrew McGettrick

Digital Library

ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award

United Kingdom - 2020


For his scholarship and tireless volunteer work and contributions, which have fundamentally improved rigorous computer science as a field of professional practice and as an academic pursuit

Over five decades, McGettrick has consistently made outstanding contributions to Computing Education. McGettrick's long career at Strathclyde University, where he drove key curriculum improvements in computer science and software engineering, exemplifies his deep commitment to education. Also, his program evaluation work for other universities and colleges improved the quality and rigor of undergraduate, master's, and doctoral programs across the world. McGettrick's work for the U.K. government -- driving the first benchmarking standard for computing degrees and chairing the five-year revision of the QAA benchmarking standard for master's degrees in Computing -- was similarly transformative.

McGettrick has played multiple leadership roles within the British Computing Society (BCS). In 2004, he led the education component of the U.K. Computing Grand Challenges project. He served as Vice-President for Qualifications and Standards and then Vice-President for Engineering and Science and was twice appointed to the U.K. Engineering Council.

In the ACM, McGettrick's educational contributions are extraordinary. He has served on the ACM Education Board for two decades and continues to do so. With Eric Roberts, he launched ACM's Education Council, and he served as its chair from 2007 to 2014. Under his leadership, the council developed numerous curricular volumes including the ACM/IEEE Curriculum Task Force's Computer Science, Software Engineering, Computer Engineering and Overview volumes. He recently served on the Education Board Data Science Curriculum Task Force and helped launch the Learning at Scale series of annual conferences.

McGettrick helped found the ACM Europe Council, where he led the creation of several white papers for the European Commission touching upon cyber security and automation (including artificial intelligence, data science, and machine learning). These publications, and his continued advocacy, elevated computer science as a vital and essential part of sustainable digital transformation. Likewise, McGettrick was involved in the Committee on European Computing Education and was a co-founder and member of the Steering Committee of the Informatics for All coalition, a multi-organizational advocacy body working with the European Commission to promote computing/informatics education for all. McGettrick's publications include more than 130 research articles, textbooks, and scholarly papers. His white papers have shaped the nature and progress of computing in Europe. He also edited or co-edited numerous influential collections, including Concurrent Programming Software Specification Techniques (1988), Software Engineering -- A European Perspective (1993), and Grand Challenges in Computing (2004). McGettrick was the founding editor of Addison-Wesley's (now Pearson's) International Computer Science series (~100 books) and co-editor of Taylor and Francis' Computer Science undergraduate textbook series (20 books to date).

ACM Distinguished Member

Scotland Uk - 2018

Press Release

ACM Presidential Award

United Kingdom - 2018


In recognition of his unwavering commitment to computer science education -- particularly in terms of its quality, breadth, and access -- for generations of students worldwide.

McGettrick served as chair of ACM's Education Board and Education Council for over 15 years, leaving an indelible imprint as a passionate advocate for equipping computer science students with the knowledge, skills, and tools to succeed in the field. During his tenure he steered the development of key curricula in computer science and software engineering. In recent years, he has played an instrumental role in drawing European educational effortsand European professional societiesto the table through his work with ACM's Europe Council and Informatics Europe. McGettrick was one of the leading forces behind the Informatics for All initiative, an acclaimed report that explores strategies for informatics education in Europe at all levels.

Press Release