January 15, 2020
February 2020 Spotlight
PSD’s February spotlight is Stu Kurtz, George and Elizabeth Yovovich Professor in the Department of Computer Science. Stu has been with UChicago for 38 years and is inspired by the opportunity to positively impact his discipline and the lives of people around him.
A PSD community member had this to say:
“Stu has been at the university for many years and was doing his part to make underrepresented minorities feel supported before the concept of diversity and inclusion became mainstream. Former and current students speak of him as someone who was, and continues to be consistently helpful, kind and a D&I champion.”
We interviewed Stu about his interests and experiences below.
What do you enjoy about being a part of the PSD community?
The intellectual challenges of the work. The quality of my colleagues. The joy of teaching. The positive, can-do attitude of the staff.
Tell us a bit about you.
I'm married (41 years!), with two children (both married), and one grand-child. My first appointment at the University was as an L. E. Dickson Instructor in Mathematics in 1981. I'm a founding member of the Computer Science Department, and have seen tremendous changes over my career here, and have been a participant in a few.
What inspires you?
The opportunity to make a positive difference, in my discipline, at the University, and in the lives of the people around me.
What is the most interesting thing that you are working on right now?
Trying to understand more deeply the connection between programming and proof.
What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?
A community in which the gifts and talents of all are nurtured and appreciated.
Who would you most like to swap places with for a day and why?
Donald Trump, so that I could resign the Presidency for him ;-).
What have you seen lately that made you smile?
My wife, who took over an entertaining obligation for a couple of dear friends who needed a bit less on their plate, and pulled it off brilliantly.
Who had the most influence on you growing up?
My parents. Their values, their commitment, their faith and love, formed me.