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Benjamin Hescott

Teaching Professor

Director - Broadening Participation

Hescott, Ben

Contact

Office Location

440 Huntington Avenue
202A West Village H
Boston, MA 02115

Mailing Address

Northeastern University
ATTN: Benjamin Hescott, 202 WVH
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

Research Interests

  • Computational complexity
  • Approximation algorithms
  • Computational biology

Education

  • PhD in Computer Science, Boston University
  • BA in Mathematics, Boston University

Biography

Benjamin Hescott is a teaching professor and Director of Broadening Participation at Northeastern University. Prior to that he was an Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science of Tufts University.

Hescott’s research interests include computational complexity, approximation algorithms, and computational biology. Most recently, he helped create a new metric of “closeness” for popular biological models. This work was used in the Dream Challenge for Disease Module Identification and received the “Best Performer” award. His students say that he works on using computer science to help cure human disease, he says he works on graphs.

His favorite place to be is in the classroom. He is continually searching for new tools and analogies to help make computer science and programming accessible to all. His teaching tools include everything from rolls of paper towels to model Turing Machine tapes to nesting Tupperware containers and yarn for linked lists.

Hescott graduated from Boston University with a Ph.D. in computer science in 2008. He has been the faculty supervisor for the student ACM chapter and served as the liaison to the New England Undergraduate Computer Science Symposium. He is member of the leadership team for ELA (Empowering Leadership Alliance) whose main purpose is encouraging, preparing, and retaining underrepresented minorities in computer science.

He is the recipient of the 2011 IEEE Computer Society Computer Science and Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Award, recognizing his contribution for making computer science accessible to all. During his time at Tufts Univeristy, Hescott won the 2011 Lerman-Neubauer Prize for Outstanding Teaching and Advising, the 2012 Henry and Madeline Fischer Award (Engineering Teacher of the year award) and the 2012 Lillian and Joseph Leibner Award for Excellence in Teaching and Advising of Students. He was recognized in 2013 by the Tufts Graduate Student Council for Outstanding Faculty Contribution to Graduate Studies. In 2016, he was awarded the ROUTE award which recognizes undergraduate teaching and mentoring. That same year the Tufts Student Body awarded him “Professor of the Year”.