Teaching Philosophy

Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.Socrates

This statement summarizes the central idea of my teaching philosophy. Education and teaching are central to the role of university professor: not only to help individuals build a knowledge base, but to become independent navigators and contribute to a changing field throughout their lives. I strongly believe that the hallmark of a good researcher is the ability to communicate their ideas to diverse audiences, including students in university classrooms.

My teaching philosophy manifests itself in several student-centered goals and objectives. A student-centered goal prioritizes the learning of students in the classroom aligned with the overall learning objectives and wisdom of the subject matter. My teaching goals are focused on three dimensions of student learning:

Dimension 1: encouraging self-directed learning
  • Focus: encourage students to learn beyond the classroom environment and develop the ability to think critically
  • Learning activities to promote this dimension:
    • assign open-ended questions as part of pre-class reading materials
    • point students to the latest research in the field as additional reading
    • use online tools (like Seeing theory) for promoting intuition behind mathematical fundamentals
    • require students to reflect on their performance in graded assignments
Dimension 2: connecting theory and practice
  • Focus: enable students to think beyond theoretical realms and engage with the problems in practice
  • Learning activities to promote this dimension:
    • invite guest speakers from different areas of practice and industry
    • encourage students to participate in team projects working on real-life problems
    • point students to internship or volunteering opportunities
Dimension 3: developing interpersonal relationships
  • Focus: motivate students to communicate effectively, in writing or orally, and encourage fostering a sense of respect and understanding towards other individuals within or beyond classroom walls
  • Learning activities to promote this dimension:
    • plan regular classroom group discussions while periodically shuffling the group composition
    • have students deliver course-project presentations and evaluate each other through peer feedback
    • provide rubrics for assessment of technical course project reports
The course materials that I design are aligned with these dimensions of student learning. Feel free to reach out to me if you'd like to discuss any of these in detail.

Courses at North Carolina A&T State University

Instructor, CIEN 754 Modeling of Transportation Systems (Graduate Level), Fall 2020

Certifications and Training

Certification in Engineering Education, The University of Texas at Austin, Spring 2017 – May 2020
  • Courses completed: Teaching Engineering, Curriculum and Assessment Design, Teaching Practicum, Advanced Instructional Methods Design
  • Designed an introductory course on Probability and Statistics for Civil Engineers including the design of learning objectives, syllabus, assessment plan, lesson plan, and one week's worth of learning activities
    1. Learning objectives [PDF (9 kb)]
    2. Assessment plan [PDF (117 kb)] and details of assessment instruments [PDF (261 kb)]
    3. Learning activities [PDF (76 kb)] and one-week's worth of lesson plan [PDF (570 kb)]

The cycle of practice and feedback emphasizing the principle that goal-directed practice coupled with targeted feedback are critical to student learning

(Source: Ambrose, S. A., Bridges, M. W., DiPietro, M., Lovett, M. C., & Norman, M. K. (2010). How learning works: Seven research-based principles for smart teaching. John Wiley & Sons.)

Participant, International Teaching Assistants connect with Undergraduate Teaching Ambassadors (ITA/UTA Connect) Program, The University of Texas at Austin, Spring 2018

Prior Teaching Experiences

Teaching Assistant, Probability and Statistics, Fall 2017 and Spring 2018
  • Executed TA's responsibilities including:
    • Teaching one-hour lab sessions every week by designing learning activities and modules in R
    • Holding weekly office hours
    • Assisting in the design of homeworks, online quiz modules, midterms, and finals
  • Adapted the techniques learnt through pedagogy courses for effective instruction. For example:
    • Used concept maps for building meaningful knowledge structures
    • Provided students with an overview of formulas [Handout PDF (9 kb)]
    • Organized review sessions before the midterm and finals
    • Used classroom assessment techniques to monitor student learning progress over the semester
  • Overall Teaching Assistant Rating (4.3/5.0) [Detailed evaluation, HTML]


Mid-semester student feedback from Spring 2018, one conducted three weeks into the semester and the other conducted towards the end of semester (Click the image to enlarge; opens in a new tab)

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant, Physics, IIT Bombay, Spring 2014
Undergraduate Teaching Assistant, Differential Equations, IIT Bombay, Fall 2012

Guest Lectures

  1. Applications of Probability. [Slides PDF (1.2 mb)]. Taught an interactive 1.5-hour lecture on applications of probability delivered to the Spring 2018 class of CE 311S Probability and Statistics for Civil Engineers at The University of Texas at Austin.
    • Used snowballing technique to encourage participation in classroom
    • Enacted a game of Let's Make a Deal to demonstrate the applications of probability in competitive games
Guest Lecture Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes for the lecture

Relevant Resources

  1. Milkova, S. (2012). Strategies for effective lesson planning. Center for Research on learning and Teaching: [PDF 249kb]
  2. Specific Classroom Assessment Techniques Handout: [PDF 79kb]
  3. Stanford Tomorrow's Professor Posting: Website
  4. ABET accreditation: Website