The award is also good news for INTO USF, which runs a number of
popular pathways leading to engineering degrees at USF.
Professor Autar Kaw was recognized for his pioneering teaching
methods, which involve presenting knowledge in a variety of ways to
account for different student learning styles, and spreading
knowledge through the use of open source materials.
In his diverse classes the Professor uses lectures, PowerPoint
presentations, textbook chapters, clickers (personal response
systems), in-class experiments and simulations - whatever it takes
to involve and inspire students.
"I use every avenue of integrating real-world and research
problems into education," Professor Kaw said. "Rather than choose
and be attached to a particular teaching pedagogy, I believe that
it is important to mix teaching styles to reach, encourage and
challenge our diverse student population."
Professor Kaw has also led a team devoted to making online
course materials available to the world since 2002. His Holistic Numerical
Methods Institute website receives a million page views
per year, while his Youtube
lectures attract half million viewings.
"I firmly believe in open and free dissemination of educational
materials, and we have ample evidence now of how it has
fundamentally changed the modes and improvements in education,"
said Professor Kaw.
So far students have been enthusiastic about his approach. "He's
hard but it's rewarding," said former postgraduate student Dan
Miller, who now works for Hatch Corporation in Tampa and has
co-authored a textbook with Kaw. "You may not appreciate it until
you're further down the pipeline and you're taking a class and
realize, 'I understand this!' You find yourself using his
methods to dissect and solve all kinds of problems."
Professor Kaw's award is great news for INTO USF which recruits
a large number of international students to its engineering
pathways each year. It provides further evidence of the high
quality teaching students can expect at USF, and will help the
University's engineering courses stand out in a field that is
highly competitive in the United States.
Dr. Glen Besterfield, Center Director at INTO USF, said: "Dr.
Kaw epitomises the quality of engineering education throughout the
College of Engineering at USF which makes it a global destination
for aspiring engineering students around the world. His receiving
this recognition will also further help INTO USF stand out in
students' eyes, with its extensive selection of engineering
graduate pathways available in over nine fields and its
Professor Kaw is no stranger to awards, having received among
others the Outstanding Teaching Award from the ASEE South Eastern
Section in 2010 and the Florida Professor of the Year accolade from
the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) in
2004. He will receive his National Outstanding Teaching Medal at
the annual ASEE conference in Vancouver, June 26 - 29.