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News & Press: Dec 2011

Prof. Autar Kaw (1976-1981) wins 2011 National Outstanding Teaching Medal

Monday, December 19, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: BITSAA Communications
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Prof. Autar Kaw (1976-1981) wins 2011 National Outstanding Teaching Medal

Prof. Autar Kaw, alumnus of the famous BITS-1976-1981 batch recently won a "best teacher" award that is given to only one engProf. Autar Kawineering educator each year in the US. Prof. Kaw has been selected from among more than 500 Universities that are ABET accredited in the United States. Visit http://autarkaw.com and send him your congratulations at autarkaw@yahoo.com

ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education) National Outstanding Teaching Medal is designed to provide national recognition to an engineering or engineering technology educator for excellence in outstanding classroom performance, contributions to the scholarship of teaching, and participation in ASEE Section meetings and local activities. The award is a recognition of the development, assessment and refinement of resources in an undergraduate course in Numerical Methods - http://numericalmethods.eng.usf.edu/ 

Prof. Kaw is author of four textbooks on numerical methods, matrix algebra, composite materials, and programming, but he saw the future of online education long before most other educators. In 1990, he sent his first engineering education proposal to the National Science Foundation with a plan to send floppy disks that would supplement numerical methods textbook and simulations, without regard to copyright or payment.   It was in 2001 that he received the first of four consecutive engineering education grants from NSF, and 20 years later his original plan has blossomed into the online Holistic Numerical Methods Institute, which uses every tool for teaching the Internet provides including downloadable textbooks, You Tube videos , worksheets, primers, class syllabi, PowerPoint presentations, online assessments and even a blog.

Since going live in 2001, the Holistic Numerical Methods Institute website has been awarded the ASME Curriculum Innovation Award (2004) and the ASEE DELOS Best Paper Award (2006). Literally one million page views were recorded in the last year. There were more than half-million views of the audiovisual lectures on YouTube. Prof. Kaw is especially proud of the overwhelmingly positive response to the Numerical Methods site. His separate blog, The Numerical Methods Guy is also popular and the entries are motivated by questions that students ask him in class. One blog response puts it simply: "I wish I had a teacher like you."  

The ASEE National Outstanding Teaching Medal is awarded annually since 2003 to a teacher in an ABET-accredited curriculum based on classroom performance, teaching scholarship contributions and ASEE and local chapter participation. Kaw, who is also a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, also received the 2010 Outstanding Teaching Award from the ASEE Southeastern Section, 2004 US Florida Professor of the Year Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching (CFAT), and the 1991 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Ralph Teetor Award.  

But, he’s not one to rest on his laurels, a recent proposal written to National Science Foundation seeks to adapt and assess the courseware at additional institutions including Alabama A&M University, Prairie View A&M University, Florida International University, University of Nevada-Reno, University of Texas-Tyler, Louisiana Tech University and University of South Carolina.

Prof. Kaw has been active in supporting his undergraduate Alma-mater (BITS Pilani through BITSAA) as well. Prof. Kaw has served as a panelist for evaluating BITSAA's Graduate Application Scholarship Applications in 2009, 2010. Speaking of fellow BITSians he said - "Thank you so much for the congrats and good wishes.  We BITSIANs are trying to make a difference, and I truly believe that one person can make a difference.  Whenever I interact with my fellow BITSIANs now, it is always cherished."

Want to know more how a star BITSian academic (Numerical Methods Guru) is making his alma-mater and his community proud. Follow these links:
  1. USF Link
  2. http://www.prism-magazine.org/sept11/asee_today.cfm#standout 
  3. http://campustechnology.com/articles/2010/07/08/pioneering-open-content-in-higher-ed.aspx
  4. http://news.usf.edu/article/templates/?a=3435&z=158  
  5. http://news.usf.edu/article/templates/?a=3772&z=158
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