Teaching philosophy

Summary: Two general principles form the foundation for my teaching philosophy.  One is that information gathering and critical thinking skills are more important than any particular content.  The other is that all knowledge is useless without communication skills.  In the full statement I discuss why I believe these skills are important and some of the approaches I use to convey them.  I do not regard these principles and the corresponding approaches as an end, but rather look forward to continuing to develop as an educator and welcome discussion about these and other approaches.

Teaching philosophy

CEE 444: Biological Principles of Environmental Engineering

Summary: This is a core course for our graduate program in environmental engineering and science. Because of the diverse backgrounds of the students, it begins with the question “What is a cell?”, but it progresses rapidly to give an overview of metabolism, the central dogma, molecular biology, phylogeny, and microbial ecology. Based on my expertise and the aspects of biology most relevant to environmental engineering, my version of the course is almost exclusively focused on microbiology. In keeping with my teaching philosophy, it is taught with frequent incorporation of active learning exercises and extra attention to developing critical thinking and written communication skills.

CEE444 Syllabus

CEE 548: Scientific writing: Proposals, Manuscripts, & Peer review

Summary: This is a graduate level elective designed for students interested in an academic career. My objectives of this course are to i) introduce principles that are unique to technical writing, ii) provide experience with writing proposals and manuscripts, and iii) help students develop the ability to provide constructive peer reviews.

CEE548 Syllabus

You may also be interested in my educational research related to improving writing skills of engineering undergraduates.