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Engineering News
Fall 2004 Columbia University

In This Issue:

A SEAS Change in Educational Philosophy

Engineering in and for the Community

Googlers Win Marconi Award

Constructing a Framework for Health

SEAS Professors Honored as Great and Distinguished

Biomedical Engineering Conducts Symposium

Financial Engineering Program and IEOR Garner Kudos

Lions of All Ages Celebrate Reunion ’04

Camp Columbia: Call of the Wild

The Changing Face of Engineering - Fellowships

Lucy Alperin ’52 Recalls Her Time at SEAS

Alumnae Share Perspectives at Roundtable

Alumni Briefs

Computer Science Celebrates 25 years

SEAS Professors Honored as Great and Distinguished

Two elements echo as a common theme in the definition of a “great” teacher. One is the ability to clearly communicate knowledge of the subject matter and the other is the ability to develop a personal rapport with students. Students cite both these qualities in their evaluations of the latest SEAS teachers who have been singled out for teaching excellence.

At the national level, Yannis Tsividis is being recognized by IEEE and, at Columbia, Perwez Shahabuddin was honored by The Society of Columbia Graduates, and Jason Nieh and Jack McGourty by the Columbia Engineering School Alumni Association.

Yannis Tsividis
Yannis Tsividis

Yannis Tsividis, Charles Batchelor Professor of Electrical Engineering, will be recognized in February, 2005, with the IEEE Undergraduate Teaching Award. His award is “for superlative teaching that has inspired the imagination and nurtured the intellect of undergraduates in electrical engineering.”

The IEEE is the latest organization to recognize the exceptional qualities he brings to teaching. At Columbia, he has received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching (2003), the Great Teacher Award (1999), and the Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award (1998). Among his most popular courses is one he created, the lab-based Introduction to Electrical Engineering. This course provides prospective EE students with the opportunity for a hands-on experience with circuits, to experiment with real hardware and see the results immediately.

Perwez Shahabuddin
Perwez Shahabuddin

Perwez Shahabuddin, professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, was honored recently by The Society of Columbia Graduates with its Great Teacher Award at ceremonies in Low Library. A successful researcher at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, he took the leap to academia in 1995. His decision to teach was made all the more difficult because of a speech impediment. But his clear love of teaching and desire to interact with students won out.

After being at SEAS for only two years, he received the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award. In student evaluations, he is consistently cited for both great command of the subject matter and a willingness to work with students individually until they fully understand the concepts.

Jack McGourty
Jack McGourty
Jason Nieh
Jason Nieh

At Class Day ceremonies, K. Daniel Libby, president of the Columbia Engineering School Alumni Association, spoke about the importance of undergraduate teaching as he awarded the organization’s Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award to Jason Nieh, associate professor of IEOR, and Jack McGourty, creator and professor of the first-year design course (see page 1). They were both cited by students in their evaluations for their co-gent teaching style, approachability and genuine regard for student progress.


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