Teaching

I usually teach the following courses. Sample syllabi are available by clicking on the titles. For information about current semester courses see CEnotes.

cven207 - Introduction to the Civil Engineering Profession

cven365 - Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering

cven649 - Advanced Physical and Engineering Properties of Soil

cven689 - Special Topics in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering

 

Teaching Awards

2006 ExCEEd New Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award      2006
American Society of Civil Engineers 

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Excellence in Engineering Teaching Award      2005
Dwight Look College of Engineering, Texas A&M University

2004-2005 Zachry Award for Excellence in Teaching       2005
Department of Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University.

Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award    2000
Conferred to less than ten percent of student instructors at the University of California, Berkeley.

 

Teaching Philosophy

Every time true learning takes place, it is a great discovery for the learner, no matter whether this is new research or a basic concept. As a teacher, I hope to help my students experience the elation of discovery that I know as a researcher. I think that at the basis of any teaching there must be a serious commitment to the students and to learning.

I am very enthusiastic and I try to stimulate the students’ interest and encourage them to look beyond the limits of the class for occasions to use their newly developed skills. I like to use as many simple examples as possible to illustrate concepts, but I also introduce more advanced problems, often from my research work or from information that I found in technical journals and nontechnical publications, such as newspapers and magazines. The subject matter should be presented as one element of a larger context and theoretical concepts should be connected to both observations and design issues. Especially at the graduate level, the students should become aware of the current state of research and practice and the interactions between the two to improve the design process. It is important for all students to see how the connection between what they are learning and what they already know enhances their knowledge base, as well as the current and future applications for this knowledge. This also has the benefit of raising the students’ interest in the subject and engaging them in a dynamic learning atmosphere.

New information technologies can be a great help to teachers, especially if used to improve learning in ways that are not otherwise available. I always try to accommodate students’ different learning styles by using different approaches and giving them more opportunities to understand the concepts. My goal is to inspire them to develop a logical and organized method for structuring their knowledge, while promoting independent thinking. It is crucial that they acquire problem solving skills and master concepts in order to be prepared for an ever changing world.

 

Undergraduate Students Reciprocal Exchange with Brazil

 

 

Resources

 

Links