Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.-- John Dewey
Education is a dynamic interplay between teaching and learning, it is the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another. This page is intended for my current and former students, and sharing my personal experiences and exchange of ideas with other educators. Kindly e-mail me your comments, suggestions, and concerns. Thank you.
- My Education
- Role of a Professor in the Education Process
- Teaching Philosophy Statements
- Research Philosophy Statements
Archival Journal Articles (categorized in four areas)
- Optimization with Sensitivity Analysis
- Prescriptive System Simulation
- Probability and Statistics
- Other Topics
- Service Philosophy Statements
- Overall Annual Assessment
To search the site, try Edit | Find in page [Ctrl + f]. Enter a word or phrase in the dialogue box, e.g. "learning" or "thinking" If the first appearance of the word/phrase is not what you are looking for, try Find Next.
IntroductionTo Educe means to bring out a potential existence. Education, therefore, is a process of intellectual growth. Education is essential to change, for education creates both new wants and the ability to satisfy them. A student must be curious, open-minded, reflective, strategic, skeptical, and must learn for deep understanding. It is therefore, my cardinal duty as an educator to provide the conditions in which my students can learn to become what they want to be. An environment that is supportive of critical thinking facilitates the education process. Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. To discover your potentiality, think for yourself.
Formal education must teach you how to think. The hard facts you learn are secondary to that. Education is not how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It is being able to differentiate between what you know and what you do not. Teaching should be such that what is offered by the teacher will be perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty.
The big thing you take away from school is how to induct and deduct in a constructive way. The object of education is to prepare the students to educate themselves throughout their lives. Critical thinking, self-examination, and the questioning of assumptions are all widely genuflected to as part of any good education. But that's not what's happening on many college campuses. I do provide such an environment and strive to make critical and protracted thinking plausible for my students. This means that students are active participants creating knowledge and developing skills rather than passive recipients of information. Students appreciate a teacher who gives them something to take home to think about besides homework. One often forgets what one was taught. However, one only can make use of what one has learnt.
All the interest of education should come together to make students responsible decision makers. Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who, of themselves, are able to give purpose and direction to their lives. It is the ability to decide for yourself and the responsibility for making a self for yourself; the educator is merely a mid-wife in this process. A professor should never measure students intelligence with his/her own, otherwise there is no progress for the new generation. Moreover, there is no such thing as being intelligent in everything and all the time.
Problem Solving in Mathematics: When we think of having the ability 'to do' math, we think numbers. However, math is more than computations and numbers; it's about being able to solve problems. Applying what you know to the situation presented. Here are a few tips on becoming successful at problem solving.
The main reason for learning all about math is to become better problem solvers in all aspects of life. Many problems are multi step and require some type of systematic approach. Most of all, there are a couple of things you need to do when solving problems. Ask yourself exactly what type of information is being asked for. Then determine all the information that is being given to you in the question. When you clearly understand the answers to those two questions, you are then ready to devise your plan. Some key questions as you approach the problem may be:
What are my key words?
Do I need a diagram? List? Table?
Is there a formula or equation that I'll need? Which one?
Will I use a calculator? Is there a pattern I can use and or follow?
Remember: Read the problem carefully, decide on a method to solve the problem, solve the problem.
My EducationMy intellectual interest is in a broad field known as Building Data-Driven Decision Support Systems, that is, the well-focused consecutive thought process based on measurable and numerical scales to improve strategic decisions in the design, operation, and controlling complex man-made systems, such as an airport.
I received my higher-education degrees, all concentrated on modeling, from three different continents. My first degree is in Physics, which deals with the modeling of nature; the second is in Management Science, which consists of modeling human activities in general. Finally, my doctoral degree is in General Operations Research, which covers all aspects of modeling in every scientific field of studies.
The growing trends in interventional managerial decision-making increasingly utilize applications of more than one technique and involve individuals from other disciplines. Moreover, they involve a blend of"hard" and "soft" as well as a mixing of different "hard" or"soft" techniques with the increasing use of multiple methods within one piece of analysis. A creative thinking must look in detail at how those from disciplines outside of Operations Research can come to work in the organizations on multi-disciplinary studies. Those who have come from such backgrounds, clearly share their perspectives and experiences.
The decision making framework and tools often combine optimization theory, discrete event simulation, and probability and statistics. For, example during recent years, competitive pressures and short product lifecycles have caused many manufacturing and retail companies to focus on supply chain management practices and applications. Continuing shifts in the geopolitical situation and emerging markets have opened up new business opportunities, and at the same time kept companies busy revising their supply chain structures, manufacturing locations, warehouse locations, inbound logistics, and distribution operations. This has led to an increased demand in strategic supply chain planning tools, such as supply chain simulators and location optimization tools.
My teaching, research, and professional service activities are multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary which include: General Optimization, Systems Simulation, and Statistical Data Analysis. As for my teaching ability, I am well known for teaching difficult concepts at appropriate levels that can be understood by my students. My ability in humanizing the complex conceptual topics enables me to convey them in a clear simple language, therefore, become transparent for my students in an understandable way. My cardinal aim in constructing model-based decision support systems is to provide models for the managers which are easy to understand, easy to use, while providing useful managerial information.
As you know it well, the primary functions of universities are the transfer of useful knowledge and advancement of knowledge. The effective and widely used performance measure of any significant advancement of knowledge has been number of citations in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary areas. The citations of significant research contributions in journals citations are the indication of advancement of knowledge and their impact on transfer of knowledge are the textbooks citations.
- Advanced Certification in Information Systems, 1991,
Specialties: Telecommunication, Group Decision Support Systems, and Management of IS,
MIS Institute of the AACSB.
- Post Doctoral Fellow Researcher, 1982-1983,
The International Water Resources Institute (IWRI)
George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
- Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) in Operations Research, 1982,
School of Engineering and Applied Science,
George Washington University, Washington, D.C.,
GWU Alumni Registry.
- Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Management Science, 1978,
School of Industrial and Manufacturing Sciences,
- Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Physics, 1971,
Arya-Mehr University of Technology.
Role of a Professor in the Education ProcessThe duties of the professor are teaching, research and service. One of the methods of teaching is to ask the questions that guide critical thinking. The Information Technology age wants teachers to move from being the "sage on the stage" to a "guide on the side".
The cardinal aim of my teaching is to nurture in students the luminous thinking ability. I do this by clearly explaining keywords and phrases, difficult concepts, and technical materials in words that they are easily understood. There is no concept that cannot be explained and taught to others at a level meaningful to them provided one has become conscious of it first. It is one thing to be able to think about a concept or idea and quite another to be able to communicate it. By explaining a difficult concept to other people, you end up explaining it to yourself. Character is the ability to think. The aim of education should be to teach us how to think, rather than what to think. To improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, rather than to load the memory with thoughts of other men.
I am proud that I have been among top 10 faculty members in Teaching during many consecutive years. The laziest student works hard for my courses. I am indeed grateful to all of them.
Specialization is the price we pay for the advancement of knowledge. A price, because the path of specialization leads away from the reality and concrete acts of understanding in terms of which students actually want to learn. While almost all academics administrators would like to box professors into departments of the schools within the universities, I am compelled to teach varieties of interdisciplinary subjects to fulfill my wholeness in diversity. All of my academic research activities are firmly related to the subjects I teach. In most courses I teach, I share current research findings with my students and assign practical projects. As an active learning tool, a book review of the current textbook is also required.
Teaching: Think of our present system of schooling as on a spectrum, a horizontal line. The left end represents a total emphasis on content transmission; "I know, you don't, I'm going to tell you" kind of education. The right end of the line represents "learn-to-learn"; the skills of problem solving and thinking; even "how to think". In the world of the future, the new illiterate will be the person who has not learned how to learn. It is my task as a teacher to help you:
- to learn the ability for the clarity of thought, reasoning ability, skill in argumentation, and readiness to ask penetrating questions. The first part includes how to think clearly, logically, and analytically. To learn how to communicate your ideas clearly and carefully. In clear thinking process one must have an open-mind for new ideas, to be able to think differently, to see thing from many perspectives. The classroom universities are the environments for debate, exchange of ideas. Open-mindedness is the main condition to achieve the ultimate aim of education. You should have education enough so that you won't have to look up to people; and then more education so that you will be wise enough not to look down on people.
In each class I teach, a few students enroll in the course, unfortunately with preconceiving ideas, and beliefs. That is why sometimes it is hard for them to rethink and re-evaluate those ideas.
- to learn the active learning skills in order to best prepare yourself for a lifetime of self-directed education throughout your career, known also as learning-to-learn. Learning-to-learn is to know how to navigate in a forest of facts, ideas, and theories, a proliferation of constantly changing items of knowledge. Learning to learn is to know what to ignore but at the same time not rejecting innovation and research.
- to learn how to approach information critically and to discriminate in the principled way between beliefs, opinions, and facts.
- to think for yourself. Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced. Even a proverb is no proverb to you until your life has illustrated it. Give forms to your life not for others but to be one you want to be. Enlightenment means taking full responsibility for your life. You must be the "king of the hill" for your own life. Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's own understanding without any influence from another.
- to understand is to perceive patterns.
- to learn how to plann for your private and public life carefully; hour-by hour, day-by-day, month-by-month, because organizing your activity and maintaining enthusiasm are the wellspring of your creativity.
- to overcome anxiety of decision making by thinking before acting. There are situations when you should not make serious decisions. For example, suppose a person at an executive position within a company, has a Depression, which is mental disease, he or she should not be in charge of making serious decision which would be costly to the company while in hospital under medical treatment. For a well publicized case, of the Norwegian Prime Minister depression situation. He conquered his depression to assume his usual responsibilities.
- To learn effectively and efficiently you have to be realistic about your abilities and limitations. Because when there is a way, there is a will, And the opposite is Not true as many people unfortunately believe and taken it as the base for decisions concerning their personal life. Even thinking about strategies beyond your abilities ruins your life.
I believe most of my students will rise to meet my high expectations of them.
My cardinal task as a professor is to teach rigorous, focused structured thinking, careful judgment, and consistent reasoning. Teaching for me is in reminding my students that they know it just as well as I know. Finally, I believe that teaching is the greatest vocation in life; it is the highest, the noblest of callings.
In your educational days most of you who studies very well and made acquaintance with the noble building of science, and you remember -- perhaps with more respect than love -- the magnificent structure, on the lofty staircase of which you were chased about for uncounted hours by conscientious teachers. It is obvious that a necessary condition for success in teaching any subject is that the teacher should have coherent technical and historical knowledge of the subject. A teacher must be able putting ideas into place, creating order out of disorder, producing clarity out of confusion.
To teach effectively a teacher must develop a feeling for the subject; the teacher cannot make students sense its vitality if the teacher does not sense it on the first place. The teacher cannot share the enthusiasm when there is no enthusiasm to share. How the teacher makes the ideas may be as important as the ideas; the teacher must personally feel it to be important.
It is my experience that teaching others helps me to come to a greater understanding of the topic. I am motivated in my teaching by the desire to help my students to learn. I get satisfaction when they demonstrate that they have learned. To teach forces my mind to organize the ideas in a logical and understandable way, to connect them with previous well-organized knowledge and to express them in a way that helps my students to make similar connections.
I believe that it is important that teachers share with All students at All ages what it means to Do mathematical modeling techniques and concepts, just as what it means to Do science (in physics and chemistry labs). This includes computer experimentation, observation, noticing patterns, etc.
Instead of one detracting from the other, good teaching and good research has always seemed to me to be inextricable. Research helps to deepen understanding and enrich teaching; teaching can have a similar effect on research. Provoked into active dialogue, students have often forced me to rethink material covered in their textbooks, to clarify the topics, and to throw out esoteric, irrelevant, or far-fetched notions. I believe that teaching is a field of inquiry and that teachers at every level should be dedicated to the scholarship of the field. I also believe that the work of teachers should be community property, and this belief has led to the creation of several Web sites. As Andre Gide put it, "Complete possession is proved only by giving. All you are unable to give possesses you."
Teaching involves writing, speaking, and other creative activities. One of the issues as our educational institutions going forward is to teach students to express themselves in the medium of their generation. In the past, the medium was the printed page, whether it was a textbook or other reading assignment and asking students to not only consumed; they create. When students read, they wrote summaries. Unfortunately, in many cases, the medium of our times is video and photography, but most of us are still consumers as opposed to being creative.
The Value of Performing Experiment: If the learning environment is focused on background information, knowledge of terms and new concepts, the learner is likely to learn that basic information successfully. However, this basic knowledge may not be sufficient to enable the learner to carry out successfully the on-the-job tasks that require more than basic knowledge. Thus, the probalility of making real errors in the business environment is high. On the other hand, if the learning environment allows the learner to experience and learn from failures within a variety of situations similar to what they would experience in the "real world" of their job, the probalility of having similar failures in their business environment is low. This is the realm of simulations-a safe place to fail.
A long time age, Leonardo da Vinci understood the power of experimentation. The act of teaching concepts and techniques is academic pedigree, which is fine, but a direct grasp by experimentation is essential. Using E-labs numerical experimentation is innately more powerful than hiding behind obscure academic methods.
Technology enhances the learning process therefore, you should learn to use software as an experimental tool and to perform critical analysis of computer output. There will be a pedagogical balance between motivation of to learn new material, discovery learning, and repetitive "routine" exercises. I believe that teaching should motivate students to discover for themselves. No one forgets a good teacher and a good teacher remembers what it was like to be a student. The gross from the factory cannot order inspired teachers. They must be discovered one by one, and they must be honored and trusted. Teaching is love made visible. Educators should provide a good role model in enjoying the topics they are teaching:
"Is it life, I ask, is it even prudence,
To bore thyself and bore the students?"
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Since encouragement is oxygen to the soul, therefore, teachers should be mentors: respectful, encouraging, and available for help and advice. A good teacher makes students realize they have more ability than they think they have so and they consistently do better work than they thought they could. Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty. Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition in particular in the most US high schools.
Teaching Style Is an Important Decision: There are various techniques in creating an effective teaching/learning environment. The following categories are some components for good teachings. Within each category, there is something to be said for each option, and for any other option on that spectrum.
- Course Organization: Forward motion vs. review, Discrete topics vs. internal cohesion, Staying within your discipline vs. making connections, Responding to the realities of the class vs. covering the material, Responding to the realities of the class vs. keeping sections in sync
- Lesson Planning: "Over-prepared" vs. winging it, Same as previous time vs. new approach, Where did the ideas come from? You/your department/colleagues at other schools through journal articles/Internet.
- Format: Routine vs. variety, Individual work/ pairs/groups/ whole class, Lecture vs. activity, Talking/reading/writing, Hands-on activity vs. words-centered activity, Low-tech vs. high-tech, Working at many levels ("too easy"/"too difficult"/"just right"), Formal vs. informal atmosphere, Discovery vs. direct instruction, Controlling vs. letting goes, Fast vs. slow pace
- Emphasis: Skills vs. understanding, Depth vs. breadth, Enjoyment vs. learning, Right answer vs. process.
- Discourse: Open vs. closed questions, Who talks? Who listens? (who hears?), Correct vs. incorrect answers, What determines the validity of an idea? Teacher's authority/student consensus/published reference.
The teaching material and teaching style must reflect the change in the real world, which students may not know because they have not been there yet. Unfortunately, some instructors are still using their well over 10-years old lecture notes. Adding to this problem by doubling the difficulties for students, some instructors are devoting not some but most of class time for students presentation and group work. The instructor does not want to lecture most of the time. A few do the extreme opposite "I-know-you-don't." Some instructors may buy a reputation by many false means such as giving good grades to all (sometimes all A's), not giving any exams/test or projects.
The following items are proven to be useful to students in their learning process:
- Know each student's level of knowledge of the prerequisite(s) topics: Give them your prepared questionnaire to fill-in without writing their names on it. Analyze the data and update your lectures to meet their needs.
- Provide overview of the course materials in the first class meeting. Ask them to write a 2-page essay what this course is about. This assignment required reflections from students, motivates them, and increases their interest about your course.
- Ask students to read the materials you plan to cover in the next class meeting, before they come to the next class. This enhances their understanding of what you teach and feel good at the end of your lecture because you have answered any questions they had before coming to you class.
- Assign, collect, and grade homework on weekly bases. This enables you to find the weak spots of each student. Ask students to re-do the needed parts for a "full credit". If in the second attempt still some students have problem, then give him/her the solution set, together with a few word of encouragement to revise and resubmit for a few points credit.
- Put aside one class for review and students preparation for the midterm examination and one for the final. This review session encloses putting together the topics they have learned every week to the wholeness of the material they have learned. Provide also a past sample exam to do as part of their homework.
- Prepare a "My response to the last class questions" in writing and distribute. This reinforces and encourages students to ask good questions. It also helps if any student missed your last week lecture. You may like to put this collection of good questions on the course Web site under FAQ. This page also enclosed a section titled "How things can go wrong" which contains all common mistakes students made during weekly homework and their exams. This will be helpful for their later review and learning from their mistake not to repeat it.
- Make you exams close book and close note, however allow them to bring a few page summaries each student prepared by himself/herself. This enforce them to carefully read a few time their lecture notes/textbook in crystallizing their minds, and seeing the connectivity and the wholeness of all the weekly topics covered up to the midterm and the final exam.
- In your midterm and final exams you may put some open-ended questions such as, "What are the three most significant topics you've learned up to know" Ask them to write a short paragraph for each.
My classroom environment is such that students must believe that they:
- are welcome.
- can fully participate in the class.
- are treated as individuals.
- are treated fairly.
I do try to avoid "tokenism." Don't assume that a student can speak for his/her group, e.g., "Marta, how do think about ...?" Students may be uncomfortable when they are singled out, and they cannot respond for their group any better than one of us can respond for all faculty.
Classroom Management Issues: The biggest challenge for a teacher is classroom management. Most teachers think that classroom management revolves around discipline issues, when in fact, it includes: Being Specific and Focused, Using Procedures in Your Lecture, Having a Good Organized Planning, Positive Relationship with Students, Clearly Stating What You Expect of Them, and Using Response Mechanisms such as Homework Assignments.
Learning Style for the Course: An efficient and effective learning begins with asking yourself How to Study? I would like to insist that most parts of this course required a particular learning style known as learning-to-learn. The effective and efficient learning style for this course is doing your homework assignments on a regular weekly basis and learning from your mistakes whenever I provide feedback. You know it well that knowledge conquered by thinking for yourself becomes a possession -- a property entirely our own. Practical knowledge is only to be learned in the school of your own life. Precepts and instructions are useful so far as they go, but, without the discipline of thinking for yourself, they remain of the nature of theory only. As Socrates said "The unexamined life is not worth living."
In taking every course you must ask for yourself: What are the most critical challenges in leaning for this course? The major change in learning this course over the last few years is to have less emphasis on strategic solution algorithms and more on the modeling process, applications, and use of software. This trend will continue as more students with diverse backgrounds seek MBA degrees without too much theory and mathematics. Our approach is middle-of-the-road. It does not have an excess of mathematics nor too much of software orientation. For example, we lean how to formulate problems prior to software usage. What you need to know is how to model a decision problem, first by hand and then using the software to solve it.
Learning Objects: Unfortunately, most classroom courses are not learning systems. The way the instructors attempt to help their students acquire skills and knowledge has absolutely nothing to do with the way students actually learn. Many instructors rely on lectures and tests, and memorization. All too often, they rely on "telling." No one remembers much that's taught by telling, and what's told doesn't translate into usable skills. Certainly, we learn by doing, failing, and practicing until we do it right. The computer assisted learning serve this purpose.
Personal computers, spreadsheets, professional decision making packages and other information technologies are now ubiquitous in management. Most management decision-making now involves some form of computer output. Moreover, we need caveats to question our thinking and show why we must learn by instrument. In this course, the instrument is your computer software package. Every student taking courses in Physics and Chemistry does experimentation in the labs to have a good feeling of the topics in these fields of study. You must also perform managerial experimentation to understand the concepts and techniques.
Your computer software should be used for two different purposes.
- Computer assisted learning is a collection of experimentation (as in Physics lab to learn Physics) on the course software package to understand the concepts and techniques. Before using the software, you will be asked to do a simple problem by hand without the aid of software. Then use the software to see in what format the software provides the solution. We also use the software as a learning tool.
- To solving larger problems which are hard to do by hand.
Unfortunately, the first objective is missing in all textbooks.
What is critical and challenges for you is to lean the new technology, mainly the use of software within a reasonable portion of your time. The learning curve of the software we will be using is very sharp.
We need caveats to question our thinking and show why we must learn-to by instrument that in this course is your computer package. Every student taking courses in Physics and Chemistry does experimentation in the labs to have a good feeling of the topics in these fields of study. You must also perform experimentation to understand the concepts. For example, you must use your computer packages to perform the "what if" analysis. Your computer software allows you observe the effects of varying the "givens".
You will be engaged in thinking process of building models rather than how to use the software to model some specific problems. Software is a tool, it cannot substitute for your the thinking process. We will not put too much focus on the software at the expense of leaning the concepts. We will lean step-by-step problem formulation, and managerial interpretation of the software output.
Managerial Interpretations: The decision problem is stated by the decision maker often in some non-technical terms. When you think over the problem, and finding out what module of the software to use, you will use the software to get the solution. The strategic solution should also be presented to the decision maker in the same style of language which is understandable by the decision maker. Therefore, just do not give me the printout of the software. You must also provide managerial interpretation of the strategic solution in some non-technical terms.
Teaching Portfolio: A teaching portfolio is a tightly written, reflective document, summarizing a professor's approach to teaching and learning, and providing evidence of significant endeavors and achievements in teaching. In is relatively easy for a professors to make a case for their effectiveness as researchers, but it has not been so easy to justify effective teaching. Having a teaching portfolios can:
- help demonstrate your understanding of professional issues associated with effective teaching and learning and support this with documentary evidence;
- assist in self-evaluation and professional development.
Other general conditions for succeeding in your professional life:
- Work hard: Hard work is the best investment a man can make. If the power to do hard work is not talent, it is the best possible substitute for it. Ambition by itself never gets anywhere until it forms a partnership with work.
- Study hard: Knowledge enables a man to work more intelligently and effectively.
- Love your work: Then you will find pleasure in mastering it.
- Have initiative.: Ruts often deepen into graves.
- Be exact: Slipshod methods bring slipshod results.
- Have the spirit of conquest: Thus you can successfully battle and overcome difficulties.
- Cultivate personality: Personality is to a man what perfume is to the flower.
- Be fair: Unless you feel right towards your fellow men you can never be a successful leader.
- Help and share with others: The real test of life greatness lies in giving opportunity to others.
- In all things do your best: The man who has done his best has done everything. The man who has done less than his best has done nothing. If you do the best you can then you will find that you have done as well as or better than anyone else.
The credibility of the case you present in a portfolio depends largely on how well you link claims about effective teaching practice to evidence. The evidence you select and present should make the task of judging competence or excellence both straightforward and reliable.
Teaching Self-Assessment: I consider the following items as important to me and to my students:
- Throughout the semester, information (objectives/content/assessment) was clearly given.
- Student was able to locate and use suggested resources.
- The various components of the unit were clearly linked to one another.
- Activities in my course enhanced my students' range of knowledge and skills in the content area covered.
- The professor presented material clearly at the level I could understand.
- The professor appeared enthusiastic about the material being presented.
- The professor used techniques that stimulated my interest in the content being covered.
- The professor assisted students learning by being available for discussion/questioning/clarification.
- The professor appeared to be well prepared.
- The types of assignments set, seemed appropriate.
- Written comments on material returned were helpful, informative, and returned in a reasonable time.
- The professor displayed good skills in methods of communication.
- The methodology and tools used facilitated the learning process.
- The professor taught me to think for myself.
- The professor demonstrates confidence in his knowledge, well informed on technical and professional advances and his role as a teacher.
Teaching Evaluations by Students and Colleagues: In US colleges and universities, the end of semester "students' course evaluations" measures the teaching effectiveness of a professor. The following is a sample of items usually contains in students' course evaluations:
- I understand easily what my instructor is saying.
- My instructor displays a clear understanding of course topics
- My instructor is able to simplify difficult materials.
- My instructor has an effective style of presentation.
- My instructor seems well-prepared for class.
- My instructor speaks audibly and clearly.
- My instructor holds the attention of the class.
- My instructor stimulates interest in the course.
- My instructor displays enthusiasm when teaching.
- This course has effectively challenged me to think.
- My instructor emphasizes relationships between and among topics.
- My instructor helps me apply theory to solve problems.
- My instructor emphasizes conceptual understanding of material.
- My instructor makes good use of examples and illustrations.
- My instructor is actively helpful when students have problems.
- My instructor returns papers quickly enough to benefit me.
- I feel free to ask question in class.
- The climate of this class is conducive to learning.
- I understand what is expected of me in this course.
- Exams are fair.
- Exams stress important points of the lectures/text.
- My grade up to now accurately reflects my overall performance.
- Complexity and length of course assignments are reasonable.
- I would enjoy taking another course from this instructor.
- My instructor motivates me to do my best work.
- My instructor explains difficult material clearly.
- Course assignments are interesting and stimulating.
- Overall, this course is among the best I have ever taken.
- Overall, this instructor is among the best teachers I have known.
The widely used factors in teaching evaluation by the Dean of the school are:
- Number of students.
- Level of courses (e.g., degree of difficulty, level of intellectual content).
- Grade distributions.
- Withdrawal rates.
- Teaching scores (consider more than just the final number; look at what students say about degree of difficulty, reason for enrollment, etc.).
- Number of students participating in the evaluation.
- Required versus elective courses.
- Average level of students (e.g., jr. sr, first year grad, etc.).
- Qualitative versus technical/analytical.
In addition to such a formal teaching data gathering and analysis, the Deans and their Associates may seek live feedback by visiting some classes. For example, the following is a report I've received recently, from my dean and his associate:
Dan and I met with a class of graduate students to solicit feedback from them about the School and their education here. We didn't ask them to name names, but one student wished out loud that all Merrick School professors might be as great as Dr. Arsham in the classroom. That comment was heartwarming, and both Dan and I really appreciate all the effort and positive results you bring to all of us.
Bsed on a recent survey, I have received the following letter from my Associate Dean:
Dear Professor Arsham,
The mission of the Merrick School of Business stresses the importance of high quality teaching. Through your hard work and dedication you have fulfilled this mission. Graduate students who took the survey distributed have named you one of their top five professors.
I am proud of your achievement and the contributions you have made toward educating our students. Each of us understands the value of excellent pedagogy. We value our time in a fast-paced business environment where we must meet the challenges of work and family responsibilities. By working hard to provide the best instruction possible you have added value to the time our students spend learning. Time is too valuable to be wasted and education is a prize possession.
Informed, well-educated business people are an asset to our global economy. Join me in taking pride in the good you have done. I wish you continued success in your scholarly and pedagogical pursuits. Thank you for helping make UB stand out as a place of academic excellence. Good teachers are always remembered. They can make a world of difference.
Recently, I have received the following emailed comments from the School of Business Web-based Programs Director on my teaching fully online courses:
.. Your dedication to teaching and to advancing web pedagogy really shines through. Your students are very fortunate indeed.....Thank you for your continued dedication to excellence.
My Ability in Humanizing Difficult Concepts and Techniques for My Students:
I am well known and recognized for my ability in teaching difficult concepts and technical topics at a level meaningful, relevant to and easily understood by my students. I am well known and recognized for my ability in teaching difficult concepts and technical topics at a level meaningful, relevant to and easily understood by my students. This ability is achieved over years by the means of humanizing the difficult concepts and technical topics. To implement this approach you should ask yourself: Is it personally relevant and significant to your student? Is the student truly interested in the question?
My cardinal ability to humanize the technical and often difficult concepts is always appreciated by my students. The following is a sample of students' letters sent to the administrators:
Dear Dean McCarthy,
As an engineer pursuing my MBA, I found Dr. Arsham's course on Business Statistics to be the most useful course I've taken to date at UB in bridging the gap between the technical world and that of the managerial. Dr. Arsham is able to bring numbers and statistics alive and give them meaning. As an instructor he is both disciplined and understanding of student needs. While he is uncompromising in his method of teaching and rigorous in his treatment of the material, he is also most forgiving as I grew as a student under his tutelage. In past courses I have never had difficulties with mathematics such as calculus or differential equations, but statistics and probability courses have always vexed me. For the first time in my life, Dr. Arsham has enabled me to grasp the elusive meaning and mechanics of statistical analysis. At this point I can honestly say that a well-founded knowledge of basic statistics may be the most important class a business student should consider taking. I HIGHLY recommend his course to any serious student who really wants to know how to analyze and understand statistics.
Research: As you it know well, the primary objectives of universities are the transfer of useful knowledge and advancement of knowledge. The effective and widely used performance measure of any significant advancement of knowledge has been number of citations in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary areas. The citations of good research contribution in journals and its impact on transfer of knowledge are the citations in the textbooks.
He who dares to teach must never cease to learn. I mainly publish, in the sense of exposition, and unification of the field. In part this is because my articles are about material which has had a chance to be well digested to the general readers of the journal it is published.
The research performed should be technically sound and should lead to new discoveries; fundamental advances, and has substantial impact on progress of the field. The research should be original and creates contribution in the field, which includes its value in the broader landscape of scientific infrastructure. The research activity should have potential and capability for continued scientific achievement, and the researcher should be at the forefront of the field and must stay abreast of the latest developments in that field. The research performed should have a significant impact on future research and should be aware of the previously published results and give proper acknowledgment of colleagues.
The Internet is widely used as a means for publication mainly because:
- It is faster (almost instantaneous at times) than preparing long detailed papers for peer review, but it is even faster for short papers,
- There is generally more tolerance of non-mainstream ideas on the Internet than in mainstream 'top' prestige peer-reviewed journals in my opinion - although there are 'flares' in both the Internet and among peer reviewers.
- It is less expensive to use the Internet than to keep sending out papers for publication.
- You do not have the benefit of typing assistants, computer assistants, research assistants, etc., so the Internet is an easy way to make up for all of the effort involved.
My research publications are mostly well received and frequently cited. Just like any researcher, I have less fear from critical responses than from being ignored. I believe also that unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. My fundamental research progress has to do, in part with the reinterpretation of most basic ideas. Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprang up. The hardest part about gaining any new idea is sweeping out the false idea occupying that niche. As long as that niche is occupied, evidence and proof and logical demonstration get nowhere.
In US colleges and universities, the end of each academic year the intellectual contribution by faculty is measured and rewarded accordingly. The most common and widely used factors in research evaluation are:
- Number of research artifacts (journal articles, presentations, etc.).
- Ranking of places in which artifacts appear or were delivered
- Collegial testimony (solicit outside letters as to the meaningfulness of the research to the field)
- Number of authors/participants in the process
- Relative length of the work.
- Degree of interest in a publication (circulation)
- Degree of multidisciplinary character
Recently I was honored by the Regents' Faculty Award for Excellence in Research, from the University System of Maryland (USM). Provost at a recent Annual Convocation made the following remarks:
...... Dr. Arsham has expanded the traditional boundaries set for faculty members. On the research side, recognized by this latest honor, Dr. Arsham's works number easily in the hundreds with representation in a number of separate areas within Operations Research.
Dr. Arsham's teaching record is also stellar, with many letters, e-mails and other communications of praise from students whose lives he touched with his ability and desire to educate.
Dr. Arsham's drive to pursue excellence in all areas also manifests itself in his self-designed web courses, which he has shared as a model with other faculty members. The Merrick School simply would not be the school it is today, without the patient man we all know so well --- Dr. Hossein Arsham.
Service: Professors must actively be involved in internal and external professional service. Internal services include curriculum developments and other indirect services which have impact on students learning. External service activities include affiliations with professional and academic journals. All academic service activities must be aimed in enhancing students' success in launching into their chosen profession. The reward for most of professional service, such as Journal affiliations and editorial duties, is the strength to serve.
In US colleges and universities, the end of each academic year the service contribution by faculty is measured and rewarded accordingly. The most common and widely used factors in service evaluation are:
- Level of responsibility in the service activity
- Level of time commitment necessary to complete the basic tasks
- Importance of the impact of the service activity
- Peer review of and/or commentary on performance
- Evidence of participation based on artifacts of the activities (i.e., committee reports, program outlines, minutes of meetings, correspondence, public recognition, etc.).
Overall Assessment: At the end of each academic (or calendar) year, Deans throughout country will evaluate their faculty performance. Deans are concerned with the quality of faculty work in three areas: Teaching, Research, and Service. As illustrative examples, the following are my recent yearly evaluation reports:
Dean's Latest Annual Assessment Reports:
Dr. Arsham had another spectacular year and again proved himself to be one of the very finest faculty members in the University. He is truly outstanding in all three areas of evaluation and clearly deserves any recognition we can provide for his contribution to the School, the University, and his profession. He is the consummate college professor.
Overall Evaluation: Outstanding Merit.III:
We are truly fortunate to have Dr. Arsham on the Merrick School faculty. His teaching, research, and service are all clearly outstanding. He is an innovative, inspirational teacher -- committed to students, their learning, and our overall teaching mission. He continues to be one of the School's most prolific researchers. And his service to his profession and to the University is impressive and exemplary.
Overall Evaluation: Outstanding Merit.
Dr. Arsham's teaching is outstanding. He has proven to be a rigorous, effective classroom teacher who earns high student evaluations. His commitment to teaching is evidenced not only in the time he puts into classroom preparation, but also in his volunteering to serve as one of the Merrick School's first two web MBA instructors. His research continues to be outstanding. He is a truly prolific writer of quality, academic manuscripts. Dr. Arsham's service is also outstanding. He contributes in meaningful ways to both his profession and the University.
Overall Evaluation: Outstanding Merit.
Dean's Last Five Years Assessment Report:
"As The Wright Distinguished Research Professor in the Merrick School of Business, your colleagues were asked to assess your teaching, research, and service productivity. They concluded that your performance equaled the productivity of management science researchers at doctoral-granting universities.
Please accept my sincere congratulations. I wish that all our faculty members were as dedicated as you are."
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This site was launched on 4/14/1995, its contents have been updated often, and its entire external links checked once a month ever since.
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