Teaching Fellows Program aims to help our most intellectually sound and
successful junior faculty members develop into exceptionally fine teachers.
The selection committee-comprised of award-winning faculty-seeks to choose
junior faculty members who show promise of becoming both eminent researchers
and inspiring teachers. In existence since 1992 and funded by the Provost,
the UTF Program remains true to its original Lilly Endowment goals to
support impressive junior faculty as they refine their teaching expertise
while pursuing strong research agendas. The Program centers around ongoing
conversations about how faculty communicate their academic disciplines
to undergraduates, how various teaching approaches might enhance one's
courses, and how research enlivens and inspires teaching. The 2003-04
winners of University Teaching Fellowships will be rethinking these courses:
My plan is to revise the large lecture course "Introduction to Political
Theory." For some students, this is the only political theory class
they will take; for others, it is an enticement to further study. With
both groups in mind, and with the aspiration to nudge some students from
the first to the second category, my objectives are twofold. First, I
am interested in devising a structure that is more strongly thematically
driven and that allows texts from different periods to speak directly
to each other. My second aim is to explore mechanisms for fostering student
involvement during lecture.
My project redesigns Anthropology 267, "How Others See Us,"
for a large lecture format. This course examines how America, the West,
and the white
racial mainstream are viewed by "others" in different parts
of the world and introduces anthropological perspectives on culture, colonialism,
race, and discourses of otherness. I aim to forge stronger connections
with (and among) students and help them learn more effectively by giving
more structure to sections, by rethinking the methods of evaluation, by
more tightly integrating multimedia sources, and by adding an interview-based,
field research project to be conducted in local communities by student
Bart-Smith, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
I plan to develop "Strength of Materials" by structuring the
course around a problem-based-learning approach. During the fellowship
year I will develop small group projects designed around the subject material.
These will be centered on real-world engineering problems. Each project
will require students to work in small teams and will include basic calculations
and research of current literature. The goal of these projects is to enhance
students' capacities for higher-level thinking such as analysis, synthesis,
P. Nelson, Architectural History
The Architectural History survey course introduces students to the subject
and methodologies of the discipline in an expanding global context where
non-Western material is an increasingly important component of class material.
Through its writing component, the class also requires students to learn
the basics of academic research and writing. During my tenure as a University
Teaching Fellow I will further diversify coverage of topics recently incorporated
into the field, develop creative classroom techniques to communicate cultural
content, and enhance methods for teaching scholarly research and writing
M. Neupaurer, Civil Engineering
Designs of civil engineering systems must account for many uncertain quantities.
I will introduce the concepts of uncertainty into "Groundwater Hydrology."
Students will measure hydrogeologic properties through laboratory and
field experiments, thereby observing the variability of properties and
the sources of measurement uncertainty. I will introduce tools for quantifying
the variability and uncertainty. Students will apply these tools to the
design of a groundwater well field for aquifer remediation. This design
project will help students develop skills important to engineering design
in the presence of uncertainty.
D'Odorico, Environmental Sciences
I will develop new strategies to motivate students in "Applied Hydrology"
to become more engaged in analyzing and understanding the physics of environmental
processes. I intend to assess background knowledge in order to make students
aware of what they need to know to be successful in the course and to
provide me with information about the students' pre-existing knowledge.
I will also utilize examples to connect theory to the "real world"
and to develop problem-solving skills. Together with other methods, these
techniques will demonstrate to students how to recognize the methods that
are best suited to solve various types of problems.
Skadron, Computer Science
I will redesign "Operating Systems," a required course for computer
science and computer engineering majors. My goal is to enhance students'
problem-solving skills. This involves covering fewer topics than I have
before, thereby allowing more time to focus on a deeper understanding
of basic principles and on putting these principles to practical use.
I will also extend and deepen the course's programming projects and add
a wider range of case studies. Ultimately, these revisions are intended
to help students recognize common principles and solution techniques,
and thus learn how to extrapolate their knowledge and skills to new problems,
questions, and material.