Nomination for Teaching Award for Inclusive Excellence- 2011
Mailing Address: The Office of Diversity and Community Engagement, The University of Texas at Dallas, 800 W. Campbell Road, AD26, Richardson, TX 75080 Physical Location: Administration Building AD 3.207, Phone: (972) 883-4566 Fax: (972) 883-4565
Dr. R Chandrasekaran
Dr. R. Chandrasekaran is a Professor of computer science in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering & Computer Science and Professor of operations research in the Naveen Jindal School of Management.
After earning his B.Tech degree with honors in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, Dr. Chandrasekaran earned his PhD in operations research from the University of California, Berkeley. He taught at Case Western Reserve University before joining the UT Dallas faculty in 1975. He started in the management school and joined the engineering school in 1999. He currently teaches in both schools. He has been a visiting professor at Northwestern University, Indian Statistical Institute, and Tel Aviv University.
Dr. Chandrasekaran has supervised more than 40 PhD students. Many of them have become faculty members at other prestigious universities, employees at leading companies, and even one, who after graduating from UTD went on to become a Math Olympiad coach in India. These include students of both genders, many religious backgrounds as well as many nationalities.
More about Dr. Chandrasekaran :
Every sector of humanity has excellent students. "All I look for in a student are the following characteristics: a deep desire to learn, an innate ability to learn, honesty and integrity, and the willingness to put in hard work to achieve their goals. All the rest – national origin, ethnicity, gender, religious persuasion, etc. are, in my opinion, irrelevant." We as faculty, need to set high standards for all students and help them achieve these goals. To me this is the essence of good teaching. I have tried to do this for the past 40+ years of my career. Whether I have achieved my goals is for others to judge. There are people who are saying that "research is teaching". I am of the opinion that it is the other way around – "teaching is research". There is no joy in doing either all by oneself. "My view of research is solving very difficult problems using entirely new ideas. If my students and/or I contribute new ideas that are intellectually strong – those make me very proud because they last for a long time." "When I had an exceptionally good teacher, I wondered why every teacher couldn't be as passionate and engaging about a subject," he said. "I wanted to become an exception for generations behind me." "I strongly believe that those who do not have a passion for teaching have no place in a university." Some of my students have now retired from faculty positions. My original answer to the question: "When will you retire?" used to be: "When I stopped contributing,". Now I say, I will retire at some point, because my body may want to." But even then, I plan on teaching advanced classes (that generally have small enrollment) for free on Fridays or Saturdays. "That way my brain will keep active and it will raise the levels of students of who are doing research," he said.