Computer Science Prof Emphasizes Relevance
Longtime UT Dallas Faculty Member Gets Students' Vote as Favorite Instructor
June 1, 2009
More than 95 percent of the students in Subbarayan Venkatesan’s Advanced Computer Networks class last fall ranked his course as good, very good or excellent – a pretty good indicator to any oddsmakers that students might vote him their favorite computer science instructor for the just-completed academic year.
Which they did.
Several students said they look forward to each of Dr. Venkatesan’s computer science classes, and one explained exactly why: “Prof. Venky (as we call him) breaks down the toughest subjects and concepts into such simple elementary components that, when all is said and done, nothing is impossible.”
No newcomer to academia, Dr. Venkatesan, an associate professor of computer science, has been perfecting his teaching technique at UT Dallas for two decades.
“I believe in connecting what students learn in the classroom with what is going on in industry to show the relevance and usefulness of what I’m teaching,” he said. “I also think it’s important to have a positive attitude in the class and encourage students to have the same – and to keep students challenged throughout the course while ensuring that they enjoy the class.”
He also had praise for the students themselves.
“UTD’s student body is unique, with students from all over the world, and many also already have industry experience,” he said. “Their experience and maturity is very helpful when teaching, and I strive to meet and/or exceed their expectations.”
In addition to teaching, Dr. Venkatesan pursues research in the areas of wireless sensor networks (and their application to medical instrumentation), cognitive radio networks, mobile ad hoc networks, vehicular ad hoc networks, fault tolerance, distributed algorithms, telecommunication networks and mobile computing. And he has supervised a number of Ph.D. students over the years.
The last word goes to another one of this fans, though: “One of the best instructors I have had in my life,” wrote the student. “Thanks for being my professor.”
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