20 Apr NDSU mathematics associate professor receives Odney Excellence in Teaching Award
Indranil SenGupta, associate professor of mathematics and graduate recruitment chair, has been recognized with the Odney Excellence in Teaching Award.
Other finalists included Charles Stevens, professor of human resource management in the Department of Management and Marketing, and Ali Amiri, assistant professor of practice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
The award was established with the NDSU Development Foundation by the family of the late Robert Odney to recognize outstanding teaching. Candidates for the award stimulate interest in the subject matter, demand rigorous thought, generate enthusiastic responses from students and make positive contributions to the educational experience of students.
“This is a student-driven award with nominations submitted by students and alumni,” said Canan Bilen-Green, vice provost for faculty and equity. “This year, more than 40 students and alumni submitted a nomination.”
The Faculty Awards and Recognition Committee’s selection is based on the nominations as well as the teaching philosophy and teaching activities of the three finalists.
SenGupta will be recognized by President Dean L. Bresciani and Interim Provost Margaret Fitzgerald at NDSU’s annual Celebration of Faculty Excellence in the fall.
SenGupta joined the NDSU faculty in 2012. He has taught courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, including the Calculus sequence, Introduction to Differential Equations, Special Problems in Mathematics, Actuarial Exam Study, Topics in Linear Algebra, Mathematical Software-Python, Applied Differential Equations, Partial Differential Equations and the numerical analysis sequence.
He said his goal is to serve as a guide for students as they travel through the learning process. “I have never seen or heard a guide that carries the followers, but rather helps by leading, directing and advising them through the route,” SenGupta said. “The foundation of my teaching philosophy is to motivate students to appreciate its intrinsic beauty as well as its power and rigor, and guide them in the journey by leading, directing and advising.”
SenGupta earned his bachelor’s degree at IIEST, Shibpur, India; master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg; and doctorate in mathematics at Texas A&M University, College Station.
Student nominators praised both his teaching style and his compassion.
“Professor SenGupta is one the most passionate and dedicated professors I’ve had the pleasure of working with,” said Ayushi Saxena. “For my senior capstone, I worked on a project regarding stochastic processes. Now that I am in graduate school, I am mentoring an undergraduate and using the same ideas and concepts that Professor SenGupta taught me.”
NDSU mathematics graduate student Michael Roberts said SenGupta is an inspiring professor. “In the classroom, he makes sure to thoroughly explain each topic. But where he really shines is outside the classroom. He’s willing to investigate new topics in math that had not previously been offered to the graduate students, and to teach them to us,” Roberts said. “Indranil is a versatile, caring leader.”
“Not only does Dr. SenGupta set up his students for success in his class, he sets them up for success in both future classes and careers,” said Jaxon Helland, BS ’19, mathematics.
Stevens, who joined the NDSU faculty in 1998, describes his teaching philosophy this way – “The most important thing is to respect and value my students and to create a classroom experience that is engaging and fun.”
He regularly teaches Human Resource Management, Compensation Management and Labor Management Relations. He also has taught Foundations of Management and Skills for Academic Success.
Stevens earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, and his doctorate in human resource management at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.
Amiri said key elements of teaching are to provide clear, easy-to-follow instructions while keeping students engaged. “I love teaching,” he said. “I care about the quality of education my students receive and put the effort towards continuous improvement.”
Amiri joined the NDSU faculty in 2013. He has taught Fundamentals of Visual Communications for Engineers, Engineering Mechanics I, Thermodynamics/Heat Transfer, Introduction to ME Profession and Design Project I / Design Project II. He is developing a new course, Product Design and Development, to be offered this fall.
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