I have been a student (I have 4 degrees in mechanical engineering, 3 of them advanced.) and a teacher (I have been full time faculty, visiting professor, adjoint and online faculty.) for a very long time. My teaching style and philosophy have developed and matured based on these experiences.
When I teach, I try to emulate my best teachers, and I also share with my students the ways in which I understood and sometimes discovered concepts. I believe that understanding the fundamental principles is paramount to understanding more complex concepts and tools, and I focus on the process of going from the basic to the complex. Whenever possible, I teach through solving complex problems: I challenge my students to think, to use everything they know to solve a problem, to check and question their own assumptions, and to clearly define the boundaries of their solution. I think it is important to relate concepts and tools to practical applications: it helps to understand them; it helps to remember them; and it helps to make them relevant and worth learning.
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