February 20, 2006
ECE Professor Tsuhan Chen has been selected for this year's Benjamin Richard Teare Teaching Award by the College of Engineering for his consistent excellence in graduate and undergraduate education, in particular for his success with Signals and Systems. As a professor for the large undergraduate course, Chen faces two challenges: teaching a diverse group of undergraduates with many different backgrounds and interests, and explaining the difficult subject of mathematical methods for analyzing signals and systems in an understandable, interesting way.
"Students and faculty agree that Tsuhan meets both of these challenges with an exceptional ability to convey fundamental mathematical concepts through an engaging blend of basic definitions and methods complemented by illustrations and examples of their application to real-world problems," wrote Associate Department Head Bruce Krogh in his nomination letter for Chen. "In particular, he uses demonstrations from his own research in face recognition and other applications of signal processing to convey the implications of difficult mathematical concepts and methods."
Throughout his five years teaching of Signals and Systems, Chen's course evaluation scores have been consistently well above the norm for the department and the engineering college. The reasons for the high scores are reflected in the many positive comments made by students on the course evaluation forms: "Excellent, intuitive, memorable teaching," wrote one student.
"[He] showed genuine concern for the class and cared about how well we were learning the material," reported another pupil.
In addition to teaching Signals and Systems, Chen co-directs the Industrial Technology Research Institute Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon (ITRI Lab@CMU) and has developed two popular graduate courses: Multimedia Communication, Coding Systems, and Networking, and also Image and Video Processing.
Chen will be honored for the Teare Teaching Award at a banquet later in the spring with other faculty award winners from the College of Engineering, including ECE professors Stanley Charap and Daniel Stancil.