Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2013

Faculty Award winner

Ruey-Hung Chen

 College of Engineering and Computer Science

 Mechanical, Materials & Aerospace Engineering

Teaching is the most important function of an educational institution. The characteristics of good education consist mainly of inspiration and quality, with approach and methodology to achieve them.

• Inspiration - In many cases students choose an area of specialization because they are inspired by exemplary teachers or events. Our students are inspired by our enthusiasm in pursuing innovative and quality research, by our classroom teaching, by a caring atmosphere, and by our pursuit of activities that have a broader impact on our profession and humanity. Mentoring helps to inspire students, as does introducing and engaging them in professional activities. Professional integrity, as demonstrated by faculty and the institution, can also inspire students.

• Quality - Similar to research, quality education is also a source of enjoyment for students and faculty. Quality education should consist of a dedicated faculty, a good advising and mentoring system, and excellent instructional technology and resources. Institutional focus, resources, and effort should be directed at quality assurance and continuous improvement, including faculty development/retention and instructional and laboratory facilities.

• Approach and methodology - Facilitating student learning does not mean that a teacher has to be "easy." A teacher can be demanding. I believe that all student work has to be methodical and meticulous. I grade and judge their work accordingly. This is important because students need to learn what excellence and understanding are by receiving thorough feedback from the instructor. Furthermore, this helps differentiate good work from ordinary work, and I assign grades accordingly. This approach is also the fair approach for those students who work hard to learn, as it provides them with a sense of pride (and helps to establish UCF as a reputable educational institution). I design my lectures to be enjoyable and inspiring, with interesting comments on current events that have engineering implications.