My teaching goal is to develop students’ ability to translate global phenomena into mathematical constructs
To do this, my teaching approach centers on instilling three core principles:
Approach problems axiomatically – how to identify the underlying principles and mechanisms that give rise to a process
Understand translation – how to apply abstract mathematical concepts to solve complex, real-world problems by recognizing the similarities in the problem’s fundamentals to known and practiced solutions
Focus on the science – bring a thinking-before-doing approach that first considers the problem through observation and logic before applying methods to the available data
Over the course of my academic career, I have had the opportunity to lecture at the graduate and undergraduate level, co-develop several courses, TA, and even produce a multimedia lesson plan for secondary education. Below is a summary of my experiences, together with a sample of materials I have developed on the topics of probability, stochastic processes, queuing, and simulation. If you are interested in using any of this material, please contact me.
In 2015, I co-developed and lead a course with Dr. Maite Peña Alcaraz for a graduate Independent Activities Period (IAP) course at MIT titled Probabilistic Models and Tools for Research.
The primary objective of this course was to present a brief overview of the use of probability models in engineering research. We reviewed basic concepts and techniques for formulating probability models, and how to use these models to gain insight into research. A secondary objective was to demonstrate the importance of a solid foundation in axiomatic modeling for successful research in this field, be it understanding, improving, or designing a system. The following are sample lectures from the course:
During the 2012-2013 school year, I was a member of a small team working to design curriculum for the semester-long introduction course to the Engineering Systems major, one of 4 majors at the new Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). I participated in planning the course package and developing materials including teaching notes, lecture slides, readings, and assignments.
As an undergraduate, I was invited by the environmental science department to co-design and co-lead the course Industrial Ecology for UCSB undergraduates. I developed curriculum and structured course goals, prepared lectures, and developed assignments.
In Spring 2014, I was invited to provide two guest lectures for the MIT graduate course Models, Data and Inference for Socio-Technical Systems on the topic of introducing students to Monte Carlo simulation. The first lecture provided an introduction to the main ideas behind Monte Carlo simulation and sampling from random variables. The lecture presentation is here:
The focus of the second lecture was to demonstrate how to apply simulation techniques through a live example. The lecture presentation is here:
Student Research Supervision
I have supervised two undergraduates participating in the MIT Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). As supervisor role I developed projects and structured goals, prepared assignments, held regular meetings, and created opportunities for students to present their work. I also created research exposure including acquiring funding enabling students to participate in an international research experience (in Berlin, Germany) and attend and present at research conferences (INFORMS and IAFP).
Elena Polozova, Modeling and Simulation of Network-Based Diffusion Processes (2015 – present). Among Elena’s many projects was creating this interactive tool for visualizing the real-time detection of large-scale outbreaks of foodborne disease.
Vinati Kaul, Risk Assessment for Foodborne Disease Source Prediction (2012 – 2014). Vinati provided data driven research to identify key features and parameters of the US food supply system. Her work has been used to gain insight into potential foodborne contamination transmission processes.
In Spring 2014, I TAed for the MIT graduate course Models, Data and Inference for Socio-Technical Systems, which required that I lead weekly recitations, among other tasks. The following are sample recitation materials on queueing theory I created and led:
During the Fall semesters of 2011, 2012 and 2013, I TAed for the joint Harvard / MIT course Principles and Practices of Drug Development. I supervised student projects, including designing guidelines, assignments, and participated in evaluation.
In Spring 2011 I TAed for the MIT undergraduate course Introduction to Engineering Systems. In this role I planned and led weekly recitations, developed assignments, participated in evaluation and supervised the undergraduate project, Modeling improvements in the stroke care pathway to improve length and quality of life.
In collaboration with MIT Blossoms, I co-developed a multimedia lesson with Dr. Maite Peña Alcaraz on the Tragedy of the Commons. This lesson provides introductory exposure in applying algebra to real world problems.