By Hannah Fong
Every year, the IEEE chapter at UC Davis selects a Professor of the Year and a Teaching Assistant of the Year to recognize their hard work and commitment to the students during that school year. IEEE, which stands for Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, is an association dedicated to advancing innovation and technological excellence for the benefit of humanity. The IEEE chapter at UC Davis is a group of electrical engineering students who learn skills to socially integrate into the electrical engineering community.
The Professor and Teaching Assistant of the Year are selected through a vote from the IEEE members. Students vote for the professor who has demonstrated the most dedication for undergraduate teaching for that school year. Some examples of dedication to undergraduate teaching include their approach to teaching, involvement with students, and their overall contributions to the ECE community.
Professor Hooman Rashtian has been selected as the Professor of the Year for two years in a row: 2017 and 2018.
Rashtian joined UC Davis as a Postdoctoral Scholar at Davis MM-Wave Research Center (DMRC) in 2014 and as a Lecturer with Potential Security of Employment (PSOE) of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in 2016. Since joining the ECE faculty, he has taught classes such as EEC 10, Introduction to Analog and Digital Systems, and ENG 100, Introduction to Analog and Digital Systems.
Rashtian’s research focus is on curricular innovation for teaching undergraduate courses in Electrical Engineering. As a Lecturer with PSOE, he is involved with undergraduate curriculum developments. These developments include new curriculum for circuits, electronics and control theory courses, new instructional materials such as audio-visual units and online course materials, and designing project-based undergraduate courses.
As an instructor, Rashtian believes “it is very important to have updated knowledge of the field he or she is teaching.” He involves himself in research to keep pace with the progress of engineering so that he can in return transfer up-to-date knowledge to the students.
Rashtian’s method of instructing and passion for teaching has made a noticeable impact on his students.
Abdullah Faiyaz, a third-year Electrical Engineering student, notes that “he really cares about his students.” One time, Rashtian stopped in the hallway to help troubleshoot the project Faiyaz was working on. “He makes himself available, which is cool!”
“It’s hard to find a professor who is both passionate about teaching and so knowledgeable about the subject he specializes in,” says fourth-year Electrical Engineering student Jasmine Muñiz, “but Professor Rashtian seems to do it effortlessly.”
It is easy to see that students appreciate Rashtian’s efforts as an instructor and his dedication to his students and is evident through his recognition for two years in a row. The ECE Department is thankful for Rashtian and his commitment to his students and is excited to see what is in store for the 2018-2019 school year.