Naveen Verma, Han Liu, Hansheng Diao, H. Vincent Poor, Nana            Kobby Aboagye, Akil Word-Daniels, Kevin Sallah, Howard Stone, Naima Hammoud, Nan Yao

Five Princeton faculty members and four graduate teaching assistants received “Excellence in Teaching” awards from the University’s Engineering Council and Graduate Engineering Council, which are the undergraduate and graduate student organizations of the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

The awards were presented at a ceremony Feb. 18 in the Friend Center Convocation Room, where speakers noted each recipient’s passion for teaching and dedication to the advancement of their students.

Jeffrey Diament, Madelyn Baron at the lecturn in the Friend Center

Recipients of the awards said the honors were particularly meaningful because they came from students.

“This is the single award I care about most,” said Han Liu, assistant professor of operations research and financial engineering. “I can’t say how thrilled I am.”

Senior Ghassen Jerfel lauded Liu for his teaching methods in the course “Analysis of Big Data.”

“I would like to thank Professor Han Liu for designing such a well-taught, perfectly paced, and thorough introduction to statistical modeling,” said Jerfel, a computer science major who took the course last fall. He noted Liu’s knack for getting students who “might be too shy” to speak up in lectures, which were structured to allow for “lengthy discussions” and exploration of “the intuitive statistical approach.”

Jerfel added that Liu’s departure from classic data science teaching methods, which often “force students to memorize use cases of each algorithm,” would help young engineers innovate their own statistical models and machine learning techniques.

Another student described award recipient Howard Stone, the Donald R. Dixon ’69 and Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, who teaches “Mathematics in Engineering I,” as “the clearest lecturer I have ever had,” adding that the course “made me like math again.”

The full list of recipients of this year’s awards is:

Hansheng Diao, instructor of mathematics, for MAT 203 “Advanced Vector Calculus,” fall 2015

Han Liu, assistant professor of operations research and financial engineering, for ORF 350 “Analysis of Big Data,” spring 2015

Jinsoo Lim, Howard Stone, Abhi Shah

Howard Stone, the Donald R. Dixon ’69 and Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and department chair, for MAE305 “Mathematics in Engineering I,” fall 2015

Naveen Verma, associate professor of electrical engineering, for ELE 462 “Design of Very Large-Scale Integrated (VLSI) Systems,” fall 2015

Nan YaoNan Yao, director of the Imaging and Analysis Center at the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM), for MSE 505 “Characterization of Materials,” spring 2015

Nana Aboagye, Ph.D. student in the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering, and teaching assistant for ORF 309 “Probability and Stochastic Systems,” fall 2015

Madelyn Baron, Naima Hammoud, Jeffrey Diament

Naima Hammoud, Ph.D. student in the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics and teaching assistant for MAE 305 “Mathematics in Engineering I,” fall 2015

Abby Grosskopf, Kevin Sallah, Ellen Dobrijevic

Kevin Sallah, Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemical and Biological engineering, and teaching assistant for CBE 246 “Thermodynamics,” spring 2015

Akil Word-Daniels, Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical Engineering, and teaching assistant for ELE 208 “Electronic and Photonic Devices,” fall 2015


  • Naveen Verma

  • Howard Stone

  • Nan Yao

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