Ashutosh Agrawal is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the Cullen College of Engineering, and he approaches teaching with a winning combination of traditional whiteboard lessons and novel, hands-on techniques. His teaching philosophy? "I try to make sure the students understand the fundamentals in a way that it is fun," he said.
If you're lucky enough to have Agrawal as a professor, then you already know that sitting in his class is exactly that: fun. Agrawal leads a classroom with unmatched energy and enthusiasm, even pausing frequently in his lectures to crack a joke or enjoy a hearty laugh. His passion for the subject matter he teaches is both infectious and inspiring — a fact made all the more obvious by the level of involvement the students in his classroom demonstrate by eagerly participating in classroom discussions and hands-on demonstrations.
Agrawal's innovative teaching methods are also apparent in the projects he assigns to his students. At the end of each semester, Agrawal's students are expected to turn in a homemade video that illustrates their knowledge of high-level engineering concepts. "The videos many of the students turn in are simply amazing," Agrawal said. "That is really one of the most unique things about UH engineering students — they know how to build things with their hands, and they are never afraid of getting their hands dirty in order to build something."
In this issue of Teacher Feature, get to know Agrawal inside and outside of the classroom. Watch the video here.
To watch some of the student video projects from Agrawal's class, click here.