Kulkarni Receives Teaching Excellence Award


By Michelle Ward

EECS Assistant Professor Prasad Kulkarni won the Harry Talley Teaching Excellence award at the Department's Graduation Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Thursday night. Graduating EECS seniors vote for the professor who has contributed significantly to their education and has developed a strong rapport with them.

"Professor Kulkarni is a great professor because he is as kind as he is intelligent. He knows what he is talking about and he makes a real effort to keep his students involved in class," said EECS senior Drew Manderfeld. "He possesses the rare quality of putting as much effort into teaching as he wants us to put into discovery and learning.

EECS senior Jason Gevargizian does not remember a teacher ever learning students' names as quickly or working as hard to involve all students in lectures as Dr. Kulkarni. Gevargizian had him for Compiler Construction (EECS 665), which was a course developed by Dr. Kulkarni to address the design and construction of translators for programming languages.

"Dr. Kulkarni is not only responsive to his students but also tailors his responses to meet our needs. He is incredibly dedicated to helping his students improve and succeed," said Gevargizian, who was so impressed by Dr. Kulkarni's enthusiasm for his research in software security and efficiency that he has begun conducting research at ITTC.

EECS senior Jason Eslick notes how Dr. Kulkarni takes time to learn about students' goals and future plans and offers them helpful advice. He provides undergraduate research opportunities, allowing students to apply what they are learning to real-world challenges. Dr. Kulkarni treats his students with respect and positive encouragement, says Eslick, who has conducted research under his direction in ITTC's Computer Systems Design Laboratory.

"Professor Kulkarni is a great teacher both in the classroom and out of the classroom," said Eslick. "I think most students have great respect for Professor Kulkarni because he is a very effective teacher who cares about students. Professor Kulkarni knows his subject field very well, and can effectively convey concepts. He presents relevant material and assigns meaningful, worthwhile assignments."

In 2010, Dr. Kulkarni received one of the most prestigious National Science Foundation honors given to junior faculty members. The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award supports junior faculty who excel at integrating teaching and research. Dr. Kulkarni's research focuses on building more secure and better performing software systems. Security and Performance (EECS 700), introduced in the Fall 2009 semester, incorporates his research and gives students opportunities to investigate security, protection, and performance aspects on modern software and hardware. Additionally, Dr. Kulkarni's work forms the basis of Compiler Construction and Virtual Machines (EECS 700).

Dr. Kulkarni joined EECS in the fall of 2007. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Florida State University in 2003 and 2007, respectively.

For more information, contact ITTC.

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