Washington: Autar Kaw, an Indian born professor of mechanical engineering at the University of South Florida, is among the four recipients of the 2012 US Professor of the Year award.
This annual prestigious award recognises exceptional professors for their ability to engage and influence students, according to a media release from the Tampa Florida based university.
Kaw, an early adopter of new technologies and social media to teach complex mathematical calculations, is one of four professors selected from more than 300 nominees to receive the award that is considered the nation's highest honour for undergraduate teaching.
Kaw is known to tens of thousands of engineering students around the world as the "Numerical Methods Guy" through his Holistic Numerical Methods Institute website, his blog and YouTube video lectures.
He has dedicated his career to eliminating one of the most significant obstacles to engineering students being successful by providing students everywhere free access to supplemental lessons, the release said.
"Dr Kaw's selection reaffirms what the University of South Florida and his students have long known about this exceptional professor and outstanding individual: his commitment to education and his dedication to his students knows no bounds," said USF President Judy Genshaft.
Kaw is a fellow in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a member of the American Society of Engineering Education.
In 2011, he was awarded the National Outstanding Teaching Medal from the American Society for Engineering Education. A prolific writer, he has authored four text books and scores of academic articles.
Born in India, Kaw received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India, and his master's and PhD in Engineering Mechanics from Clemson University.
Kaw said his use of technology stems from a basic concern for student learning: he saw students struggling with the same concepts semester after semester. If that was happening in his classroom, it was probably happening elsewhere, he surmised.