Higher Education: Professors / Departments
Successes: Notable Professors and Departments at Florida Universities
University professors and departments are drawing accolades.
Autar Kaw [Photo: University of South Florida]
Professor of mechanical engineering
University of South Florida, Tampa
Recognition: Kaw received a 2011 National Outstanding Teaching medal from the American Society for Engineering Education.
Hits: His USF lectures posted on YouTube have garnered half a million views. His blog, called "The Numerical Methods Guy," gets 75,000 views a year. And his website for the Holistic Numerical Methods Institute, an online teaching site, has had more than 3 million hits since 2002.
• "Runs a tight ship, but he's extremely knowledgeable."
• "His assignments and projects are pretty tough, but I learned so much from them."
• "He is a very good teacher, very strict and almost forces you to learn while you're in his classroom."
Assistant professor of chemical engineering
Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne
James Brenner [Photo: Florida Institure of Technology]
Recognition: Brenner won FIT's Kerry Bruce Clark Award for Excellence in Teaching for 2011. The school's student government association named him teacher of the year in 2006, and in 2009 he was named the top teacher in the engineering department. His interests include hydrogen storage and contributing to the university's schoolwide effort to create a completely hydrogen-driven airplane.
Quote: "Like the infamous former Indiana basketball coach Bob Knight, my job is to get more out of my students than they thought they were capable of. My father taught me that if you didn't learn how to think while you were in college, then I wasted his money."
Student comment: "I wish Dr. Brenner taught all my classes," says Esther Cameron, class of 2011.