I spent the majority of my professional career working for the Hewlett-Packard Corporation in Colorado Springs, CO as a hardware engineer and R&D manager. I was fortunate to have started with the company when both Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard were still active in the company. At the time, HP was a company that believed in, and practiced, high standards for ethical conduct and intellectual honesty. These values were codified into what was called, The HP Way. Many of these core values have profoundly influenced my teaching philosophy and have given me a very clear direction for what kind of an education our students need to have in order to become successful Electrical Engineers and citizens.
My teaching philosophy can best be described as:
· Intellectual honesty: I put this first because to me, this is the most important lesson I can teach. While in industry I have been involved in several intellectual property lawsuits and I know the real world consequences of cheating. I try to convey to my students that getting a degree and getting good grades are admirable ambitions but they are not the reason that they are here. Obtaining an education is a process and cheating short-circuits that process.
· Collaborative learning: Placing a premium on intellectual honesty is not at odds with a collaborative learning environment. Students are encouraged to form study groups and to help each other grasp the material. However when someone else provides you with some particular insight, you should cite their help when you submit your assignment. This is just like the real world where people are expected to give credit to others and problems are solved as part of a team.
· The classroom as an active learning environment: For many of our students, “time” is their most precious resource. They are trying to balance a job, a family and school. If they are not engaged in the class, then they are wasting that resource. Being able to ask a question is often a difficult skill for the students to master. Asking questions is a fundamental part of the learning process and doesn’t end in the classroom. Asking questions in the work environment is how problems are solved.
· The joy of it all: I love computers! I love the entire process of creating something newer, faster and better than anyone has done before. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I hope my love of what I do comes across to my students.