Combining dedication, wit and an unparalleled mathematical knowledge, Dr. Hadi Kharaghani helps students at every level of ability, pushing them to reach their potential.
Kharaghani, a professor in the Department of Mathematics who has shaped the lives of many aspiring scientists and engineers, is the 2013 Distinguished Teaching Award recipient.
Kharaghani puts considerable time and effort into his teaching, striving to give each student the personal attention he or she needs to excel, even in classes of more than 200 students. He prepares thoroughly for his lectures, and endeavours to ensure his material is easy to follow. Integrating technology with his lectures, Kharaghani is dedicated to giving students the best learning experience he can. And for those who occasionally cannot make it to the lectures, he posts his captured lectures online.
No matter the level of student, Kharaghani gives them opportunities to become more involved with their class. For those who are most challenged to understand the material, he provides a forum where students can help each other with class material or homework.
Kharaghani is an active participant in the forum, making sure all posted materials are correct and follow the rules of the open forum. The online chat sessions that he has created and managed have proven to be the most convenient and useful way of helping students. Often he stays online for several hours the night before a homework assignment is due to help students understand the material.
Easily adapting his teaching style to classes at different levels Kharagani's homework assignments are carefully crafted so that mathematically weaker students can do well, while academically strong students are still engaged. These assignments include challenge problems for bonus marks, and he sometimes posts additional problems that require students to do further research.
For higher-level mathematics courses, Kharaghani challenges the mathematically gifted students to learn beyond the required materials and motivates them to achieve a higher level of mathematics. His goal is to engage students in the classroom and ensure that they understand the material thoroughly. Insisting on the principle that "mathematics is learnt by thinking and practising," he provides a learning environment that challenges students to think and practise as much as possible.
Many professors are available to students during normal school hours, but Kharaghani spends many hours on evenings and weekends helping students. Every week he also hosts an in-person help session, where he books a classroom and assists as many students as possible, one-on-one. For those who cannot make it to these sessions, he conducts a weekly online class.
Kharaghani is dedicated to giving students as many opportunities as possible to learn mathematics and offers undergraduate research positions in summer.
An exemplary teacher who strives to make mathematics accessible to all, Kharaghani is a worthy recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Teaching Award.
This story first appeared in the May 2013 edition of the Legend. For a look at the full issue in a flipbook format, follow this link.