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We'd like to introduce you to the session leaders participating in the EdTech Workshop 2019. More bios will be posted as they are received!

EdTech Workshop 2019 Session Leaders
Name Session Title Biography
Prof. Chirag Variawa | Director, First-year Curriculum 0 to 100: Coordinating and teaching a large introductory First-year Engineering course at UofT (from your living room)

Prof. Chirag Variawa is the Director, First Year Curriculum, and Assistant Professor, Teaching-stream, at the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, University of Toronto. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and his B.A.Sc. in Materials Science Engineering, both from the University of Toronto. His multidisciplinary teaching and research bring together Engineering Education and Industrial Engineering to identify and mitigate learning barriers for diverse student populations.

He is the founding member of the First-year Engineering Education Research (FYEER) group, whose goal is to support undergraduate and graduate student engineering education.  Projects from FYEER include using sentiment analysis to understand large-scale student feedback, creating chatbots to support positive learning strategies, understanding the expectations and realities of first-year student workload, among others.  Variawa coordinates and teaches large (1200+ student) first-year engineering courses, and also teaches a Ph.D. course on teaching and learning in engineering education.  He facilitates several community-building events in the Faculty, and serves on committees that focus on first-year, curriculum, equity/diversity/inclusion, and co-coordinates TA training for the Faculty.

Variawa also serves as the inaugural Faculty-in-Residence at the Chestnut Student Residence, University of Toronto.  He spends his time supporting students in this informal setting with events and initiatives which include Dinner with your Professors, Industry Nights, Community Pop-ups, and others.  In his spare time, Variawa enjoys tinkering with electronics and mechanical things.

Prof. Michael Stumm | Professor Asynchronous video lectures as real as they get

Teacher. Researcher. Entrepreneur. Business executive.

Prof. Philip Asare | Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream Pandemic or not, virtual has value

Philip's approach to engineering and engineering education focuses on viewing engineering as a human activity, and the implication of this perspective for engineering education and practice. A significant theme of Philip’s teaching and projects focuses on how we educate engineers to operate in the complex socio-technical world, particularly how we create an engineering community that is diverse, inclusive, and equitable, and the related benefits for society of such an engineering community.

Meet Prof. Asare

Prof. Robert Irish | Associate Professor, Teaching Stream Learning Through Podcasts

Teaching: Robert Irish coordinates communication in Engineering Science, where he helps students develop skills in logical, reasoned argument using strong supporting evidence. He also has an interest in helping students develop awareness of ethical decision-making.

Professional Activity: Rob has a strong interest in student learning, which he has supported by writing two textbooks: Engineering Communication from Principles to Practice (with Peter Eliot Weiss) (2e 2013) and Engineering Writing: a Very Brief Guide (2016).

Prof. Sanjeev Chandra | Professor One Year of Teaching Online: Lessons Learned

Research Interests: Heat transfer; fluid mechanics; thermal spray coating; spray painting; heat exchangers; heat pipes; impact of liquid drops; ink jet printing; waste heat recovery, electronic cooling.

Bio: Sanjeev Chandra is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto, which he joined in 1990. He received his B. Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (1981) his MS from Vanderbilt University (1983) and Ph.D. from Cornell University (1990). He has served as the Associate Chair (undergraduate studies), Associate Chair (graduate studies), Vice-Chair and Acting Chair of the MIE department, and Acting Vice-Dean (undergraduate studies) of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering.

Prof. Chandra is known internationally for his research on the dynamics of droplets and sprays and is one of the founders of the Centre for Advanced Coating Technologies at the University of Toronto. His research spans the areas of fluid mechanics, heat transfer and materials science and has also been applied in spray coating, spray cooling, spray painting, ink-jet printing, electronic cooling and waste heat recovery. Prof. Chandra has published over 200 papers in referred journals and international conference proceedings. He teaches courses in thermodynamics and heat transfer and has served as visiting professor at the University of Limoges (France), Korea University (S. Korea), the University of Bremen (Germany), the University of Darmstadt (Germany), Nanyang Technical University (Singapore) and the University of Brighton (UK). He has written an undergraduate textbook on thermodynamics and several chapters for books on the subjects of thermal spray coating, heat transfer and sprays. In 2010 he was awarded the The Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research, awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to recognize outstanding collaborative research. In 2015 he was awarded the Jules Stachiewicz Medal by the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering for outstanding contributions to heat transfer. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Sarah Mayes-Tang | Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream iPads in MY150

Prof. Sarah Mayes-Tang is a mathematician who currently works with a large team of teaching assistants and instructors to execute a large calculus program at UofT. Prior to her role at UofT, she taught at Quest University Canada, a small liberal arts university in British Columbia. She is passionate about improving students' confidence and capability in mathematics, particularly at a first-year level, and approaches her teaching as a scholar.

Steven Bailey | Director, Academic & Campus Events

As Director, Academic and Campus Events since 2001, Steven Bailey is responsible for ensuring a quality learning environment for U of T instructors and students, focusing on academic scheduling, classroom design, campus events and classroom technology.

As a champion for new classroom technologies, he initiated standardization of the University’s AV-equipped lecterns and is leading the Transforming the Instructional Landscape project, which will upgrade 174 classrooms.

Prioritizing a stellar student experience, he was recognized with the 2018 Northrup Frye Award of Excellence for significant contributions to the quality of learning environment.

Susan McCahan | Vice Provost, Academic Programs and Innovations in Undergraduate Education KEYNOTE: Keep, Toss, or Re-purpose? What are the post-COVID trends that will shape higher education?

As Vice Provost, Susan McCahan's portfolio revolves around the quality of the academic experience. Her office manages quality assurance reviews and the governance of new programs. In addition, Dr. McCahan manages programs related to the academic experience for the University’s 71,000 undergraduate students including both traditional pedagogical innovation and new forms of teaching. Current major initiatives include implementation of a university wide strategy on experiential learning. She leads projects in data analytics related to student information systems, success metrics, course evaluations, and curriculum. Her portfolio includes educational technology and online learning. It also includes the Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation.

Valentin Peretroukhin | Ph.D. Candidate Our experience teaching ESC103F in the Myhal TEAL rooms: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (not really)!

Valentin is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies in the Space and Terrestrial Autonomous Robotic Systems lab with Jonathan Kelly. He has worked as a teaching assistant for three first-year classes in engineering and computer science, and as a course instructor for a fourth-year class in robotics and computer vision.

Will Cluett | Professor Our experience teaching ESC103F in the Myhal TEAL rooms: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (not really)!

Will Cluett is a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry. He has served the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering as Chair of First Year, Vice-Dean (Undergraduate), and Chair of Engineering Science. In 2018, he received the President’s Teaching Award and is a member of the Teaching Academy.