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Agah Wins Kemper Award

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The University of Kansas “surprise patrol” today presented School of Engineering Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Professor Arvin Agah with a Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence award.

Agah, who joined the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science in 1997, has received praise not only from his undergraduate and graduate students but also from his fellow professors and from a variety of employers attesting to how prepared his students were to excel.
Engineering Dean Stuart Bell (left) with Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Professor Arvin Agah

As past Chair of departmental graduate studies, Agah was instrumental in doubling the number of Ph.D. students. He has personally advised to completion nine Ph.D. students over the past three years and 37 M.S. students during his time at KU. Agah is devoted to undergraduate education and most recently developed a new interdisciplinary program, Interdisciplinary Computing, to combine a focus on astronomy, biology, chemistry, geography or physics with their computer science experience.

A hallmark of Agah’s classes are student competitions where student-designed robots face off against each other. Agah’s students have also won a number of design competitions, including first place for developing healthcare software for Cerner Corporation and a pair of top honors in a space robotics competition.

"Professor Agah does a remarkable job preparing his students for successful careers.  His courses allow students hands-on experience to find real world solutions.  This is a well-deserved award for a truly outstanding faculty member," said Dean of Engineering Stuart Bell.

Previous honors for Agah include an ING Excellence in Teaching award and the Henry E. Gould Teaching Award from the School of Engineering. Agah is also a three-time recipient of a Miller Scholar Award.

A total of 10 Kemper fellowships will be handed out across campus this week. The awards recognize outstanding teachers and advisers at KU as determined by a seven-member selection committee. Now in their 16th year, the awards are supported by an annual gift of $37,500 from the William T. Kemper Foundation (Commerce Bank, trustee) and $37,500 in matching funds from KU Endowment.

The William T. Kemper Foundation was established in 1989 after the death of the Kansas City, Mo., banking executive and civic leader. The foundation supports Midwest communities and concentrates on initiatives in education, health and human services, civic improvements and the arts.

KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment is the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

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