LAWRENCE — Prasad Kulkarni, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Kansas School of Engineering, has been named the first recipient of the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Professorship.
The honor, which is available to faculty in the electrical engineering and computer science department, comes with a three-year cash award as well as discretionary funds.
“It's good to see teaching being appreciated," Kulkarni said. "Teaching is the reason I am in this profession. I've been inspired by so many teachers in my life.”
Indeed, this is the second time during his KU tenure that Kulkarni has been honored for his teaching. In 2012, KU EECS students awarded him with the Harry Talley Excellence in Teaching Award.
“I try to connect with the students,” he said. “When I'm teaching, I think how it was when I was a student — the pressures they have and try to adjust to those requirements. Connection with the students helps me when I am teaching and maybe students like that aspect as well."
This award marks the first such recognition of this nature at the School of Engineering.
“Kulkarni’s dedication to his students and engineering education certainly makes him deserving of this honor,” said Michael Branicky, dean of engineering. “As a whole, engineering faculty consistently do amazing things in the classroom, and it is outstanding to be able to recognize their efforts in this way.”
Kulkarni also received widespread support from his colleagues and students to become the first recipient of the award.
“I was very impressed with the rapport that Prasad has established with the students in his undergraduate classes,” Arvin Agah, associate dean for research and graduate programs, wrote in supporting Kulkarni’s nomination. “He is a very effective teacher who is respected and appreciated by his students.”
Kulkarni received his doctorate from Florida State University in 2007 and joined the School of Engineering faculty that year. His research interests include the areas of compilers, computer architecture and virtual machines. He has more than two dozen publication credits.
Teaching, however, remains a passion for him.
"Teaching is always highly appreciated at KU, and with this new award it’s even better. I am very honored to be the first to receive the award,” Kulkarni said. “We have many excellent teachers and they keep inspiring you to do better."