Teaching is one of my favorite things in life. I love teaching students and also learning together with them. The students I’ve taught bring such intellect and curiosity to the classroom, and I believe it’s their passion for learning that makes MIT flourish. And one of my own passions is to develop new ways for students to touch and feel the key learning concepts to help bring about that “a-ha” moment,” and whether that moment has happened in my class on Thermodynamics, Materials for Energy, or Introductory Solid State Chemistry, it’s a tremendously gratifying experience. I try to compliment core lecture material with hands-on experiences, so students think about, remember, and connect the concepts in different ways. It’s exciting to see the students form these connections and explore the material in the true sprit of mens e manus at MIT.
With regards to outreach, it is my strong belief that as scientists we must be able (and indeed, eager) to communicate our work to any audience, whether it be a colleague, the general public, or a 7-year old child. There is simply too much at stake: appreciation for basic science and its crucial role in our society has diminished and we should not blame others. The responsibility lies firmly with the scientific community to reach out to broader audiences and share their work, in ways such that people of all backgrounds can find meaning and recognize the importance of supporting research.