2011 Romeo L. Moruzzi Young Faculty Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Education Recipients

Taskin Padir

WPI is pleased to present the 2011 Romeo Moruzzi Young Faculty Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Education to Professor Taskin Padir of the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department, for his key role in developing the unified sequence of four courses at the core of the Robotics Engineering (RBE) program.

Developing a multi-course curriculum is never easy, but for the emerging discipline of robotics engineering it has been all the more difficult given the multidisciplinary nature of the field and the fact that no undergraduate robotics curriculum existed to serve as a model. While design of the Unified Robotics sequence was very much a team effort, colleagues and students testify that Professor Padir played the most significant role in its development and is the only person to have taught and refined every course.  

In the early years of the program it was not unusual for students to refer to course material as the “CS part,” the “ME part,” and the “ECE part.” Professor Padir led the way in revising and restructuring the courses’ content, and developed new examples, homework, labs, and projects to truly unify the concepts in a level-appropriate manner. Students call particular attention to his design and ongoing revision of course projects: “Seamlessly, lecture concepts are not only reinforced, but extensively expanded upon by meticulously and methodically designed projects.”

In describing the strengths of the RBE program, the national Accrediting Board of Engineering & Technology (ABET) wrote: “RBE faculty members have done an exceptional job of integrating curricula from within the supporting departments…This stands as a model of cooperation.” A colleague notes that this comment is a testament to Taskin’s influence.

For his central role in designing and implementing a truly integrative learning experience in undergraduate robotics education, and for his deep dedication to the success of the RBE program and his students and colleagues, we are proud to present the 2011 Moruzzi Award to Professor Taskin Padir.