Sandeep Pradhan, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has received the John F. Ullrich Education Excellence Award from the College of Engineering. This award honors faculty who “demonstrated sustained excellence in curricular development, instruction, and guidance at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.”
Pradhan joined the department in 2002 and is known as a thorough, devoted teacher. In class, he works many practical examples into theory-based subjects. He believes humor is important in education, so he includes jokes that put the students in a receptive mood for learning important and difficult concepts. He is also known to hand out chocolate during exams to ease students’ nerves.
“His love for the material inspired his students to learn at an elite level,” says Sam Bellestri, a former student of Pradhan’s. “I will remember him as one of the impactful professors to my educational experience.”
Pradhan has taught 11 different classes and helped develop four:
- Probabilistic Methods in Engineering (EECS 301)
- Mathematical Methods in Signal Processing (EECS 551).
- Network Information Theory, EECS 598
- Quantum Information, Computing and Probability, as Special Topics EECS 598
Nearly half of the PhD students he has graduated have entered academia.
“Having served on the PhD committees of most of his students, I am truly awed by the quality of the work done by these students,” says David Neuhoff, Joseph E. and Anne P. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering. “Sandeep is a superb PhD advisor.”
Pradhan has also been active in undergraduate curricular matters. He’s served many years on the ECE Academics Committee, which handles undergraduate curriculum matters, and he led the conversions of EECS 401 to EECS 301, and EECS 451 to EECS 351 with the principal goal of focusing these classes on the undergrads for whom they are primarily intended.
“Professor Pradhan’s greatest strength is the bonds he builds with his students and the respect he shows them,” says Kyler Bush, a former undergraduate student of Pradhan’s. “I always – and I mean always – knew I was going to be met with a smile when approaching him. His welcoming demeanor made visiting office hours and speaking with him easy.”
Aside from being an excellent instructor, Sandeep is an outstanding researcher in the field of information theory. He pioneered multiuser data compression, and his deep and novel results in multiuser information theory have advanced its boundaries. He has received an EECS Outstanding Achievement Award and an NSF CAREER Award.