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Manohar named Weiss fellow

Friday, January 30, 2015

Rajit Manohar, professor of electrical and computer engineering, along with Nina Bassuk, professor of horticulture and Marie Caudill, professor in the Division of Nutritional Sciences are the newest recipients of Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellowships in recognition of their teaching of undergraduate students. President David Skorton announced the Weiss fellows Jan. 30 at a meeting of the Cornell Board of Trustees.

“Nina, Marie, and Rajit exemplify the best that Cornell seeks to offer its students,” Skorton said. “They are enormously talented researchers and academic leaders, who inspire undergraduates through their example and boundless energy as teachers and mentors.”

The award, conceived and funded by former chair of the Board of Trustees Stephen H. Weiss ’57, was established in 1993 to recognize tenured Cornell faculty members for inspiring, distinguished teaching and mentoring of undergraduates. The Weiss fellows will be honored at a ceremony in the spring.

Manohar has received seven teaching awards from the College of Engineering and is known as a passionate, innovative instructor and an inspiring research mentor to many undergraduates. He also serves as associate dean for academic affairs at Cornell Tech in New York City.

After he arrived at Cornell in 1998, Manohar developed a new course in computer organization that became integral to an updated computer engineering curriculum he helped devise. A design-contest component he introduced to the course helped make it a popular elective among electrical engineering and computer science majors.

After 10 years, he completely redesigned the course to focus on embedded systems, as more types of machines began incorporating computers and processors. He also developed detailed course notes for material so new that no textbook exists, as well as new hands-on laboratory exercises.

“He does not just teach students about computers, he actually gets them involved in their design and application to real-world experiments. Rajit brings the students right up to the leading edge of application and understanding,” wrote faculty colleague Clifford Pollock, director of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a Weiss fellow.

Manohar joins the ranks of other ECE Weiss fellows, Rick Johnson, Clif Pollock, and Michael Kelley.

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