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Ian Galton Named Best ECE Teacher


December 12, 2006 -- Professor Ian Galton has been awarded the ECE Best Teacher Award. Galton primarily teaches subjects related to integrated circuit design with applications for communication systems.

 Graduating seniors voted on the award last spring.

 “At the Jacobs School, we are educating engineers who will be leaders in both industry 

 Ian Galton
 Professor Ian Galton
and academia. Ian is very deserving of this award. He is an inspiring teacher and one who is helping his students to reach their full potential,” said Paul Yu, chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department of UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering.

 The following Q&A with Professor Galton provides some insights on his approach to teaching.

Q: What do you like most about teaching?

A: I love the potential to have a positive effect on people. As teachers, we have the opportunity to work with smart, energetic people, and if we do a good job we can play a role in shaping their interests and futures.

Teaching is also a fantastic way to learn. I find that often I don’t truly understand a concept until I go through the process of trying to explain it to others. 

 Q: Do you have a favorite kind of class to teach?

A: I like to teach classes on subjects that are a blend theory and practice. It’s very satisfying to apply mathematics to generate new ideas that result in practical and useful electronic systems.

Q: What aspects of teaching do you find the most challenging?

A: Learning is very hard work. To be motivated to work hard enough to master a subject, students need to believe in its value. Unfortunately, a lot of difficult subjects need to be mastered by electrical engineering students before the value of each individual subject becomes obvious to them. I think the most challenging problem in teaching electrical engineering is keeping students aware of how the detailed and seemingly abstract concepts they’re learning are essential for designing practical electronic systems. I try to do this by showing them practical examples of how the material they’re learning is used in real-life examples.

 Q: What classes have you taught recently?

 A: I’ve recently taught ECE164: Analog Integrated Circuit Design, which is a senior-level undergraduate course, and ECE264A-B: Analog Integrated Circuits and Systems, which are first-year graduate courses.

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Daniel Kane
Jacobs School of Engineering
Phone: 858-534-3262

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