Faculty Profiles

Saharnaz Baghdadchi

Assosciate Teaching Professor, ECE

Discovery-based lab design, hands-on educational programs for K-12 students, optical engineering education, bio-optical imaging, optical trapping, light field encoding

Baghdadchi’s research focus is on encoding light fields with phase and polarization modulations for tissue imaging and optical manipulation of nanoparticles. She is interested in scholarly teaching and uses active learning techniques to help students achieve an expert-like level of thinking. She guides students in bridging the gap between facts and usable knowledge to solve complex engineering problems.

As part of her educational research in engineering, in the Summer of 2016 she designed and implemented a Teaching-as-Research project to study the effect of guided pre-reading and post-lecture assignments along with peer instruction on students’ learning of core signal processing concepts. According to the results of her research, the active learning techniques she implemented in her course helped her students do substantially better than their peers attending the standard lecture based classes for the same course. She designs discovery-based labs for ECE undergraduate courses to stimulate students’ conceptual understanding of the material. She will also be involved in developing hands-on educational programs to enhance the learning and teaching of science and engineering by K-12 students and teachers.

Capsule Bio:

Baghdadchi received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering-Photonics from UC San Diego and her undergraduate electrical engineering degree from the University of Tabriz in Iran. During her graduate program, she won the NSF I-Corps phase I and II awards for her idea to develop a deep tissue imaging device. She received the NSF funded Graduate Teaching Scholarship in 2015 and was selected to participate in the College Teaching workshop series. In the Winter of 2016, Baghdadchi established the first student organization for graduate women in ECE (WeCe), which focuses on providing professional development and social support to engineering graduate students and postdocs. In 2017, Baghdadchi joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UC San Diego as an Assistant Teaching Professor.

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