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Teaching Philosophy

A colleague of mine, Dr Vassil Dimitrov, has put down in words his teaching philosophy as follows:
    "The main goal of the teacher is to teach the students how to think. In order to be an effective teacher of thinking, the teacher must be present when the students attempt to think. It follows that the chief classroom activity should be student thinking, not teacher lecturing. Moreover, a given body of information can be conveyed more permanently and effectively if they are actively engaged in thinking about it."

I totally agree with such approach. I am firmly convinced that student thinking is a fundamental part of the learning process.

Additionally, I do observe the pedagogical principles stated in George Pólya's 1945 book How to Solve It. In general terms, Pólya suggests the following steps when solving a mathematical problem:
  1. First, you have to understand the problem.
  2. After understanding, then make a plan.
  3. Carry out the plan.
  4. Look back on your work. How could it be better?

If this technique fails, Pólya advises: "If you can't solve a problem, then there is an easier problem you can solve: find it." Or: "If you cannot solve the proposed problem try to solve first some related problem. Could you imagine a more accessible related problem?"

Another scientist that has much influenced my way of teaching is Richard W. Hamming. (By the way, Hamming is one of the scientists I admire the most.) In his book Numerical Methods for Scientists and Engineers, Chapter "N+1: The Art of Computing for Scientists and Engineers" opened my eyes even more. Hamming suggests the following thread of questions when thinking about a problem:

  1. What are we going to do with the answer?
  2. Do we need all the answers?
  3. What do we know?
  4. How do we get from here to there?
  5. Before computing, how shall we know if the answer is the one that is wanted?
  6. After implementing the plan, could we enhance it?

Often students pose questions. I believe that giving plain answers is wrong. As an educator, I try to establish a dialogue, returning to the students a sequence of easier questions, which they are hopefully able to answer. I try to guide them through their own answers. By the end, the original question is answered by themselves. Reading Plato's Dialogues and similar literature directly influenced my views on this matter.

I am an outspoken admirer of Professor Richard Feymann. It is impossible to deny the significant amount of influence his books, lectures, audio/video recordings, etc have cast on me. For sure, I deeply admire his teaching style (if there is such a thing), his way of looking at nature, and his free spirit. To some extent, I try to convey these feelings to my students.

I am also indebted to Dr Ricardo M Campello de Souza's way of teaching. As a student I attended to at least four courses taught by Dr Campello de Souza. During these courses, I have learned much about answering a question with another question.

Dr Fernando M Campello de Souza's lectures also influenced me. In particular, his way of conducting a lecture, and making the blackboard uncopyable. The rationale is: students should consult good textbooks and appropriate references, not digests or blackboard notes.

Dr Martin P Mintchev has also his share of influence. My constant demand for professionalism and quality of presentation was learned from him.

And last but not least, a great deal of my way of viewing science and research is due to Dr De Oliveira advices and guidance through years of collaboration as one of his graduate students. Dr De Oliveira enthusiasm and motivation is inspiring. His magnetic lectures certainly had influenced me.


All-Time Former Students / Ex-Alunos

List of former students from regular courses.


Recognition / Reconhecimento

Letters from former students. / Cartas de ex-alunos.


Career Advisory / Orientação de Carreira

Collected texts about the prospective career as a statistician. Intended audience: Undergraduate students in Statistics.


Politics and Etiquette

Course Politics and Classroom Etiquette [Política do Curso e Etiqueta em Sala de Aula]. Intended audience: Undergraduate students.


First Bank of Flatland

The Fist Bank of Flatland was founded in Dec 1, 2010 and is in good standing.


Future Courses

20??.? - Processamento de Sinais (Signal Processing) (Undergrad course)

20??.? - Processamento de Imagens (Image Processing) (Undergrad course)

20??.? - Teoria da Informação (Information Theory) (Graduate/Undergrad course)

20??.? - Estimação Espectral (Spectral Estimation) (Graduate/Undergrad course)

20??.? - Sinais e Sistemas Probabilísticos (Random Signals & Systems) (Undergrad course)


Current Courses

2017.2 - EE960 - Topicos em Comunicacoes 1 (Topics in Communications) (Graduate course)


Past Courses

2018.1-2018.2 - Sabbatical leave at University of Calgary

2017.1 - ET583 - Probabilidade III (Probability III) (Undergrad course)

2016.2 - ET583 - Probabilidade III (Probability III) (Undergrad course)

2016.1 - EE925 - Processamento Digital de Sinais (Digital Signal Processing) (Graduate course); equivalent to "PGE971 - Processamento de Sinais (Signal Processing)"

2014.2-2015 - Sabbatical leave at INSA, Lyon, France

2014.1 - ET583 - Probabilidade III (Probability III) (Undergrad course)

2014.1 - PGE952 - Seminários de Pós-graduação (Seminars) (Graduate course)

2013.2 - PGE960 - Séries Temporais (Time Series) (Graduate course)

2013.2 - EE925 - Processamento Digital de Sinais (Digital Signal Processing) (Graduate course); equivalent to "PGE971 - Processamento de Sinais (Signal Processing)"

2013.1 - IF311 - Métodos Numéricos (Numerical Methods) (Undergraduate course)

2013.1 - ET583 - Probabilidade III (Probability III) (Undergrad course)

2012.2 - PGE971 - Processamento de Sinais (Signal Processing) (Graduate course)

2012.2 - ET583 - Probabilidade III (Probability III) (Undergrad course)

2012.1 - ET592 - Processos Estocásticos (Stochastic Processes) (Undergrad course)

2011.2 - ET592 - Processos Estocásticos (Stochastic Processes) (Undergrad course)

2011.2 - ET583 - Probabilidade III (Probability III) (Undergrad course)

2011.1 - PGE960 - Séries Temporais (Time Series) (Graduate course)

2011.1 - ET592 - Processos Estocásticos (Stochastic Processes) (Undergrad course)

2010.2 - ET583 - Probabilidade III (Probability III) (Undergrad course)

2010.2 - ET589 - Introducção à Optimização (Introduction to Optimization) (Undergrad course)

2010.1 - PGE971 - Processamento de Sinais (Signal Processing) (Graduate course)

2010.1 - ET592 - Processos Estocásticos (Stochastic Processes) (Undergrad course)

2009.1-2 - Sabbatical leave at University of Calgary, Canada

2008.2 - PGE971 - Processamento de Sinais (Signal Processing) (Graduate course)

2008.2 - ET583 - Probabilidade III (Probability III) (Undergrad course)

2008.1 - ET592 - Processos Estocásticos (Stochastic Processes) (Undergrad course)

2008.1 - ET583 - Probabilidade III (Probability III) (Undergrad course)

2007.2 - ET589 - Introducção à Optimização (Introduction to Optimization) (Undergrad course)

2007.2 - ET583 - Probabilidade III (Probability III) (Undergrad course)

2007.1 - PGE971 - Processamento de Sinais (Signal Processing) (Graduate course)

2007.1 - ET592 - Processos Estocásticos (Stochastic Processes) (Undergrad course)

2006.2 - ET583 - Probabilidade III (Probability III) (Undergrad course)

2006.2 - ET610 - Programação Linear (Linear Programming) (Undergrad course)

2006.1 - ET583 - Probabilidade III (Probability III) (Undergrad course)

2006.1 - MES905 - Probabilidade (Probability) (Graduate course)

2005.2 - ET301 - Elementos de Estatística (Elements of Statistics) (Undergrad course)

2004.2-2005.2 - [At Boa Viagem College] Operations Research: Deterministic Models (Undergrad course for Industrial Engineering)

2004.2-2005.1 - [At Boa Viagem College] Numerical Analysis (Undergrad course for Industrial Engineering)

2003.1 - [At University of Pernambuco] Microprocessors (Undergrad course for Electrical Engineering)

2003.1 - [At University of Pernambuco] Electrical Instrumentation (Undergrad course for Electrical Engineering)

2002.2 - [At University of Pernambuco] Control Systems (Undergrad course for Electrical Engineering)

2001.2-2005.2 - [At Boa Viagem College] Operations Research: Probabilistic Models (Undergrad course for Industrial Engineering)


A Selection of PHD Comic Strips on Teaching

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