Teaching Philosophy

My affiliation with civil engineering departments has always been a somewhat unorthodox one, since my research and teaching spans across environmental systems sciences, engineering, statistics and public policy. One of the key aspects I take from civil engineering however is my educational philosophy. The term civil engineer derives from Latin civilis meaning “relating to citizens” and ingeniosus meaning “full of intellect.” Therefore a “civil engineer” uses intellect for the benefit of the public. Correspondingly regardless of the department I teach in, I see my mission as an educator to promote in students these two complementary qualities: (1) technical knowledge, skills and abilities, and (2) motivation and passion to use them for a civic purpose.

Teaching History

  • 2017 2016

    Stanford University CEE308 - Disaster Resilience Research Graduate Seminar

    Main Instructor. Course description: This course explores past and current research on disaster risk and resilience, towards the development of new frontiers in resilience engineering science research. Designed for PhD students and graduate students engaged in the topic of risk and resilience research.

  • Fall 2016

    Stanford University CEE209B - Disaster Risk and International Development

    Main Instructor. Course description: The human and economic impacts of natural disasters are ever increasing and disproportionately affecting lower-income countries. In fact there is mounting evidence that these ever more frequent shocks threaten to reverse development progress in low-income countries. This course explores the theory and practice of disaster risk reduction in international development contexts. Course covers key issues in development theory, a history of “a risk society”, participation, human-centered planning, ethics in engineering, and other topics.

  • Fall 2013

    Stanford University EESS 211 - Fundamentals of Modeling

    Graduate Instructor. Course description: Simulation models are a powerful tool for environmental research, if used properly. The major concepts and techniques for building and evaluating models. Topics include model calibration, model selection, uncertainty and sensitivity analysis, and Monte Carlo and bootstrap methods. Emphasis is on gaining hands-on experience using the R programming language.

  • Winter 2013

    Understanding and Managing Extremes Graduate Program - Urban Risk Modeling

    Main Lecturer. Course description: Graduate course on urban risk modeling and post-disaster recovery and reconstruction, part of the Risk and Emergency Management graduate degree at the UME School in Pavia, Italy. Course taught in english.

  • Winter 2012

    Stanford University EESS 218 - Understanding Hazards, Quantifying Risk, Increasing Resilience in Highly Urbanized Regions

    Graduate Instructor. Course description: Co-designed a new class, integrating (1) the science of natural hazards, (2) methods for quantitatively estimating the risks that these hazards pose to populations and property, (3) engineering solutions that might best ameliorate these risks and increase resilience to future events, and (4) policy and economic decision-making studies that may increase long-term resilience to future events.

  • Spring 2012

    Understanding and Managing Extremes Graduate Program - Urban Risk Modeling

    Main Lecturer. Course description: Graduate course on urban risk modeling and post-disaster recovery and reconstruction, part of the Risk and Emergency Management graduate degree at the UME School in Pavia, Italy. Course taught in english.

  • Fall 2010

    U.C. Berkeley. CEE 240 - High Performance Civil Engineering Materials

    Graduate Instructor. Course description: Graduate courses covering theory and laboratory work on civil engineering materials, with emphasis on novel high-performance materials for improved earthquake resistance, durability and extreme loading.

  • Spring 2009

    U.C. Berkeley. CEE 140 - Civil Engineering Materials

    Graduate Instructor. Course description: Undergraduate courses covering theory and laboratory work on civil engineering materials.

  • Spring 2008

    Pratt Institute Graduate School - History of Structural Design

    Adjunct Professor. Course description: Co-designed and co-taught a new class for 20 graduate students, examining the history of structural design. Focused on how a better understanding of structural engineering can inform architects and lead to better designs.