Dr. Ganapathy “Gana” Natarajan, assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, was selected for the 2023-2024 Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars Program. He is one of two UW-Platteville faculty members selected for the UW System program this year.
Throughout the program, participants are guided through the process of completing a scholarship of teaching and learning project. Natarajan’s project will use a control system framework to build prescriptive models to proactively detect student success/failure and create tailored intervention strategies to be used by members of the student support system with the goal of improving student success and retention. Natarajan said most work in this area treats students as mere data points. His project aims to change that by treating students as real people with emotional intelligence and consciousness.
“[Being selected for the Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars Program] reiterates the point that my recent research and project ideas have been good,” said Natarajan. “It culminates from my personal experience and observations.”
Natarajan started teaching in 2012 and has been at UW-Platteville since 2019, teaching courses in operations research, production planning, engineering management and project management. His research focuses on the areas of engineering education and data analytics.
His favorite part of teaching is the students. “I like the students at UW-Platteville. They are quite friendly and interested in learning,” said Natarajan, who described his teaching style as active learning and activity-based learning.
According to the UW System website, the Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars program offers UW faculty and teaching academic staff a unique opportunity to collaborate with other exceptional teachers from across the UW System and from various disciplines, which many have found re-energized their work and transformed their approach to teaching and learning.