R. Iris Bahar

2024
IEEE UNDERGRADUATE TEACHING AWARD

Sponsored by the IEEE Education Society

“For innovative undergraduate teaching and transformative student mentoring that champion inclusivity in engineering and examine societal impacts of technology.”

As a professor at Brown University, Iris Bahar noticed the difference in student diversity between introductory level courses in comparison to advanced courses. Frustrated with the underrepresentation of women and historically marginalized groups in advanced engineering classes, she researched the root causes and concluded that more interdisciplinary, design-oriented courses with opportunities for creative license would engage a wider spectrum of students and help retain diversity. Bahar then designed a wildly popular robotics course that succeeded in attracting non-traditional students. Her innovative teaching approach emphasizes interactive, collaborative elements and incorporates ethical considerations and societal inquiries, encouraging students to think holistically about global issues. Bahar continues to inspire and innovate while championing diversity, equity, and inclusion in education.
An IEEE Fellow, Bahar is Department Head & Professor of Computer Science, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado, USA.