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Photo of Lorenzo Alvisi

Lorenzo Alvisi, Ph.D.

Professor of Computer Science

Department of Computer Science

College of Natural Sciences

UT Austin

I find that once they see me as a person, students are much more willing to think of the class as a place where we come together to learn and not to engage in a cold business-like transaction of notions.

My goal is to spark in my students enough passion for the subject that they will be willing to engage critically with the material not just in class, but  during the long solitary hours of study or lab work during which so much of the actual learning happens. I strive  to bring every student to where they not only can tell themselves "I got this!" but also start wondering "but what if instead..." and, sometimes to their surprise,  find in themselves the desire to keep thinking about it. To get them there, I not only continuously refine my lectures to maximize in-class participation,  but I also try to make sure that they see me as a fully dimensional person and not just a grade dispenser:  I use humor, talk to them about the books I am reading or the music I am listening to, and, if I think that a theorem or a motorcycle are truly beautiful, I don't shy away from sharing with them my enthusiasm.