Kulkarni to Lead Keller Center
Sanjeev Kulkarni, a professor in the Electrical Engineering Department has been appointed director of the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education. Kulkarni, whose appointment began September. 1, 2011, takes over from Sharad Malik, Princeton's George Van Ness Lothrop Professor in Engineering. Prof. Malik will return to full-time teaching and research after completing a five-year term leading the Keller Center.
Kulkarni is an acclaimed teacher and engineer whose research ranges from signal processing to philosophy. He joined the Princeton faculty in 1991, is a professor of electrical engineering and an affiliated faculty member with the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering. He is a seven-time winner of the Excellence in Teaching Award from the student-led Engineering Council, won the Distinguished Teaching Award from the engineering school in 2004, received the President's Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2007, and won the Phi Beta Kapp Teaching Award in 2009.
The Keller Center was created in 2004 as an outgrowth of a year-long strategic planning effort at the School of Engineering and Applied Science. At the time, the school identified several existing courses that took a cross-disciplinary approach to engaging humanities and social science students in learning about technology and created the center to further strengthen and increase such offerings. The center also seeks to broaden the education of all Princeton students, including engineers, by creating more opportunities for hands-on experience, entrepreneurship, public service and cross-disciplinary teamwork.
Princeton alumnus Dennis Keller of the class of 1963 and his wife Constance created a $20 million endowment for the center in 2008. The center, which has the mission of “educating leaders for a technology-driven society,” now supports more than 20 courses, including a freshman engineering curriculum that integrates math, physics and hands-on engineering into a single course sequence. In conjunction with the Center for Information Technology and Policy, the center recently created a certificate program for undergraduates, the Program in Information Technology and Policy and Society. The center also administers several funds for student projects conducted outside of the classroom and offers numerous internships, from positions with technology start-ups to international research assignments. It has become a hub of entrepreneurship on campus, hosting visiting faculty members, workshops, speakers and events including a yearly Innovation Forum.