Two faculty members from the University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (UM-SJTU JI) have received the 2022-2023 Jason Daida Outstanding Teaching Award. Assistant Professor Yuljae Cho and Associate Teaching Professor Manuel Charlemagne were announced as the winners during the JI annual party held on December 15.

The Jason Daida award, established in 2013 in memory of the late JI Adjunct Professor Jason Daida, honors the Japanese American professor from the UM College of Engineering. Professor Daida visited JI each summer semester, instructing the “Introduction to Engineering” course for first-year undergraduates from 2007. He sadly passed away in the United States in 2013 due to cancer.

JI leaders present the award certificates to the two faculty members.

In commemorating the tenth anniversary of Professor Daida’s passing, JI enhanced the selection process for the 2022-2023 Jason Daida Outstanding Teaching Award. The updated process included nominations and the submission of review materials by nominees. It also introduced a phase for JI students and faculty to nominate teaching staff. Out of eight nominated teachers, five submitted materials for evaluation. The winners were determined following rigorous assessments by seven internal and external experts, according to Ting Sun, director of the JI Center for Learning and Teaching.

Yuljae Cho, who joined JI in spring 2020, teaches two core and one elective course in the field of electrical and computer engineering. Instructing over 200 undergraduate students annually, he consistently earns high evaluations, with scores showing improvement each year. His undergraduate research courses encourage early engagement in scientific research, inspiring students and cultivating a passion for the subject.

Manuel Charlemagne has been teaching at JI since the summer of 2013. Initially among the few computer science teachers, he instructed most related courses before additional faculty joined. Known for his engaging and challenging courses, students widely appreciate his teaching style. His CS version of “Introduction to Engineering” has gained significant attention, and his photography course, applying engineering thinking to appreciate daily beauty, is very popular among students. Charlemagne also teaches mathematics courses and offers constructive suggestions for course development and improvement.