Probabilistic Methods in Engineering, an undergraduate course at the University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (UM-SJTU JI, JI hereafter) instructed by Professor Horst Hohberger, has been awarded the Second Prize at the 5th National University Blended Teaching Design Innovation Competition, a highly-regarded university-level teaching competition in China.

The award-winning course is a mandatory component for JI students majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering, an elective for Mechanical Engineering majors, and a core requirement for students minoring in Data Science.

“This is a first course in probability and statistics, so students are not expected to have any prior knowledge in the field. Nevertheless, the course curriculum references very current academic research on some basic questions that are not yet settled as well as discussions of how to apply the course knowledge in real life, in general research as well as in future, specialized fields based on statistics,” said Professor Hohberger who has been instructing the course since 2008.

“During the national competition there was a lot of sustained support from the Center for Learning and Teaching of SJTU and JI. I am grateful to everyone who helped with my competition entry and supported me to help myself improve further. Taking part in the competition was certainly not without its challenges, but in the end, very rewarding,” said the professor.

The 5th National University Blended Teaching Design Innovation Competition, hosted by South China Normal University in Guangdong Province, spanned six months and comprised three stages: preliminary rounds, semi-finals, and finals. A total of 3,859 course submissions from 1,123 teachers representing 415 universities nationwide were received. Out of these, 60 courses from 49 universities qualified for the national finals held last week.

Established in 2019, this annual competition aims to recognize and showcase the accomplishments of teachers in course construction and teaching design. It is committed to advancing educational and teaching reforms in universities, promoting the development of first-class courses, and facilitating the seamless integration of information technology and education.