Tampa, Florida 33620-9951
Why did you choose your school?
USF is located in an area that included everything I was looking for in my college experience. The Busch Gardens theme park is located exactly within a mile of the campus. The school is also located in a metropolitan area, which made it easy for me to find anything I desired in entertainment, such as movies, museums, concerts, and nightlife.
What had the biggest impact on your decision? How does college differ from high school?
I wanted to go to a large school and meet as many new people as I could. USF’s enrollment is about 40,000 students, which means I pretty much meet someone new every single day. College is very different from high school; you also live away from your parents, which makes individuality and responsibility now a recurring part of life every single day.
What helped you adjust to college life?
My advisors helped me arrange a good class schedule that made it easy for me to manage my time. I also joined a couple of organizations that introduced me to other students who, over time, became my good friends.
Can you describe the classroom environment?
The classroom environment varies between classes. Big lecture hall classes are more of a note-taking environment, while TA-session classes have more of the feeling of high school classes with a smaller amount of students. There’s been a lot more reading involved in college classes over high school classes, but not as much homework. Most grades revolve around the exams.
What do you think about the faculty, staff, and advisors?
The staff here is great. I had the pleasure to work and volunteer for the Undergraduate Admissions office and can attest that they try as hard as they can to make sure every question a prospective student or parent has about the university is answered.
What are the students like at your school?
There are all types of students here at USF. As previously mentioned, our enrollment goes up to 40,000, therefore you’re bound to see a ton of different cultures and people walking around and interacting with each other.
Do you participate in any activities or organizations?
I am a member of G3 (Green and Gold Guides) and the SBC (Student Bulls Club). G3 is responsible for giving the campus tours of USF and SBC raises money for athletics at USF.
Why should other students select your school?
It really depends on them and how good of a fit USF is to them. If they want to go to a metropolitan research-based university then this is the right school for them. There’s also a ton of things to do in Tampa.
Do you have any advice for future students?
Become involved on campus and meet people. You’re bound to have a good time if you meet other students and make new friends on campus.
Since fall 2000 when Dr. Mohamed Elhamdadi joined USF, he has taught many classes in the mathematics department, ranging from undergraduate to graduate and special topics in higher mathematics. In addition to his teaching, Dr Elhamdadi is active in mathematical research in the area of applied topology and knot theory with its ramifications to DNA, biology, and physics.
Why did you choose to teach at USF?
The department of mathematics at USF is home to some respected mathematicians in the United States. Also, USF is growing so much that it is a good environment for teaching and research.
What are the other faculty, staff, and advisors like at USF?
The colleagues in the department are not only professional in their fields but they are friendly and approachable. This makes the environment of working very nice.
Can you describe the classroom environment?
At USF we believe that students learn in a more permanent fashion when they are actively engaged in the classroom. I try to create a comfortable environment in the classroom in which students feel at ease and are able to voice their questions or contribute their thoughts. I believe this trust is particularly important in mathematics, because many people feel intimidated by mathematics or have had negative experiences taking mathematics courses. At USF, we involve students in independent research and instructors are passionate in helping students.
What do you enjoy most about teaching at USF?
I enjoy presenting the mathematical concepts in a very comprehensive way so that students understand the ideas behind the topics rather than just memorizing formulas. I make sure students reach their full potential and acquire the skills they will need in their careers, as they will be the future leaders, scientists, teachers etc.
What is your classroom (teaching) style like?
I have tried a number of different approaches to teaching. I have slowly developed a philosophy that evolves and changes with every class:
- Active learning: I believe that students learn in a more permanent fashion when they are actively engaged in the classroom
- Diversification of assessment: I provide a number of different ways for students to show their achievements. I like to give different types of assignments, in and out of class, in groups and on an individual basis, with and without technology, if possible oral and written.
- Consistency and feedback: I think it is important to establish clear goals and guidelines for a class from the very beginning, to be consistent, and to follow through on stated policies
- Comfortable environment: I try to create a comfortable environment in the classroom in which students feel at ease and are able to voice their questions or contribute their thoughts.
- High expectations: I do believe that people tend to rise to a challenge. After all, my own interest in mathematics comes partly from the fact that mathematics is so difficult! What is more rewarding than knowing that you are faced with a difficult intellectual problem and being able to conquer it?