BHSU math professor receives Distinguished Faculty Award

Author: BHSU Communications/Monday, April 25, 2016/Categories: 2016

Black Hills State University awarded the Distinguished Faculty Award to Dr. Parthasarathi Nag, professor of math, recently. This, the highest faculty honored bestowed by the University, recognizes Dr. Nag for his exceptional teaching, professional dedication, and distinguished service to BHSU.

It's a simple equation with big results. Exceptional teaching, plus professional dedication, divided by distinguished service equals the commitment to students by BHSU math professor Dr. Parthasarathi Nag.

Nag was recently awarded the BHSU Distinguished Faculty Award, the highest faculty honor the University can bestow. Currently finishing his 12th year in teaching at BHSU, Nag said he feels honored to be given recognition and the opportunity to work alongside other deserving educators at BHSU.

"There are so many amazing teachers, faculty, and researchers at BHSU. To be given this honor amongst this stellar group of individuals, I feel humbled," said Nag.

Born in India, Nag was inspired by his father, a mechanical engineer, and his mother, a teacher with a Master's in comparative literature, to pursue his career combining industrial experience and education. He earned his bachelor's and master's in engineering from the University of North Bengal and the University of Bombay, respectively. He then went into industry working as an assistant engineer.

The research on large-scale integrated power systems associated with Nag's work as an engineer required a deep knowledge of math. He was inspired to pursue his doctorate in mathematics. The United States was his first choice for schools to pursue his advanced degree because, said Nag, the nature and reputation of the American graduate program is like no other in the world.

Ever the mathematician, Nag said BHSU was the perfect place to build his teaching career based on the combination of latitude and longitude, along with the campus community and neighborhood of Spearfish.

"I love teaching, I love the subject of mathematics. I live and breathe math," said Nag.

Beyond his work with students in the classroom, Nag is also considered a leader amongst the BHSU faculty and currently serves as faculty senate president.

Dr. Amy Fuqua, dean of the College of Liberal Arts at BHSU, said colleagues enjoy working with Nag and regard him very highly.

"I remember one of my first conversations with Dr. Nag being about poetry and math. Among the faculty, Dr. Nag is known for being incredibly well-rounded with interests in math, poetry, art, and music," said Fuqua. "He's a man of ideas, and although he demands high standards from his students, he is also very kind."

Also campus coordinator for research, Nag is passionate about inspiring students to conduct research to pursue answers to the questions of our time.

Nag says research and creative scholarship are integral parts of higher education. He has served twice as co-director of the University's annual research symposium where students from all disciplines showcase their scholarly pursuits.

"By doing research you gain deep knowledge of a topic and then come up with a very intuitive question, a question from the very depths of your understanding," said Nag. "And the more you exercise the skill of asking meaningful questions, the better you become in finding the answers."

Nag's personal research interests include application of algebraic geometry to address problems or voltage sensitivity and economic dispatch in electrical power systems and application of differential equations along with methods of control theory to model Serotonin systems. He has published in Mathematics and Computer Education Journal, Proceedings of the National Power System Conference by the Indian Institute of Technology, and in the International Journal of Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences among others.

Just as engineering begins with mathematical concepts, Nag knows that the next crop of teachers begin as students. He recalls several BHSU students under his tutelage who are now becoming professors themselves. Nag is also currently mentoring as a research guide to a high school student taking courses for dual-credit as he prepares for college.

"There is a satisfaction from teaching the subject matter, and then having your students themselves become the professors," said Nag. "That's success to me, knowing that in your life you've interacted and worked with a student who will become a successful individual in their professional field or a brilliant teacher."
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