Mathematics Assistant Professor Brings Knowledge from Intercultural Experiences to the Classroom 

Assistant Professor Aritra Dutta, Ph.D. shares his passion for both teaching and learning with his math students. Read what Dutta had to say about his love for teaching, teaching advice and advice for students.  

Aritra Dutta, Ph.D. headshot

What do you enjoy about teaching? 

My overall view is that teaching and research are connected because teaching conveys knowledge, while research is discovering knowledge and conveying that discovery. I have practiced both professionally by being an active researcher and interacting with different people in conferences and workshops worldwide, and teaching/mentoring students in 4 vastly different countries (India, the United States, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Denmark). 

Some researchers I work with are world leaders in their research fields, and I learn many things from them whenever I interact. While teaching dedicated students, I learned with them.  

Once, I was told, “A student is a temporary student, but a teacher is a permanent student,” and I am mesmerized by the truthfulness of this simple statement; I experience it every day in my profession in two different forms. I believe teaching is an art, an art cannot be taught. Many believe, with a script you can teach somebody how to teach. But to me, it comes from inside. I enjoy teaching because it comes from the inside.   

Aritra Dutta, Ph.D. teaching behind a podium

What is your favorite teaching advice? 

Be yourself. In my experience, a student wants to see a teacher’s dedication, honesty and passion for the subject. A teacher’s role is to inspire enthusiasm. I am nobody to give advice, but the only suggestion I can give is to inspire the students and do that by not lowering the standard and making things easy, but by positively challenging the students. The students will feel that you genuinely care.  

How can students be successful in your class? 

I expect the students will come to my class with an open mind to learn and work hard. Deep thinking, followed by hard work, is the recipe for all successes in the world since the beginning of human evolution. My class is not outside that world. 

Learn more about the Department of Mathematics here.  

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