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Graduate Student Eldridge Alcantara Receives
College of Engineering Award for Teaching

People volunteer for many things, but not usually to teach a core undergraduate class. Unless, of course, you’re EE Ph.D. student Eldridge Alcantara.

For volunteering to teach EE 235, a class on continuous time linear systems, Alcantara has been honored with the College of Engineering Graduate Student Award for Teaching. He will receive the award at the College of Engineering Awards Ceremony on May 28.

“I was surprised and thrilled! I knew I had been nominated, but I didn't expect to actually get the award,” Alcantara said. “It is a huge honor!”

Alcantara taught EE 235 in Spring 2014 as a predoctoral lecturer. According to Alcantara’s Ph.D. advisor, Professor Les Atlas, the students were thrilled with his teaching.

“It is unusual for a graduate student to take on this kind of responsibility for this large of a class,” Atlas said. “What makes this above our usual expectations is that Eldridge did this out of personal motivation.”

When it comes to teaching, Alcantara’s volunteer work doesn’t stop there. He also worked as a volunteer tutor for EE 235 for three quarters, as head TA for EE 235 for one quarter and as a Lead Teaching Assistant for the EE Department in Fall 2014. He is currently a volunteer tutor this Spring quarter for EE 341.

Alcantara’s research focus area is underwater signal processing, which may have applications in underwater acoustics, microphone arrays on smart phones in cars and in other acoustic applications, such as medical ultrasound. His Ph.D. is fully supported by a Fellowship called SMART (Science Mathematics and Research for Transformation) Scholarship for Service Program, sponsored by the U.S. Navy. When he’s not on campus working on his Ph.D., Alcantara is an Electronics Engineer at SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific. He works under the Advanced Research Branch for the Maritime Surveillance Systems Division, in San Diego.

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