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UGPN Workshop, April 8, 2016


NCSU-Hebei Univ Summer School, August 21-24,2017



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Dr. Zhang's Teaching Philosophy

            My educational thrust is to bridge the gaps between university education and real-world practice.  My long-term educational goal is to develop a vigorous interdisciplinary and reality-based educational program that is integrated with research and diversity.  Such an interdisciplinary and reality-based education becomes imperative and increasingly important, since (1) emerging research areas (e.g., air quality forecasting, global climate change) and industries (e.g., biotechnology) have crossed the boundaries of traditional disciplines and require integrated multidisciplinary knowledge, and (2) applied aspects of sciences and technology necessitate practical and hands-on training activities for future scientists, engineers and managers.  I believe: (1) it is very important to attract young students, especially women and minorities, into the research fields to learn necessary skills needed for their careers at an early stage; (2) formal classroom teaching and informal teaching through advising, mentoring, seminars and research activities are equally important; (3) a healthy education program should encourage both moral and intellectual growth of students.  As a professor and a mentor at NCSU, I am working closely with students to create a healthy and welcome teaching/learning climate and to maximize opportunities for their moral and intellectual growth.

Existing Courses (MEA/CE 779, MEA 593J/793J, MEA 493M/593I)
"This is a very nice and beneficial course. Through the course, I have learnt not only the fundamental parts of air quality, but also the advanced and hot topics in the area of air quality!"
-Kaishan Zhang, PhD Candidate, Civil Engineering
" This course emphasizes on the advanced/hot topics and latest progresses of the formation, growth, dynamics, and thermal dynamics of air pollutants. It also provides the fundamental knowledge of atmospheric chemistry and air quality models. It’s very useful for my related research. "
- Ping Liu, PhD Candidate, MEAS
"This course not only provides the fundamental knowledge of principles and applications of air quality models, but also provides lab section to run the different modules and models. It’s very helpful to have the whole idea of the air quality models and have the experience to write and modify small programs and run some popular models such as CMAQ."
-Ping Liu, PhD Candidate, MEAS
"This is the course I have ever taken in which I have learned most and practiced most. In this course I have improved my coding ability and familiarity with linux as well as my understanding of air quality modeling."
-Xiaoming Hu, PhD Candidate, MEAS

    "This course is an excellent foundation in air quality modeling. Students learned the fundamentals of atmospheric structure, thermodynamics, and urban, regional, and stratospheric air chemistry.
     Students used a remote high performance computing cluster to learn how to run numerical solvers for differential equations, air chemistry modules, and a complete air chemistry forecast model.  Model output was viewed using PAVE, a software application that can create "5-D" time-series maps of pollutant species distribution across the country. Practice in modifying Fortran scripts enabled all the students to come up to speed in Fortran programming.
     For the final project, the students were given a choice among more than 30 topics to choose from.  The students were given a full paragraph of information about each topic with a suggested starting point.  Students did not have to struggle to come up with topics which might turn out to be not meaningful.
     Because of the instructors extensive research in this field, students learned about the most recent developments in air quality modeling as well as air quality requirements and regulation.
     The instructor’s preparation and presentation in class is the best I have seen. "

-Bob Melvin , MS Student, MEAS
"This class was real experience. Its concepts are really unique and one gets hands on experience on almost every phase of air quality modeling. Labs are really great as they provide chance to look into actual modeling world, which was not case in any other class I took. I think this class should be offered every year so that students can get maximum benefit from it. A must for everyone working in air quality field"
-Bajwa Kanwardeep, PhD Candidate, MEAS
" I thoroughly enjoyed taking Dr. Zhang’s Introduction to Air Quality Modeling class this past semester. It was a rigorous and challenging course that presented the past, present and future of the field. Several of the hottest topics were covered, which gave us students a good idea of what is going on right now. The class was well taught and is an excellent precursor to working in the field of air quality.
I learned lots of valuable information about atmospheric chemistry. I learned a lot about the history of air quality modeling that I previously did not know. Most importantly I learned the current status of the field and what are the important issues that are being studied right now. Also I learned a lot about various air quality models and was able to gain some minimal experience with some of them, which potentially may help me obtain a job later on."
- Curtis Scott , MS Student, MEAS
"MEA593J (Air Quality Modeling) was an excellent class. The text deals with the fundamentals of both gaseous and aerosol modeling and the class focuses both on modeling in a laboratory environment as well as providing academic background (lectures) for atmospheric chemistry in general. Dr Zhang made sure that everyone in the class would learn hands on about modeling and the programming involved, no matter the skill level of the student. To my knowledge, there is no other course offered at NC State that provides this type of experience. Since air quality forecasting in the "real" world depends so heavily on modeling, this is a course that should definitely be added permanently to the MEA curriculum."

- Jessica Blunden , PhD Candidate, MEAS

"Air Quality Modeling (MEA 593 J) was an invaluable class in my education in the atmospheric sciences. While Advanced Air Quality did spend a single lecture going over the basics of Air Quality Modeling, the advantages of understanding the basic code of gas-phase models, aerosol models, and other models has already proved extremely helpful. Not only was the history of air quality modeling and the models being used today covered, the new recent innovations in air quality modeling were also covered. The class was very comprehensive, and a vast amount of information was covered and covered well." "The lab section provided a great opportunity for the entire class. Regardless of previous experience in programming, Dr. Zhang assisted each student in working through the different models, understanding them, and then actually running them. Overall, this was an excellent course, and I would recommend this class to anyone in the field of air quality."

- by Stephen Goetz, MS Student, MEAS
  • MEA 493M/593I:  Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry

    "In this class (MEA593 I) I built up many common sense and concepts of atmospheric chemistry, which is absolutely necessary for entering the field of air quality modeling."

    -by Xiaoming Hu, PhD Candidate, MEAS

    "Dr. Zhang's Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry is a useful course that provides a comprehensive survey of a number of topics in the field of atmospheric chemistry and air quality. It includes a diverse range of topics, including structure of the atmosphere, chemical processes affecting the atmosphere and air quality, local and global pollution problems, and air quality legislation. Since air quality is such a multi-disciplinary field, it is helpful to have an introductory course like this to give students an overview of the related subject matter."

    - by Chris Bender, MS Student, MEAS

    "MEA 593 I "Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry" was an excellent and rigorous introduction of the important topics in atmospheric chemistry research, including urban pollution, stratospheric ozone dynamics, and aerosol effects on air quality. I believe that this course is critical to the success of students beginning their studies in this field. The focus of MEAS 593 on the fundamentals of atmospheric chemistry and air quality will allow for a more in-depth treatment of advanced topics in the subsequent classes by providing a comprehensive view of the important and core topics."

    -by David J. Williams                
    Research Physical Scientist       
    USEPA Environmental Sciences Division

Future Courses

  • MEA 200 Level Course:  Air Quality:  From Urban Pollution to Global Climate Change