Faces on Campus – Ram Hariharan

What influenced your decision to join the faculty at Northeastern University-Seattle? 

A multitude of factors influenced my decision to join the faculty at Northeastern University – Seattle. First and foremost, I was really happy with the way the school pitched this teaching gig to me. I could teach whatever (such as data science) I wanted in whichever manner, provided I was bringing the utmost value to students. I work best when I am given a free hand. Second, teaching is my passion and I find it hard to turn down an opportunity to positively impact dozens of students.

What aspects of your program do you find the most valuable? 

I am coaching students who have already completed a basic data science course at Northeastern. They are now keen to learn how to apply that knowledge to solve real-world data projects, and get ready to launch into a career. I primarily focus on this aspect and work on fine-tuning their skill sets. It’s been so fulfilling to see them getting progressively more excited about data science and Artificial Intelligence!

What impact do you hope to have on the students taking your classes? 

One of my teaching philosophies is to build aspiration in students. I want them to aspire to use Data Science and Artificial Intelligence in ever more creative ways to make things better. In the short term, I also hope to make them feel more confident at data science interviews. In every class, I strive to convey my second teaching philosophy for the vast majority: there are no good and bad students; there are just good and bad teachers! If someone in my class feels disengaged from the material, I try harder or a different approach to teaching that concept.

What do you like most about the Seattle campus? 

The campus is in the middle of everything. I love the fantastic restaurants, cafés, and of course the modern Amazon buildings! For me, there’s always a kind of vibrant energy at the Seattle campus. This inspires me to dream big every time I visit Seattle. A lot of the excitement, I am sure, spills over and trickles down to my students. Also, the staff and faculty that I have interacted with have been super-nice to me. It’s been a pleasure getting to know them!


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