Sarah Harris, Ph.D.
Department: Computer Science
Visiting time at TU Darmstadt: October 2015 to August 2016
Teaching and research area: Embedded systems, computer architecture
Home University:University of Nevada, Las Vegas, United States of America
Most important academic stations: Assistant Professor, Harvey Mudd College (2004-2009), Associate Professor (Harvey Mudd College), 2004-2014, Associate Professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (2014-2015)
Teaching offered in WiSe 2015/16
1. Why should students of TU Darmstadt attend your lectures and/or seminars?
My teaching philosophy is that the best way to learn something is to do it. In that light, I aim to engage students in their own learning – even through practice exercises and problem solving during the lecture. Learning should be fun – and challenging too. (And digital design is a lot of fun all by itself anyway.)
2. Why did you choose TU Darmstadt for your KIVA Visiting Professorship?
I lived in Austria (many years ago now) and I always look forward to coming back to the region. TU Darmstadt is one of the top engineering universities in Germany, with active research in my areas of interest. My husband is also collaborating with Dr. Professor Andre Seyfarth in the Locomotion Laboratory. Coincidentally, the Informatik Department happened to be using my book in this (Digitaltechnik) and a subsequent course – which was exciting to hear.
3. At TU Darmstadt and especially in the context of KIVA interdisciplinarity has a high importance. Which are the connections between your area of teaching and research to other thematic fields and disciplines?
One of my current research projects uses biological principles to design control algorithms for robots. I've always particularly been drawn to the intersection of biology and computers. It's a great combination of two amazing machines – one that we built and one that we are.
4. What is your perfect balance to a stressful working day?
I love to come home and play with my three wild little boys. On the rare occasion, I enjoy playing the piano or listening to beautiful music. Here is a soulful piece played by James Rhodes that recently helped a few muscles relax: https://soundcloud.com/jrhodespianist/gluck-melody-from-orfeo