I have been working as a full-time researcher for over a decade, but teaching has always been my passion and a special professional/ personal interest that I hope to continue throughout my life. My teaching career started in South Asia; from 1997 to 1999, I taught architectural design studios, interior design studios, and design theory courses in Dhaka, Bangladesh. From 2002 to 2016, I have taught cross-listed undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in the Department of Planning and Community Development at Temple University, including Spatial Analysis Techniques/GIS (20 times), Advanced Techniques in GIS (nine times), Urban Form and Design (six times), Internet and Digital Technologies for Community Engagement (six times), Sustainable Food Systems Planning (one time), Spatial Planning with Digital Visualization (one time), and Sustainable Community Design and Development (one time). In addition to regular three-credit courses, I have also developed daylong non-credit GIS workshops for municipal officials, emergency managers, and other professionals. Most of my courses have incorporated multiple teaching formats and styles – lecture, lab, and studio. Currently I am teaching Geovisualization and Community Design & Site Planning at Rowan University’s Department of Geography and Environment.
This course explores geographic visualization (Geovisualization) and related cartographic and graphic design techniques. The course content is primarily focused on GIS-based spatial planning, design, analysis, and visualization techniques, and is relevant to urban/regional planning, community development, and related professions. Coursework is based on 2D and 3D data analysis and modeling, fly-thru, visualization, presentations, and spatial planning/design, using software such as ArcGIS, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS extensions (e.g, Spatial Analyst and 3D Analyst), Google Earth, Google SketchUp, Adobe CC Illustrator, and online publishing platform (e.g., WordPress). Students learn to present spatial data, analysis, and design through maps, apps, infographics, posters, sketches, reports, slides, and websites. The concepts of qualitative Geovisualization and other emerging tools and techniques are also introduced. Students are also exposed to the basic knowledge of using GIS and Geovisualization in site analysis, site design, public participatory GIS (PPGIS), and design charrettes.
Community Planning & Site Design
This course focuses on the design, arrangement, appearance, and functionality of building sites, neighborhoods, towns and cities, as well as the shaping and uses of safe public spaces. It introduces sustainable design principles, techniques, and practices related to urban design and green infrastructure. It provides an overview of factors involved in community design process and the tools available to planners and urban designers to effectuate the implementation of community vision. Students examine the many elements that contribute to the aesthetic and human quality of urban communities by analyzing the nature of buildings, materials, public spaces, streetscapes, landscapes, foodscapes, water, time, light, scale, and other factors related to the urban environment. Students explore design elements at both the macro and micro scales that make up both the public and private realms of the built environments of sustainable communities and learn to express those elements in workable urban design plans and implementation tools such as Zoning and Form Based Codes. The course is both theoretical as well as applied providing experience in developing plans and designs in a studio setting.
Sustainable Food Systems Planning
Planners are finally paying attention to the notion of food system planning which involves farm land preservation and environmental stewardship; economic development including distribution, processing, employment and globalization; and food security involving access to affordable, healthy foods. There are also issues of public health, food cultures, consumer spending patterns and education. This course will explore all of these concerns. Guest speakers and field trips will provide a focus on regionally based food systems initiatives. Course readings and lectures will address work that is underway elsewhere in North America. Students will develop an appreciation for the ways in which a food systems perspective can enrich community planning efforts and create more sustainable and vital places in which to live and flourish.
Sustainable Community Design and Development
The purpose of this course is to develop students’ understanding of the concept of sustainable development and how it can be applied to the design and development of communities. The course begins with an examination of the historical evolution of the concept of sustainable development. It reviews the discourse of theory and practice of sustainable development at the local, regional, and global level. Finally, it evaluates the impact of planners and designers on developing sustainable plans for community development.
Urban Form and Design
This course is people oriented and examines the many elements that contribute to the esthetic and human quality of communities of all sizes. The roles of unity, harmony, symbolism, and cultural values are explored. This course has both historical and current references. Students engage themselves in understanding human-environment dynamics and designing or revitalizing urban built environments, using distressed Philadelphia neighborhoods as potential sites. Students analyze the nature of public space, streetscape, landscaping, and other design elements of urban environment through free-hand and digital drawing exercises, design projects, poster presentations, field visits, and design charrettes.
Spatial Analysis Techniques/GIS
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) uses locational or geographic data to analyze spatial phenomena and problems. This course introduces the basic principles, techniques, and tools of GIS and its various real-world applications related to planning, community development, landscape architecture, and related professions. The lab exercises, exams, and projects emphasize spatial data collection, entry, storage, analysis, and output using ArcGIS software. Students learn basic cartographic and spatial analysis techniques using vector and raster data formats. The course will enable students to take the advanced GIS course in the Spring semester.
Sample Student Products
Advanced Topics and Techniques in GIS
The course content is heavily focused on GIS-based spatial planning, design, analysis, and visualization techniques and is relevant to planning, landscape architecture, and related professions. Throughout the semester, students address advanced spatial questions and analyze real-world planning and design issues using various ArcGIS extensions (i.e., Spatial Analyst, Network Analyst, and 3D Analyst), models, and third party software (i.e., CommunityViz and SketchUp). Students also learn how to use GeoDesign and GeoVisualization techniques in site design, visual analysis, future scenario development, resource management, and community engagement.
Internet and Digital Technologies for Community Engagement
This online course introduces emerging digital technologies that are directly influencing the planning and management of urban communities. Students gain hands-on experience with technologies that are used to develop and design plans and engage stakeholders in the decision-making process. Students study and analyze how local governments and nonprofit organizations use Internet-based tools and technologies, including web 2.0, social networks, blogs, video and photo features, databases, maps, apps, wikis, and surveys to engage their communities and transfer skills. Course contents also include e-Planning and e-Government, digital or cyber cities, digital divide, and the best practices for using social media on participatory planning and community advocacy, particularly in disinvested communities. Students learn about socially vulnerable and digitally disadvantaged populations that face some of the key barriers to digital equality and digital inclusion.
State University of New York at Buffalo
Environmental Design Workshop I: Urban Information and Analysis. Graduate Assistant (Teaching) in Spring 2000. Demonstrated GIS and LandCADD software. Instructor: Keith Lucas.
Ahsanullah University of Science & Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh
1999: Design Studio VII
1999: 4th-year Interior Design Studio
1998: Design Studio VI
1998: 3rd-year Design Theory
Spring 2008: 3-D Visualization Using ArcGIS and SketchUp. 1-day workshop. (Temple University noncredit program)
Spring 2008: GIS for Local Government Officials. 2-day workshop. (Temple University noncredit program)