Elizabeth City State University
Dr. Jharna Dana Sengupta is a Professor of Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics of Elizabeth City State University. After receiving bachelors and master's degrees in mathematics from the University of Kalyabi in India, Sengupta received her M.A. and Ph.D. in mathematics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and she taught one year as Assistant Professor at Fordham University, NY, then she joined ECSU in 1987.
Professor Jharna Sengupta came to ECSU fresh from graduate school with intention to continue her research and quality teaching. Upon arrival to E CSU, Jharna Sengupta was awarded two NSF research grants. With the help of these grants, she published two research papers in referred journals.
In her teaching Jharna Sengupta has used methods of engaging student in active learning, paying individual attention to students and group involvement. She took active role in introducing teaching mathematics using technology at ECSU. To support her endeavor, she was awarded NSF grant for the project "A Computer Laboratory for Teaching Mathematics and Honors Project". This project supported the establishment of a microcomputer Laboratory that was used in mathematics courses for calculus through honors projects. The overall objective was to encourage students to develop an experimental attitude toward mathematics by using the computer as a tool for strengthening intuitive insight, suggesting conjectures, and illuminating the theory and application of mathematics, and finally encourage students to pursue graduate study. With the help of this grant the mathematics laboratory with ten PC work station was established initially. Now this laboratory holds twenty desktops equipped with mathematical software like MATHMTICA and MATLAB every day in the classroom. Through a U.S. Department of Education grant she developed a laboratory manual for Calculus I and II and used this manual in teaching calculus courses.
One of her students who recently received Ph.D. Mathematics recognizes how valuable Professor Sengupta's linear algebra course was in his graduate study. He wrote, "Dr. Sengupta's linear algebra class taught me the basics that I needed in order to succeed in the graduate linear algebra course at NC State. Dr. Sengupta's class also laid part of the foundation for my career in mathematics. I went on to study more linear algebra in graduate school and it had a hand in my research for my dissertation."
According to a colleague and her former student, "Her teaching methods and styles were influential to me during my observations in the class that I began to adapt these qualities into my own style of teaching."
In addition to her teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses in mathematics, Professor Sengupta involves students in research. She has supervised a number of students in research projects in her seminar courses, reflecting a strong emphasis that her students not only learn existing information but also develop scholarly habits that enable them to extend knowledge in their fields.