Noelle Selin awards Arnab Sarker in front of an IDSS banner

Arnab Sarker recognized with IDSS Teaching Assistant Award

April 11, 2024

Arnab Sarker, a doctoral student in the IDSS Social and Engineering Systems (SES) program, has been given the IDSS Teaching Assistant Award for Summer and Fall 2023. Sarker served as a TA for online courses in the IDSS MicroMasters Program in Statistics and Data Science (SDS).

The IDSS Teaching Assistant Award recognizes the hard work and dedication of exceptional TAs who go above and beyond for their students, assist in curriculum design, and nurture the growing and diverse IDSS community. Winners receive a $500 honorarium.

“Arnab has continuously demonstrated a passionate commitment to the development of a rigorous online version of a corresponding residential course, to make this curriculum accessible to worldwide learners,” said Assistant Director of Education of the MicroMasters SDS Karene Chu and IDSS
Senior Program Manager for the MicroMasters SDS Susana Kevorkova in their nomination.

Arnab Sarker’s excellence in teaching is also apparent in his work with SES Econ Camp, an orientation he developed and has led for several years to help first and second year SES students refresh their skills and prepare for coursework in Microeconomics and Causal Inference. Students commented on his accessible lectures, clear communication, helpful examples and supplemental materials, and above all, his mentorship.

Sarker’s research interests are broadly in social networks and statistics, with a current focus on understanding the impact of higher-order interactions in social systems. Working with IDSS and Civil and Environmental Engineering professor Ali Jadbabie, Sarker developed a new way of measuring homophily, a sociological concept for how people tend to pair with others who share their beliefs, borrowing tools from algebraic topology, a subfield in mathematics typically applied in physics.

Prior to MIT, Sarker graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S.E. in Networked and Social Systems Engineering and an M.S.E. in Data Science.

MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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