"The best way to teach is to have no philosophy"
    (Prof. Richard P. Feynman - 1965 Physics Nobel laureate)




Research Supervision Responsibilities and Teaching



Research supervision responsibilities



Teaching in the current semester (Semester 2 - 2014/2015):



Special lecture on heterogeneous catalysis at Department of Chemistry, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia (16 - 20 November 2009):



Teaching in the previous semester (since 2003/2004):



Teaching Philosophy


After obtained my PhD degree in 1998, I was a postdoctoral researcher for 4.5 years at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and Hokkaido University, Japan. In 2003, I was hired by Ibnu Sina Institute for Fundamental Science Studies, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia as lecturer. As a researcher I published more than 100 papers in refereed journals and more than 100 papers and abstracts in seminars, symposiums and conferences. I have chosen to teach because of the profound impact that teaching can have on others' lives. I once read somewhere, that teaching and research are multiplicative, and not additive, factors in one's stature as a scientist. This means that you are a zero as a scientist if you cannot teach. Of course, it also means that you are a zero as a scientist if you do not do research. While working as postdoctoral researcher, I took every opportunity to teach in informal "training" sessions. I find no greater job satisfaction than in assisting others to learn. My motivation to teach comes from a desire to help others and see students' excitement as they learn new concepts. I believe teaching is my way to make a positive difference in the world one student at a time. As a young lecturer, I recognize that I have a lot to learn about good pedagogy. In fact, I hope to be a lifelong learner in how to be a better lecturer. I began this process by being a participant in "Teaching Certificate for Higher Education" courses at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. In my point of view, teaching is finding ways to present the material so as to engage the very best students. But teaching is also finding ways to reach the less talented students. One of the wonderful things about Universiti Teknologi Malaysia is the wonderful diversity of its students. This certainly applies to race and religion. In the class, I tell my students repeatedly that memorizing the definition of a concept is worse than worthless because it limits understanding. They can only see the concept from one perspective. I explain the concept in several ways, using various visual aids and various analogies. I tell the students, "don't write anything in your notes until you see it." I try to create an image of the concept in their mind that they can see as they would see a three dimensional picture. Just as you can see a picture from any angle and it looks different yet the same, students using multiple learning tools can see the concept from multiple perspectives allowing them to apply their understanding of the concept to various problems. This, I believe, is approaching the ultimate goal of teaching: to teach students to learn, to understand, and to think. I believe that students must have an interest in a subject to learn it well and a primary source for that interest comes from the enthusiasm of the lecturer. I believe a lecturer's passion for the subject is contagious if it is channeled in the right way. Enthusiasm can provide the motivation for students to learn the material. Since I worked at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia as a lecturer, I am supervising or have supervised several postgraduate and undergraduate students. One of my BSc student, Mr. Amir Faizal Naidu Abdul Manan, graduated with 1st class honour. His thesis was awarded as the best thesis of the year 2004 by Persatuan Sains Analisis Malaysia (ANALIS). Part of his work was published in prestigious journal in the field, the Journal of Hazardous Materials. Mr. Amir was an M.Sc. student at Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, the University of London, England. Based on this experience, it is realized that, clearly, teaching is a lot more than the time spend formally standing in front of a classroom. 


In the next short period of time, I need to improve my teaching and write material for my classroom, where suitable material was lacking, and evaluating the performance of my classes to determine whether my teaching is effective or not. My long term goal is to make efficient and effective teaching by using technology. I need to improve my teaching through short courses, conferences, and to read more books and journals on education.



Teaching Style


Hadi Nur's lectures are typically organized as follows: students get handouts in advance, which contain most - but certainly not all - of the information. These handouts will help students to concentrate in the lecture on what is taught. A lecture is delivered containing all the information required to know, and you are expected to take extensive notes on your handouts. Your revising should be directed to understanding the principles and reproducing the material in the handouts. I am always willing to make an appointment in case you want to have large bits of the lectures re-explained to you. Please email, SMS or ask me after lectures.