Penn State Great Valley Welcomes New Information Science Professor
MALVERN, Pa. – Bridging the gap between industry and academia is a key part of Penn State Great Valley’s mission, and the faculty who do so are invaluable to student growth. Penn State Great Valley recently added one of these faculty members: Dusan Ramljak, Assistant Professor of Information Science.
Born and raised in present-day Serbia, formerly Yugoslavia, Ramljak has held various positions in the information technology field, including at US Steel and the Hydrometeorological Institute of Serbia and the Institute of Systems and Robotics. in Portugal, and taught undergraduate and high school. course in Serbia.
Ramljak came to the United States in 2010 to pursue his PhD in Computer and Information Science at Temple University, where he studied a wide range of subjects including machine learning, neural networks, AI, social media analysis, optimization, etc. During his doctoral studies, he worked on NSF Industry-Academia collaborative projects with HPE, Dell, Huawei, Salesforce and other companies. After completing his doctorate, Ramljak researched at Temple and taught at Northwestern University and West Texas A&M before joining Penn State Great Valley.
Given his familiarity with the Philadelphia area, the location of the campus was a draw for Ramljak. In fact, he was even familiar with the corporate park where Penn State Great Valley is located – as a doctoral student he took part in a hackathon in the Microsoft building across the road.
“Thinking of the region, Microsoft [being nearby] and Penn State Great Valley and having graduate students who are more into what I’m going to teach, that was tempting, ”Ramljak said. “And then the link with the faculty. … This little campus in this huge school, it’s great.
Ramljak’s passion for teaching began at a young age, thanks to his maternal grandfather and father, both teachers. At 5, Ramljak was giving private lessons to friends in his neighborhood, and as he got older his teaching horizons broadened.
It is not just the teaching of information sciences that intrigued Ramljak – for over 20 years he owned his own business in Serbia, teaching dance and aikido, a form of martial arts that aims to redirect the momentum of opponents. So, do dance and martial arts influence Ramljak’s academic teaching philosophy? Absolutely, he said.
“This physical side of balance that I have established, and I try to explain all of this to the students, that they need to establish the balance,” Ramljak said. “Also, the discipline and the routine that come from all sides, martial arts, dance and industry. The industry is very routine so I try to establish the routine in the classroom.
Inclusiveness is another goal for Ramljak in the classroom, a practice reminiscent of his days as a small business owner in the former Yugoslavia when he opened his dance and martial arts facilities to people. with disabilities at a time when this was largely avoided.
Now, in his academic teaching, Ramljak fosters an inclusive environment to help students succeed in and out of the classroom. He will be teaching the Data Driven Decision Making course in the Fall II semester.
“Every person matters and everyone should be treated the same,” Ramljak said. “It’s important and it’s part of my way of being and of my way of teaching. I try to understand where the student is coming from and to help him.