Foto: Wilhelm Vold

Professor of the month – Gaute Hansen

Gaute Hansen is a true hero of every student who has him as professor. He is passionate and enthusiastic about his subject, and he makes sure that you will understand and learn it to get an “A” on the exam!

Text: Wilhelm Vold

Every student is familiar with mornings at university; they can be harsh. You need at least 10 cups of coffee to stay awake at certain lectures. Gaute’s lectures, however, are definitely not the case! This amazing man has been lecturing hopeless students since the 90s and is still going strong. His strong voice keeps you awake throughout the entire lecture; his lively explanations, even to complex parts of his subjects, will not leave you clueless at the end of his lectures.

Students’ experiences show that the effect of the learning process decreases dramatically when the enormous amounts of information, which must be absorbed in a short amount of time, is a dry desert of terminology and information. Only a few would not be able to relate to the daunting feeling of reading a foreign language when you start with something completely new, with tons of details, such as atrocious biological cycles and processes! Even though, Gaute makes any class interesting and comprehensible – seldom without sneaking in some humour here and there, to hold students focused.

Utropia decided to pay a visit to Gaute Hansen to ask some questions and get to know him a little better. Upon entering his office, football flags were observed.

How did you end up in an academic profession?

I have always been interested in natural science and my father was biochemist. So, to start with, I was thinking about studying astrophysics, and I did start. However, after a while I found out that physics became too mathematical, too abstract. Therefore, I changed to chemistry and biochemistry and I liked it a lot! These subjects felt more logical to me.

How many students do you teach?

I teach many students; those who study medicine and odontology, biomedicine, biotechnology and nutrition. So, in total, it is around 220 students.

Was it difficult for you to become a professor?

It was a bit difficult to come to this academic profession, but I have an advice for young students: do take lecturing tasks when you have the possibility. I have taken this kind of tasks since I started studying my doctor degree. University then gave me more of these tasks, and after a while they had no choice but to employ me.

You were lecturing students since 90s. How do you manage to hold the enthusiasm high all this time?

I have to say that sometimes I’m not looking forward to start on a new semester. Not because of the lectures, I really like them, but because of the unbelievable amount of work. Nevertheless, it is always you, the students, that are to be thanked for my ongoing enthusiasm. As long as it is just a few students that are interested in learning – preferably more than one – something triggers in me and I am continuing on doing it with passion. So, my enthusiasm is something that will never stop being there because it will always be awaken by students.

Let us move away from the past. What is your hobby nowadays?

My biggest hobby is of course my two children. But, except that, I like to hold myself physically active – I play football.
A little piece of advice to students – do some sports occasionally. It will sound a bit paradoxical but after a good workout your brain will work much better.

Utropia is very grateful to Gaute for finding some time to answer our questions, and we hope he will continue to make students’ days easier with his fantastic work.