Volkan Kursun


Associate Professor




Courses taught at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


Fall 2008 to now


Total number of courses taught: 36


Total number of students taught: 2260


Average number of students per semester: 103


Instructor overall rating: 83/100



EESM 5000: CMOS VLSI Design


Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, and Fall 2018


Quoted [as they are] from the Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011,  Fall 2012,  Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, and Fall 2018 end-of-the-semester student feedback questionnaires:


“This is the best CMOS VLSI design course that I took.”


“The professor knows his material like the back of his hand. He is very knowledgeable and is able to present the knowledge in a clear and succinct manner. He is genuinely concerned about his student’s success in the course and takes extra measures to ensure that student receive the course content in full. The course content is relevant and pertinent to today’s industry and thus it feels like a course that has good value for future research and industry.”


Very good introduction for a very important topic in the industry. The professor is extremely clear on all explanations and always emphasizes the important practical issues.”


“The teacher is very interesting


“The professor has solid knowledge on Electronic Engineering. His pedagogical skills are also high.”


Perfect course that lectures and course materials have been well prepared and useful in my learning. The best notes (with colors) I have ever studied.”


Professor Kursun’s method of teaching is EXTREMELY effective. He has wonderfully structured the course, in a much better way than the textbook by grouping together relevant sections. The exams and projects are well designed to test basic and advanced concepts. Moreover Prof. Kursun very promptly replies to emails which is very helpful.”


“Professor is very passionate, the course is well-designed and inspiring, and the educational method is very open as well.”


“The professor brings his enthusiasm into the class. Moreover, his knowledge in CMOS VLSI design is really strong which is pretty impressive.”


“The professor is very humorous. The native English accent and the lively teaching style make all … very clear.”


“The professor is nice and he made the course interesting, easier to learn.”


“It is very good course.”




Interesting class.”




“Professor Kursun is very good at inspiring students and teaching.”


“Professor is very nice and warm-heart.”


“Professor teaches very well and illustrates knowledge clearly.”


“The course is very impressive and what the instructor taught is practical to our need of applying for a job.”


“The instructor is good and take the effort to explain the content of the course and make it easy to understand.”


“This course is very interesting, teacher is very good.”


Very good!


“This course really helped me a lot in understanding CMOS, I had taken similar courses in my bachelor’s degree but none of my instructors made me learn that much.”


“It is perfect.”




“Personally speaking, this course is perfect.”


All are good.”


“Prof. Kursun’s sense of humor makes the whole class active. His description and metaphor make difficult points easy to understand.”


“Prof. Kursun is enthusiastic about teaching and he speaks clearly, explains questions clearly. I like his enthusiasm.”


“The VLSI design is interesting. We learn a lot about digital world and this course is very helpful.


“The course is clear.”


“The course is useful and the professor is nice.”


“The instructor has professional skills to attract students’ attention in class.”


“The lecture is fun. And Prof. Kursun always wants to teach more. He is patient and dedicated.”


“The professor is very enthusiastic.”


“The teacher can explain everything in detail and clearly.”


“The teacher has passion and you never get bored when having lessons.”


“The teacher is good and nice.”


“The teacher of this course is very good and responsive.”


“This course helped me to understand the basics of cmos design and placed the foundation to think and work like a designer.”


Very informative about digital design. Course project was great…”


“Detail is very clear.”


Easy to understand the course.”




Interesting and attractive.”


Good lecture design and materials.”


“I’ve learned a lot.”


“The course syllabus helps students raise the fundamental concepts in the area of CMOS VLSI design which is a very hot topic currently, and our country needs many experts in this area to develop chips, so this course is important. On the other hand, the project in this course is a big deal and the students can consolidate the knowledge they have learned through the project.”


“The lecturer has provided a clear explanation of VLSI design.”




“The instructor is very responsible and funny, which attracts me to be engaged with what he said.”


“Detailed learning materials. Experienced instructor. Knowledge about both the principles and actual industry approach have been explained.”


“Everything has been taught very clearly and easy to understand.”


“The instructor is very responsible and deliver a through lecture helps me to understand CMOS IC design.”


“The project helped me learn a lot of things.”


“It really help us learn how CMOS circuits are designed and fabricated. The teacher was passionate in giving lectures and had a very fast mind.”


“Prof. Kursun is an expert in CMOS VLSI design”


“Prof. KURSUN is one of the most humorous and interesting professor that I have met in HKUST. I really love his teaching style.”


“Prof. KURSUN is very humorous man, which makes his lectures quite interesting. All the lectures are logically organized and helpful. Prof. KURSUN has a nice habit of repeating the important knowledge again and over again, which gives me a better understanding. The lab assignments and the project really benefit us for mastering knowledge practically.”


“Professor in this class is very well organized. It is easy to understand him.”


“The explanation by the instructor was great. And he really created interest in the subject. Thanks to him. I learned a lot.”


“Volkan has got the ability to illustrate boring theories in an interesting way. Vivid examples are given which are very helpful for understanding.”


“Lecture notes are clear, explanations are clear.”


Very good.”


“it is very useful to the students like me whose bachelor degree is not electronic engineering. Because this course starts from basic. And the instructor is of great humor which makes his class interesting.”


“Kursun is very good teacher with enthusiasm.”


“Our professor has clearly demonstrated the definitions of terminologies and he is very humorous to create an interesting atmosphere in the class. I think this course is actually useful in our daily life.”


“Prof. KURSUN introduced everything clearly


“Prof. Kursun is really interesting, he ignites my interest to learn digital VLSI more.”


“Teacher is responsible. PPT is well designed, very clear.”


“The lecturer was very clear and methodical. Overall a very good learning experience.”


“The lesson is very interesting and I am glad to spend my time on it.”


“The logic in the course is very clear. The instructor knows what he is expressing and what he is going to express.”


“The ppt of this course is very clear.”


Theory and practical are combined seamlessly.”


“This course is very useful to me and I enjoy it… the instructor has done a very nice job.”


“It is as good as it can get.”


Very clear.”


Nice content and good teacher


“The instructor is humorous, I enjoy the lecture time very much.”


“I can learn some useful digital IC knowledge. And the teacher is very good. Teacher can explain the knowledge point very clearly.”


“It has great learning value for someone like me who knew nothing about VLSI in the past.”


“It stimulated my interest in this subject and encouraged me to think.”


“It’s very useful and practical! I like this course and this teacher!”


Practical, fundamental, and interesting.”


“The course has been well designed to help me learn.”


“The course is organized well and the instructor can always make us focus on the lecture.”


“The course lecture was clear and in detail, it’s easy to follow his mind.”


“The good sense of humor of Prof. KURSUN and his friendly instructional style helps make this challenging subject less difficult to understand.”


“The instructor is very confident.”


“The instructor teaches in detail, so are the notes... The instructor is quite humorous, good man!


“The knowledge I learned in this course is very useful... I understand the concept deeply.”


“The lecturer is very happy to explain everything in details and respond to questions through email very fast.”


“The overall structure of the course is very clear.”


“I could feel that this course is well designed and taught. I got much from it.”


“It’s very comprehensive and I’ve gained good understanding after finishing this course both theoretically and practically.”


“Relatively easy to understand; humorous and passionate instructor.”


Teacher is funny enough to make the lecture attractive.”


“The course note is very clear and teacher made us enjoy it.”


“Very good!”


Useful and interesting.”


Very practical and useful knowledge.”


“I think the course helped me a lot. And our instructor is very funny who makes me want to learn.”


“Very useful.”


“I can learn a lot from this course.”


Instructor is humorous, he can stimulate student’s interest.


“Material is well prepared and easy to understand.”


“The atmosphere is enjoyable.”


“The instructor is good at teaching.”


“The way professor teaches the concepts is crystal clear and very interesting.”


“Very practical.”


“It’s very useful.”


“Contents are lively delivered.”


“Extended my knowledge.”


“Good professor. Good class arrangement.”


Practical project, well organized contents, enthusiastic instructor.


“Students have a chance to work with real-life software and develop their own circuit as project. The course gives ... students a good insight into CMOS technology.”


“On the whole the course was very arousing, interesting, and enjoyable a pleasure to be part of it and to learn from it, it’s an experience that is worth keeping and talking about.”


“The instructor is very smart and passionate and he stimulates my interest for the course. Besides, he prepared very carefully for the class and I’ve learned more than I expected.”


“Good interaction, interesting industrial experience.


“The lecture notes are prepared very well and I think this course is pretty good for finding a good job.


“The professor is very responsible, the course is really very helpful for me.”


Very good course.”


Well structured, easy to follow.”


“1. Good professor with explanatory concepts in the lecture. 2. Hand notes with simplistic approach useful for learning. 3. Good examples given during teaching with a better view of current technological advancements in the subject. 4. Better clarity of industrial trends and research.”


“I’m totally new of this course, but professor taught us patiently and gave us lots of information about CMOS VLSI design. I really learned a lot from this class.”


“Prof. Kursun is very nice and humorous, and it is not boring at his class at all. From 5000, I learned lots of basic and useful knowledge about CMOS VLSI design.


“Prof. Kursun … is always energetic in class. His optimistic and active manner in class leaves us good expression.”


“A lot of useful things related to practical application.”


“The good thing about CMOS course is that it clearly outlines the technologies which are being employed in the present. It gives in depth knowledge of the circuit families.”


“The instructor introduces knowledge patiently, so it is easy to understand the course materials.”


“The instructor is knowledgeable.”


“The lectures are very useful.”


“Professor is humorous and authoritative.”


Every single part of the course was clearly delivered. The notes are very detailed. Professor is really willing to help.”


“The instructor is always energetic.”


“It is practical as a fundamental introduction to CMOS technology and design.”


“It’s well designed and I can learn a lot by the course.”


“Kursun is a good professor, and the course give a broad view about CMOS, and know how to implement the knowledge to make a simple processor.”


“His teaching style is really interesting.”


“Professor is willing to spend time on students question. Extensive explanation of lecture notes… Often relates subjects in the notes to real chips / other areas of IC design, helps student to realize the value of the learning topic.”


“The course is very inspiring and encourages students to seek the most practical skills in the coming working days.”


“The details are displayed well.”


The instructor is really nice and I can really learn something useful from him.”


“The instructor is very humorous and has good teaching skills. The logic of the lecture is very clear.”


“The instructor is very passionate, motivating us to learn.”


“The project really helps us to understand the course, and the feedback from professor is timely.”


“The study material and the structure of the course are well organized. And Prof Kursun is very responsible and interesting, which can drive me to learn more about this course.”


“The teacher is very responsible.”


“The teacher, Prof. Kursun is humorous person and his lecture is interesting. I can see pride on his face when he talks about being a chip designer. So I am the most interested in this course.”


“We can learn a lot from this course.”


“Knowledge is practical.”


“Learning atmosphere is very good and the project is very useful.”


“Prof. Kursun helps us to build the interest of the class, he is very interesting.”


“The instructor is energetic in the lecture and always makes us concentrate in the lecture with his singular sense of humor.”


“The class is very interesting.”


Very clear in details.”


Very useful.”


Both the professor and the course are the best.


Fall 2009 instructor overall rating: 86.4/100


Fall 2010 instructor overall rating: 83.0/100


Fall 2011 instructor overall rating: 91.0/100


Fall 2012 instructor overall rating: 92.9/100


Fall 2015 — L1 instructor overall rating: 90.4/100


Fall 2015 — L2 instructor overall rating: 87.8/100


Fall 2016 — L1 instructor overall rating: 93.9/100


Fall 2016 — L2 instructor overall rating: 92.7/100


Fall 2017 — L1 instructor overall rating: 97.6/100


Fall 2017 — L2 instructor overall rating: 93.1/100


Fall 2018 — L1 instructor overall rating: 92.3/100


Fall 2018 — L2 instructor overall rating: 91.7/100



EESM 5020: Digital VLSI System Design and Design Automation


Spring 2014 and Spring 2015


Quoted [as they are] from the Spring 2014 and Spring 2015 end-of-the-semester student feedback questionnaires:


Excellent Prof. and very humorous.”


“Instructor is very professional.”


“The Professor has solid knowledge and background. All the materials have been well prepared even more detailed than some textbooks.”


“The professor is obviously an expert in his field of study and all his lessons and examples show that.”


“This course provides a great learning opportunity in depth of VLSI Design. Moreover, it was good to learn Verilog, VHDL, and get experience in Cadence Encounter and Synopsys tool. This wonderful experience gave us good understanding of design flow. Overall, I enjoyed the course.”


“Help me learn more about digital circuits which is my career goal in the future.”


Practical skill for IC design industry.”


Good for IC knowledge.”


“The course well designedReally good at teaching and the concepts were clear…”


“The instructor masters his topic… The notes are well prepared and detailed.”


“There is a lot of practical problems in homework.”


“The professor hold professional attitude and make well preparation for his class. Also instructor have a lot of experience in related area.”


Spring 2014 instructor overall rating: 85/100


Spring 2015 instructor overall rating: 74/100



ELEC 6910A: Advanced Topics on CMOS Integrated Circuits


Fall 2009, Fall 2010, and Fall 2011


Quoted [as they are] from the Fall 2009, Fall 2010, and Fall 2011 end-of-the-semester student feedback questionnaires:


The professor is excellent. It’s nice to be in a class where the professor enjoys teaching!


“The lecturer is very coherent and easy to follow. The standard of English is excellent compared to many other courses.”


Very helpful.”


“This course is clear to understand even for people with no backgrounds. Everything is explained clearly.”


Fall 2009 instructor overall rating: 76.9/100


Fall 2010 instructor overall rating: 83.3/100


Fall 2011 instructor overall rating: 87.5/100



ELEC 101: Basic Electronics


Fall 2008


Quoted [as they are] from the Fall 2008 end-of-the-semester student feedback questionnaire:


“Clear slides with responsive instructor.”


“Lecture notes show clearly how to solve the problems in this subject.”


“Prof. Kursun is teaching in a very good and interesting way.”



ELEC 2300: Computer Organization


Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, and Spring 2019


Quoted [as they are] from the Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, and Spring 2019 end-of-the-semester student feedback questionnaires:


Excellent teaching, frankly the best teaching out of my courses on the entire semester, Professor Volkan KURSUN is easily one of the best instructors in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department...his great teaching and efforts to make an enjoyable learning experience which is not only enjoyable but also of great quality.”


Awesome course, best computer organization course ever. Industry adoptions together with technical details and principles, really inspires people to learn.”


“I personally like Prof. KURSUN’s teaching very much. His PowerPoint slides are very exhaustive. Also, he explains everything very clearly and makes sure that we all understand the material. He can create a good class atmosphere. He is very willing to answer all our questions.”


“The course is taught in a very comprehensive way. Moreover, the professor most of the time would point out the contemporary trend and compare it to the knowledge that we learnt in the class. I think this is important for it gives us an idea of the trend of the market so that we have points to start with in exploring our career path. I believe this is a very informative class, and I would suggest people to sit the class (even) if he or she isn’t ECE or CPEG student for this class provides a good background knowledge about computer architecture.”


“The professor was extremely engaging.”


“The professor is very enthusiastic with teaching and he pushes us to learn more and understand more. This course fixed up my understanding towards the whole computer system and will definitely help a lot in the future.”


“I just want to say that Professor Kursun’s lecture notes are well-prepared and very informative. Prof. Kursun is a passionate tutor.”


“I personally like the course. It is very informative.”


“The content of this course is really helpful for me to relate CS with ECE. It is like a bridge connecting both majors. The professor is really good at teaching and can explain things clearly and fluently. This is the only course that I won’t choose to skip this semester.”


“The Instructor is really really good. He talked and taught us very clearly and answered every single question in detail. His English is easy to listen and he prepared the lecture slides very well.”


Fun labs and excellent structure.”


Clear and detailed presentation.”


“Professor Kursun is charming in the lecture… He explains .. in detail.”


“The instructor explains things very clearly. The workload is suitable. The framework of the course is clear.”


“Gives a good overview of how computers work.”


Good teaching.”


“It covered a wide range of contents in one semester time, which I will say is a good valued course.”


“Prof. Kursun always manages to present the course content in a structured and organized way, making it very easy to follow…”


“The content is interesting. Prof is passionate about the things he teaches, making good learning atmosphere…”


“The instructor put many efforts in making sure we are on track and understand thoroughly all the materials in the course.”


“The instructor is very responsible and cares about every thing about the course content. He always answers the questions raised by students in a very patient way and every time I ask him, I can get more than what I have asked for. In all, I guess this instructor is loved by his students every year.”


“This course can really open up your mind on what a computer really does and how a single machine can work with range of tasks! Moreover, I like the part of using Apple and Intel as examples and these examples really interest me.”


Good teaching.”


Spring 2016 instructor overall rating: 77.5/100


Spring 2017 instructor overall rating: 85.9/100


Spring 2018 instructor overall rating: 75.8/100


Spring 2019 instructor overall rating: 84.3/100



ELEC 4410: CMOS VLSI Design


Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, and Fall 2018


Quoted [as they are] from the Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011,  Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013,  Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, and Fall 2018 end-of-the-semester student feedback questionnaires:


“The course is very very useful!!! It completes my picture of the hardware world. The instructor is also very patient to repeat the important concepts again and again, I really appreciate it. He also tried very hard to engage the students in the lectures… Also I love this course because it is recorded! It gives me a lot of flexibility in learning. I really hope they can record all courses in the future…”


“Very conversational lecture makes learning dynamic and effective... Highlights of recent technological development rather than just following the curriculum. Cares about each of the students in the class.”


Vivid. Professor is humorous.”


“The professor is very nice.”


“It’s very good.”


“The lecturer is great and clear in his delivery, relevance and background is very well explained keeping up interest in the course.”


“The professor is very nice.”


“The material is interesting.”


Practical… Video online is good also.”


Well executed course.”


Easy to understand.”


Clear understanding about CMOS/VLSI.”




Professor is very passionate about the matter and gives out industry insights of the matter.”


“The course is extremely important for IC Design. I have the privilege to have this course despite being a postgraduate. The materials are extremely good.”


“The professor also explained recent industry trend clearly, which was very interesting and made me focus more. New concepts like velocity saturation, punchthrough, hot carrier effect, even though these may not appear in the exams, it was great to learn and hear these concepts.”


“The slides are very well made and easy to understand.”


I like this course.”


“Professor presents his notes very well and clear.”


“The professor is an expert of CMOS.”


Detailed contents, patient instructor, nice experiments. Learned a lot.


“Lectures provide many example problems to illustrate course concepts. Labs provide practical experience in circuit design.”


“The content is useful.”


“The lecture notes are very informative, covers the required concepts.”


“The presentation is very clear.”


Detailed knowledge about CMOS design.”


Well studying environment. Instructor gives clear explanation of the class material.”


Everything is learnt in a practical way with explanation in lecture. The project was given sufficient time to finish and improve.”


“The content is useful, the learning experience is fruitful.”


“...useful for students who are planning to work in the electronic industry.”


“The instructor teaches in a both informative and interesting way.”


“The instructor is really clear in explaining all necessary concepts.”


“The instructor is an expert in the field.


“I like this course because it is very different from all the other courses, which are general. One good thing is that this course mainly focuses on the technology of CMOS where usually most of the other courses do not do that (they include a lot of unrelated and unexpected materials).”


“The professor is very clear in every point that is essential.”




“The instructor makes the lectures very interesting! Lots of important points are repeated, so it is easy to follow.”


“Instructor explain the concepts clearly in lecture materials. We can easily get the main points.”


Interesting materials.”


“The lecturer explains the concepts very clear.”


Love it.”


“The labs and project are very useful for us to learn the basic skills of cadence.”


“The professor explained everything clearly and in an interesting way.”


“There are plenty of circuit and layout examples. Prof. Kursun has a deep knowledge in the field and knows how to emphasize what is really important... His communication skills really help us understand in a clear and thoughtful way. Apart from all of this, Prof. Kursun is very experienced and could teach us several tricks regarding circuit design...”


Well designed for my learning, includes labs that are essential to my understanding of the course and has a great professor and some amazing TAs. Professor obviously has a very diverse and in depth knowledge of the course, being able to answer questions very well and explain concepts using many real industry examples. A professor’s ability to pass industry knowledge to the students in very important for them when the students are looking for jobs.”


“This course taught by Prof. Kursun was the best lecture ever since I was born... The explanation in the lecture was very clear. On top of that the lab session including the TAs, materials was very well designed. The project was also very helpful to understand CMOS IC designs especially the layout. I would like to give the score 100 out of 100 to this course.”


One of the best instructors that I ever met. Clear English, enough examples, and funny.”


Spring 2010 instructor overall rating: 70.6/100


Spring 2011 instructor overall rating: 72.0/100


Spring 2012 instructor overall rating: 77.7/100


Fall 2012 instructor overall rating: 73.8/100


Spring 2013 instructor overall rating: 84.2/100


Fall 2013 instructor overall rating: 85.2/100


Spring 2014 instructor overall rating: 71.7/100


Fall 2014 instructor overall rating: 88.8/100


Spring 2015 instructor overall rating: 86.8/100


Fall 2015 instructor overall rating: 90/100


Fall 2016 instructor overall rating: 86.3/100


Fall 2017 instructor overall rating: 88.3/100


Fall 2018 instructor overall rating: 85.7/100



Courses taught at the University of Wisconsin — Madison


Fall 2004 to Spring 2008



ECE 551: Digital System Design and Synthesis


Spring 2005 and Spring 2008



ECE 555: Digital Circuits and Components

Spring 2006, Fall 2006, and Fall 2007



ECE 755: VLSI Systems Design

Fall 2004, Fall 2005, Spring 2007, and Spring 2008


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