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Four honored with 2018 School of Science teaching prizes

Moitra, O’Gorman, Perez, and Minicozzi were nominated by students and colleagues for demonstrating excellence in instruction.
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This year's winners are (clockwise from top left) William Minicozzi, Ankur Moitra, Paul O’Gorman, and Kerstin Perez
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This year's winners are (clockwise from top left) William Minicozzi, Ankur Moitra, Paul O’Gorman, and Kerstin Perez
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Image courtesy of the School of Science

The School of Science recently announced the winners of its 2018 Teaching Prizes for Graduate and Undergraduate Education. The prizes are awarded annually to School of Science faculty members who demonstrate excellence in teaching. Winners are chosen from nominations by students and colleagues.

Ankur Moitra, the Rockwell International Career Development Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, was awarded the prize for graduate education, for course 18.S996/18.409 (Algorithmic Aspects of Machine Learning), which he designed. Notes from this class have been turned into a monograph, which has already been used in courses across the country. Nominators said Moitra distinguishes himself as an inspirational, caring, and captivating teacher.

Paul O'Gorman, an associate professor in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, was also awarded the prize for graduate education, for his teaching of 12.810 (Atmospheric Dynamics). Nominators noted that his class was well-organized with clear expectations set, and they also lauded his humorous, engaging, and passionate teaching style.

Kerstin Perez, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics, was awarded the prize for undergraduate education, for her outstanding mentoring of undergraduate students, specifically women and students of color. In addition, nominators noted Perez consistently receives top marks for her classes, 8.13 (Experimental Physics) and 8.02 (Electricity and Magnetism).

William Minicozzi, the Singer Professor of Mathematics, was also awarded the prize for undergraduate education, for his teaching of 18.02 (Multivariable Calculus), one of the General Institute Requirement subjects. Students consistently praise his clarity, ability to engage the class, and sense of humor. Nominators also note Minicozzi's ability to treat difficult topics at an appropriate pace in his upper-level undergraduate courses.

The School of Science welcomes Teaching Prize nominations for its faculty during the spring semester each academic year.

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