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Picture of the Week

LUX dark matter detector

Detecting dark matter

The kind of matter and energy we can see and touch – whether it is in the form of atoms and molecules, or heat and light, only forms a tiny proportion of the content of the Universe, only about 5%. Over a quarter is dark matter, which is totally invisible but whose gravitational attraction can be detected; while over two thirds is dark energy, a force that pushes the Universe to expand ever faster.
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Faculty Teaching Award

The joint winners of the MAPS Faculty Teaching Award for 2011 are Professor Ted Johnson (Department of Mathematics) and Dr Phil Jones (Department of Physics and Astronomy).

Many congratulations to Prof. Johnson and Dr Jones for displaying an extremely high standard of excellent teaching. 

Prof. Dima Vassiliev, Head of the Department of Mathematics, noted that:

"Professor Ted Johnson is a most experienced and effective lecturer who has lectured successfully at all levels. His student feedback is always excellent. The traditional way of teaching mathematics is with chalk and board and Ted is a master of this traditional approach. Nevertheless, hard as it is introducing "innovation" in the teaching of mathematics, Ted manages to do it. Ted's research involves dealing with engineers and participating in experiments, and he tries to give our students a flavour of this real-life side of fluid dynamics. He has organised students' visits to the UCL Department of Civil Engineering so as to give them the chance to use the appropriate experimental facilities, he has sent some students to the Netherlands and to France to use the experimental facilities there, he shows films of his experiments in his lectures etc. Such a symbiosis of theory and experiment is unique in the teaching of mathematics and is truly innovative."

Prof. Jonathan Tennyson, Head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, noted that:

"Dr Phil Jones was nominated by Physics and Astronomy undergraduate students for his inspirational teaching of the third year Lasers and Modern Optics Course. This is a well-established course and Phil made a conscious effort to make the delivery of this course both more exciting and relevant. Using extensive on-line resources such as microblogging, RSS feeds to optical journals and web links; coupled with the practical handling of components and tours of UCL experimental laser laboratories, Phil succeeded in linking the course material to the practical use of lasers. In particular, to the activities of UCL research groups currently using lasers, and facilitating student interest in laser applications, beyond the material covered in the lectures."

The Faculty received several nominations for this award, which was introduced as a means of recognising the outstanding provision of teaching within the faculty. 

The other nominees, all worthy of special mention, were:

- Dr Chiara Ambrosio (Science and Technology Studies)

- Dr Wendy Brown (Chemistry)

- Dr Yiannis Petridis (Mathematics)

- Dr Isidoros Strouthos (Mathematics)

Additional Faculty awards were awarded to Mr Sami Mikhail (Department of Earth Sciences) in recognition of his work as a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant and Dr Mark Roberts (Department of Mathematics) in recognition of his excellence as a member of support staff who provides excellent teaching support to students.

Prof. Dima Vassiliev, Head of the Department of Mathematics, noted that:

"Dr Mark Roberts is the Departmental Tutor within the Department of Mathematics. This means that he looks after and provides pastoral care to around 600 undergraduates, many of whom are from overseas. To put it simply, the UCL Department of Mathematics could not function without him. In addition to his major administrative role of Departmental Tutor, Mark carries a substantial teaching load. His Algebra 2 lectures for first year undergraduates are always well received by students, as are his final year Galois Theory lectures. Mark regularly gets the best scores in our quantitative assessment of lectures."

Page last modified on 02 aug 11 14:10