MAPS Faculty Teaching Awards 2017
20 July 2017
Each year the
Mathematical and Physical Sciences Faculty recognises excellence in
teaching by staff and teaching assistants at all levels within the
faculty through the Faculty Teaching Awards.
We are delighted to announce this year's winners:
- Teaching Staff: Christian Boehmer (Mathematics)
- Teaching Staff: Elinor Bailey (Physics and Astronomy)
- Industrial Training: Raul Leal (Space and Climate Physics)
- Postgraduate Teaching Assistant: Belgin Seymenoglu (Mathematics)
- Postgraduate Teaching Assistant: Oscar Williams (Chemistry)
Many congratulations to them on delivering a first-class learning experience for our students.
Christian Boehmer is a Reader in UCL Mathematics. He teaches Applied Mathematics 1, a large first year module for undergraduate students. He also teaches Mathematics for General Relativity to third and fourth year students and Cosmology, a course for fourth year students. He is particularly keen on emphasising the beautiful interplay between mathematics and physics when teaching General Relativity.
He says: "I am really grateful for the consistent positive feedback given to me by students. When teaching Applied Mathematics, I start with a voting example where I show that different ways of counting votes produces different outcomes. This is a nice way to get students' attention and demonstrates the importance of mathematics in real world applications. Most of my research is in General Relativity and Cosmology, I hope that my teaching shows a great passion for these fields. Last year I published an undergraduate textbook which I use for these two courses, students seem to be very happy about having a textbook which closely follows their courses."
Elinor Bailey is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Physics department. She is interested in lecturing techniques which move away from the standard lecture format to increase engagement in large classes.
She says: "I have been trying to help the students to learn during the lectures, rather than just copying down notes and doing the learning later (often in the revision period...). So that students can properly follow the material we go very slowly, allowing for lots of questions, and I don't ask students to listen and read or write at the same time (I always struggled with this!). Giving out full notes at the start of the course allows us to use the lectures to discuss difficult concepts with lots of pair work, quizzes and active learning."
Raul is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Technology Management Group of the Department of Space and Climate Physics. Raul leads the group's customised industrial training programmes, and as part of this has developed within the last three years a strong and deepening relationship with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) to provide training in Systems Engineering. Over two-hundred participants have already been through a five-day masters-level training course delivered at JLR's premises in Warwickshire, and we are now developing a shorter programme to deliver to 1000 JLR engineering staff per year. The nomination for Raul was supported by JLR senior stakeholders including Engineering Manager Parham Vasaiely and Head of Technical Excellence José Lopes, who said 'Raul's excellent understanding of the subject combined with his passion for learning and people have made this course and the relationship with JLR successful.
He says: "I work at the boundary between Industry and Academia and it has been a very interesting experience to understand how industry is changing, in particular the automotive industry which is going through an acute revolution, and how we can be there to support their work in a very challenging environment. It has required flexibility without compromising our professional standards and focussing on adding mutual value to the engagement."
"I am deeply honoured to teach here at UCL, and to receive this award. It is always rewarding to share my passion for maths with the many students I teach, as well as to discuss ideas with the other lecturers in the Department of Maths. And you never know when something funny is going to happen in the classroom!"
"Winning this award has made me very happy. I would like to thank the students for being willing to learn, as well as the Department of Chemistry for giving me the opportunity to pass on knowledge. To be a good scientist, I think it is important to be able to pass on the science that you practice, so to me this award is a huge honour!"