Teaching Excellence Awards

 Year Awarded: 2005

Faculty Award winner

Costas Efthimiou

 College of Arts and Sciences


Physics and Mathematics have garnered reputations as extremely difficult scientific disciplines, accessible only to students with innate natural talent. In fact, although these subjects can be more abstract than others, an enthusiastic and devoted teacher can instill the excitement and awe of understanding of how the physical universe works through the powerful language of mathematics—an excitement that can energize students to approach physics and mathematics with unsurpassed dedication driven by their own curiosity. This is what leads to scholastic success, regardless of the difficulty of the subject matter.

Therefore, I feel that the most important goals for a teacher are:

  • To expose the students to new ideas, impart new skills and generate excitement, motivating them to master the material.
  • To illustrate new ideas and develop new skills by analyzing as many interesting examples and applications as possible.
  • To communicate the new ideas with simple but exciting demonstrations that make a permanent mental imprint to which students can subsequently refer to harness the new ideas fully.
  • To give the students a framework for following up on these new ideas and skills, either on their own or in subsequent course work.