Tom Bohman Wins MCS Teaching Award-Mellon College of Science - Carnegie Mellon University

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tom Bohman Wins MCS Teaching Award

photo of Tom BohmanTom Bohman, a professor in the Mathematical Sciences Department, is this year’s winner of the Mellon College of Science’s (MCS) Julius Ashkin Award, which is presented to a faculty member who has shown unusual devotion and effectiveness in teaching undergraduate students. He was recognized at the university’s Celebration of Teaching ceremony on April 26 and at the MCS annual meeting on May 2.

Bohman, who has taught a wide variety of undergraduate courses during his 13 years with MCS, was praised by his nominators for bringing world-leading research into the classroom in an accessible way. They noted that he challenges and engages students while being approachable and caring.

“Tom’s classes are widely regarded by students to be among the most challenging at Carnegie Mellon,” said John Mackey, teaching professor and associate department head of Mathematical Sciences. “He is able to consistently and constructively push our brightest math majors to the boundary of their abilities, while also making his classes appealing and beneficial to a broad range of students.”

Bohman’s students couldn’t agree more. His nomination was supported by letters from current and former students, many of whom point to their class with Bohman as their favorite course of the semester, and sometimes their favorite class of all time. One student wrote, “Despite the very abstract nature of all the topics covered in this [Discrete Math] class, he explained everything surprisingly well. The problem sets were well designed and solving them really helped me to learn the concepts that I thought were confusing initially.”

Perhaps one of Bohman’s former student sums it up best: “Bohman = Pure Awesomeness.”

The Julius Ashkin Award is presented to a faculty member who has shown unusual devotion and effectiveness in teaching undergraduate students.