Carnegie Mellon University
April 12, 2018

Teaching Awards for Professors Garoff and Collins

Jocelyn Duffy
Steve Garoff in action during lecture

Professor Stephen Garoff has been honored for his dedication to teaching with the Mellon College of Science 2018 Richard Moore Award. This award is presented every year to a faculty member in the College who is making substantial and sustained contributions to the educational mission of the college, particularly when those contributions have extended over a substantial portion of their academic career.

Dr. Garoff has been with CMU Physics for over three decades, and in that time has been instrumental in shaping both the department and MCS as a whole. He advocated for interdisciplinary cooperation and research between the science departments, helping to implement courses such as Physics I for Engineering Students and Physics II for Biological Science and Chemistry Majors. He has striven to design curricula that emphasize real-world applications of classroom material and prepare students to succeed after graduation.

"The Physics Department is dedicated to providing students with education and guidance in and out of the classroom," wrote Physics Department Head Scott Dodelson when nominating Garoff for the award. "More than anyone else, Steve deserves the credit for this."

Dr. Garoff has been unrelentingly dedicated to the education of MCS students. He served as advisor to dozens of graduate students in various fields across the university and supervised over one hundred undergraduate research projects. He developed and instituted our graduate student orientation program and graduate student visitation weekend – one of the first among physics departments in the country, and now one of the department's most important recruiting tools on the yearly calendar. During his tenure as Department Head, when he could have chosen to abstain from teaching, he instead insisted on teaching a course that had never been offered before.


In the physics classroom ...

students having fun in Prof Kunal Ghosh's class

Left: While physics topics are often demanding, Professor Kunal Ghosh, the Assistant Dept. Head for Undergraduate Affairs at CMU Physics, demonstrates regularly in his teaching that physics can also be fun.

Right: Astrophysicist Prof. Tiziana Di Matteo teaches Mathematical Methods of Physics in the undergraduate curriculum.

Tiziana Di Matteo in the classroom

Recent Teaching Awards for CMU Physics

• Kunal Ghosh, Outstanding Academic Advising and Mentoring, 2016
• Leonard Kisslinger, Mark Gelfand Award, 2009
• Curtis Meyer, William H. and Frances S. Ryan Award, 2008

• Stephen Garoff, Richard Moore Award, 2018
• Hael Collins, Julius Ashkin Award, 2018
• David Anderson, Julius Ashkin Award, 2017
• Helmut Vogel, Richard Moore Award, 2015
• Robert Swendsen, Julius Ashkin Award, 2014
• Gregg Franklin, Richard Moore Award, 2013