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Teaching Prize

The Physics Student Council’s Teaching Prize: Laureate 2015

Prof. Dr. Michael Rohlfing
Prof. Dr. Michael Rohlfing (3rd f. l.) with Student Council members Simon May, Axel Buß and Friedrich Bach (f. l.)
© WWU/Fachschaft Physik

Fitting the theme of the International year of light, the Physics Student Council has awarded in Prof. Dr. Michael Rohlfing that lecturer who has been able to familiarize students with electromagnetism, optics and the special theory of relativity, or in other words: the physics of light.

The Teaching Prize committee had to fight with a lot of light at the top and was forced to decide among very good evaluations in specialized lectures as well as very good evaluation results in large lectures. The committee decided to award the Teaching Prize for outstanding performance in a large introductory lecture. The students clearly stressed that the lecture’s structure was very clear and that the explanations were helpful. Thus, Student Council member Friedrich Bach comments: “The Teaching Prize committee was surprised that so many students rated the lecture so highly, even though it is one of the most difficult lectures in all of their studies for many students.”

The Student Council members also mentioned that the laureates from previous years stood out with excellent evaluation results once again. Axel Buß concludes: “The Teaching Prize is thus not only a tribute to past efforts, but also an incentive to maintain a high level of teaching.”

Prof. Dr. Michael Rohlfing is a professor at the Institute of Solid State Theory at the Department of Physics since 2013 and deals with the electronic structure of condensed-matter systems (solids, surfaces, molecules…) with a special focus on excited electronic states and on computer-assisted ab-initio methods (density functional theory and many-particle perturbation theory) in order to achieve a parameter-free determination of spectral and dynamical properties.

On the background: The Physics Student Council’s Teaching Prize is being awarded for the third time this year. The Teaching Prize committee, consisting of three Student Council members – Friedrich Bach, Axel Buß and Simon May – was tasked once again to analyze the results of the course evaluation from the past two semesters. However, only lectures exhibiting at least a minimum number of participants were considered in order to achieve a certain comparability. With these criteria, we were able to include almost all mandatory lectures and the introductory lectures for the specializations. The Teaching Prize committee was very pleased to see how well most courses were rated overall, indicating that teaching quality is already at a high level. Still, with the Teaching Prize, the Physics Student Council would like to motivate all lecturers to continuously develop and improve teaching at the Department of Physics.

Further information on the Physics Student Council’s Teaching Prize