News & Events

Stephan Haas Receives Award

The General Education Teaching Award was presented to Professor Stephan Haas at a holiday reception on December 4th, at the Davidson Conference Center. The award is presented annually by the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences to recognize faculty contributions to the General Education Program during the preceding Fall through Spring academic year. Award winners are selected based on the student comments on evaluation forms, course syllabi and evidence of rigorous grading. Prior General Education Award recipients from the Department of Physics and Astronomy include Gene Bickers, Werner Däppen, Nick Warner and Ed Rhodes.

Professor Haas taught Physics 100, an introductory course designed specifically for non-science majors who have little or no background in science or mathematics. One of the primary goals of the course is to introduce the students to the most important and useful concepts of physics. Another is to expose the class to new ways of thinking about things that arouse curiosity.

"Teaching a large group of students who all have such varied science backgrounds is quite challenging," Dr. Haas said. "Some students begin with negative feelings toward physics, while others may consider pursuing it. My goal is to find a balance that will keep the group as a whole involved - and interested."

Comments on student evaluation forms demonstrate the high regard students have for Professor. They include; "He was extremely entertaining and made the class fun. He always took the time to explain hard concepts and came up with interesting demonstrations to apply physics concepts." "He is probably the best GE professor I have ever had." "I think that Stephan Haas is the best teacher I've had at this school." "He made this potentially dreadful subject quite fun." "He was incredibly enthusiastic and engaging about the subject. He is able to make students who don't like science be interested in it." "If all professors were as smart and interesting as Prof. Haas, USC students would be a lot better off."

The Department joins with the College in congratulating Professor Haas. His exceptional instructional skills, indefatigable enthusiasm and ability to inspire students unite to make him an outstanding professor.

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