MIT Physics News Spotlight
MIT physics receives 2012 aps award for improving undergraduate physics education
One of four institutions recognized for improving undergraduate physics education.
American Physical Society
December 5, 2012
Professor John Belcher (second from left), one of the principal investigators for the
TEAL Program, interacts with students in TEAL lab. Photo Credit: Donna Coveney/MIT
College Park, MD – The Committee on Education (COE) of the American Physical Society (APS) announces the recipients of the 2012 Award for Improving Undergraduate Physics Education. The award recognizes physics departments and/or undergraduate-serving programs in physics that support best practices in education at the undergraduate level.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
MIT has engineered an impressive transformation of its undergraduate physics curriculum, which currently produces the largest number of bachelor's degrees in physics annually of any university in the United States. The Department has more than doubled the number of majors since 2001, accompanied by a focus on diversity that has resulted in a department in which more than a third of graduating seniors are women. These changes have been accomplished through a focused commitment to creating a program that is flexible, welcoming and respectful of all students, with advising, mentoring and other programs to support students at all levels. The Department has been a consistent innovator in physics education with an emphasis on quality, including the innovative Technology Enabled Active Learning (TEAL) approach to teaching introductory physics to most MIT freshmen. This dual focus on outstanding educational practices and a student-focused departmental culture has resulted in an exceptionally strong undergraduate physics program.
The American Physical Society (www.aps.org) is a non-profit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy and international activities. APS represents over 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, MD (Headquarters), Ridge, NY, and Washington, DC.