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Past Winners of the Teacher of the Week

Leo Piilonen


The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) recognizes Leo Piilonen, professor of Physics, for his pursuit of active learning strategies, such as peer instruction, student-response systems, and on-the-spot problem solving.

Piilonen encourages all of his students to participate actively in his introductory physics (2305 and 2306) lectures through the use of peer instruction, audience-response systems ("clickers"), on-the-spot problem-solving and other proven pedagogies that have been developed in the field of Physics Education Research. Through these in-class exercises, Piilonen encourages each student to develop his or her conceptual understanding of the material, to learn to find connections among apparently disparate phenomena, and to confront and dispense with their misconceptions about the physical world.

Piilonen received the College of Science Certificate of Teaching Excellence in 2010 and the university's William E. Wine Achievement Award in 2011. Dr. Beate Schmittmann, chair of the Physics Department, remarks that "students have characterized him as an exceptional, dedicated, and challenging teacher who is immensely generous with his time and very creative in making complex topics accessible."


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Teacher of the Week

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A list of the past winners is available.