Skip over navigation

Frederik J. Simons - Teaching

Frederik Simons at the blackboard

I like teaching! I strive for clarity and precision in teaching the fundamentals of a subject rather than attempting encyclopaedic completeness of coverage. I will choose How? over What? I prefer developing the material on the blackboard, allowing for questions, tangents, and interaction with the students, over the static and linear nature of showing slides. Of course, sometimes my teaching is quite literally hands-on, and I use digital projection when necessary — one student evaluation had it that "Frederik's powerpoints were like geoscience wisdom distilled into pill-size portions". Still, in this day of online everything, students embrace a return to the blackboard as a great invention—as in "Frederik is an amazing teacher. I like his instructional method and the lectures. His special way of presenting using blackboard simulated my engagement and independent thinking." ! Above all, I try to give students what I think they need most: challenging problems, enthusiasm for the subject, individual attention. From the Student Course Guide: "Brilliant guy, high expectations. Will work with you if you ask for help. Very available". Or yet: "Nobody I've had here has put this much effort into getting everybody on board."

Chronological List of Classes Offered

Fall 2017 GEO422 and FRSXXX
Spring 2017 GEO371 and FRS124
Fall 2015 State of the Earth: Shifts & Cycles
Princeton University, FRS135 | Feedback
2007-2015 Data, Models & Uncertainty in the Natural Sciences
Princeton University, GEO422 | Feedback
2008-2016 Global Geophysics | Feedback
Princeton University, GEO320/GEO371/PHY371/GEO700
2008-2015 Fundamentals of the Geosciences
Princeton University, GEO506
2011-2013 Earth's Environments, Ancient Civilizations | Feedback
Princeton University, FRS187 | 2013 Grade distribution
Princeton University, FRS187 | 2012 Grade distribution
Princeton University, FRS171 | 2011 Grade distribution
(with Adam Maloof)
2012 Origin and Evolution of the Continental Lithosphere
Princeton University, GEO 556 | Feedback
(with Blair Schoene)
2007-2009 Earth's Changing Surface & Climate | Feedback
Princeton University, FRS145 | 2009 Grade distribution
Princeton University, FRS145 | 2008 Grade distribution
Princeton University, FRS149 | 2007 Grade distribution
(with Adam Maloof and Bob Phinney)
2005-2006 Global Seismology
University College London, C479/GEOL3031
2005-2006 Earth & Planetary System Science Seminar
University College London, GEOL4003/GEOLGG03
(with Lidunka Vočadlo)
2003&2006  Active Geological Processes (Field Instructor)
Princeton University, FRS149
2006 The Deep Earth (with David Dobson)
University College London, GEOLGG06
2005 Global Tectonics (with Gerald Roberts)
Birkbeck College London
2004 Earthquakes, Volcanoes & Other Hazards (Lab Instructor)
Princeton University, GEO210
2002 Introductory Seismology (Guest Lecturer)
Princeton University, GEO424
2001 Advanced Placement Physics (Private Tutor)
Cambridge Rindge and Latin School
2001 Mathematics (Instructor)
Boston Math Circle, Boston, MA
1996-2001 Essentials of Geophysics (Teaching Assistant)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 12.201-12.501