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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, 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." ! But 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 2015 GEO422 will be offered
2008-2013 Global Geophysics | Feedback
Princeton University, GEO320/GEO371/PHY371
2011-2013 Earth's Environments, Ancient Civilizations | Feedback
Princeton University, FRS187 | 2012 Grade distribution
Princeton University, FRS171 | 2011 Grade distribution
(with Adam Maloof)
2012-2014 Fundamentals of the Geosciences II
Princeton University, GEO506 (with Jeroen Tromp)
2007-2012 Data, Models & Uncertainty in the Natural Sciences
Princeton University, GEO422 | Feedback
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
(with Adam Maloof)
Princeton University, FRS145 | 2008 Grade distribution
Princeton University, FRS149 | 2007 Grade distribution
(with Adam Maloof and Bob Phinney)
2008 Fundamentals of the Geosciences II
Princeton University, GEO506 (with Linc Hollister)
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