Two to receive Phi Beta Kappa teaching awards

May 27, 2010, 12:56 p.m.

The Princeton chapter of Phi Beta Kappa will honor Lyman Page, the Henry De Wolf Smyth Professor of Physics, and Gilbert Rozman, the Musgrave Professor of Sociology, with its annual awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching.

The awards will be presented at the Phi Beta Kappa induction ceremony, which will be held at 9 a.m. Monday, May 31, in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall, prior to the Class Day ceremony.

Princeton students elected to the academic honor society have selected recipients of the teaching prize annually since 2004. The students defined the criteria for excellence in teaching as: skill in instruction; commitment to working with and building relationships with undergraduates; and ability to spark students' intellectual interests. Each winner is presented with a plaque.

, who is also associate chair of the Department of Physics, has been a Princeton faculty member since 1990, teaching courses in thermal physics while also focusing his research on observational cosmology.

He is one of the original investigators on the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe satellite experiment, a collaboration between NASA and several institutions, including Princeton, that gathers images of the thermal afterglow of the universe's first moments. He is also director of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) project, an international collaboration that seeks to study how the universe began, what it is made of and how it evolved to its current state.

In his recommendation, senior Tom Kneeland wrote that Page "succeeds in explaining concepts in ways that leave you sitting there simultaneously stunned by the simplicity and depth of the information he's just shared with you," and that "his enthusiasm spills over into his interactions with students."

Kneeland added, "All of these observations, while wonderful aspects of his personality, pale in comparison to his true gift: mentoring experimental work. Far more important than the ability to impart knowledge is the ability to impart excitement, creativity and real-world problem-solving skills."

Rozman has been a Princeton faculty member since 1970. He currently teaches two undergraduate courses on international sociology and a graduate course on comparative research. His research concentrates on China, Japan, Russia and South Korea, including comparisons, bilateral relations and regionalism.

Rozman is a former acting chair for the Department of Sociology and former chair for the Committee on International Experience in Undergraduate Education. He has received numerous awards and fellowships for his work, including a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Senior Karen Tay, in her recommendation, wrote, "Professor Rozman holds his students to extremely high standards, and ensures that each one has his personal support to meet these. He proved his dedication to nurturing each student by making a point to ask for my thoughts after each precept. We also exchanged e-mails on opinions that I had trouble verbalizing during precept."

Tay added that Rozman is "the go-to person" for student groups who are interested in discussing Asia-related issues in settings ranging from dinner conversations to conferences. "Professor Rozman has had a broad impact on the student body," she wrote.