Canadian Association of Physicists ASSOCIATION CANADIENNE DES


2002 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching

will be awarded to


"Astrophysics teaching and research offer so many surprises and pleasures but few have taken me by such pleasant surprise as learning of the CAP Teaching Medal. I'm not sure I deserve this honour, but it's wonderful that the CAP places such a high premium on teaching and outreach."

Dr. Jaymie MatthewsOttawa, March 10, 2003 - The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that the 2002 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching is awarded to Dr, Jaymie Matthews, University of British Columbia, for his passion for teaching along with the enthusiasm he passes on to his students.

Dr. Jaymie Matthews is an exceptional teacher, who has a driving passion to educate people at all levels about his favourite subject. His undergraduate classes are successful and popular, partly through careful preparation and the use of multi-media and computer tools, but largely through his hard work and enthusiasm. Spreading the word about science in general, and astrophysics in particular, suffuses his whole life, as evidenced by the enormous number of voluntary educational activities in which he engages on a regular basis.

Dr. Matthews has been at UBC since 1988, where he has taught extensively and received a Faculty of Science Excellence in Teaching Award. He has specialised in a first year astronomy course for science students, which he built up from scratch including the development of a laboratory component so that the class is now always overflowing. His lively lectures attract students from across the Campus.

However, where Dr. Matthews truly excels is in the breadth and sheer quantity of his involvement in extra-curricular, continuing education and outreach activities. The full scope is hard to describe, since this is a nearly daily activity for him. But examples include guest lectures, inter-disciplinary courses, supervision of high school students, job-shadowing, school visits, teachers' conferences, evening classes, summer schools, telescope tours, public lectures, radio and TV appearances, and newspaper interviews. He takes part in almost every imaginable educational activity and does so with an unceasing enthusiasm. Grasping opportunities to excite people about the wonders of the physics of our Universe is his passion, and it is this passion which makes him such an outstanding teacher.

Jaymie Matthews received his B.Sc. from the University of Toronto in 1979. This was followed by an M.Sc. (1982) and a Ph.D. (1987) from the University of Western Ontario. From 1988-90 Dr. Matthews held an NSERC and Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship at UBC. He worked as a Research Associate at the Université de Montréal from 1991-92 and then returned to UBC to begin a faculty position in 1992.

The CAP's Medal for Excellence in Teaching Physics was introduced in 1996 and has been awarded annually since. Dr. Matthews will receive the 2002 Prize during the CAP's awards banquet to be held at the Quebec Convention Centre on June 4th, 2002.

The Canadian Association of Physicists, founded in 1945, is a professional association representing over 1600 individual physicists and physics students in Canada, the U.S. and overseas, as well as a number of Corporate and Departmental Members. In addition to its learned activities, the CAP also undertakes a number of activities intended to encourage students to pursue a career in physics.

For more information, please contact:

Canadian Association of Physicists
Tel: (613) 562-5614
Fax: (613) 562-5615