Canadian Association of Physicists ASSOCIATION CANADIENNE DES


2007 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching

will be awarded to

Dr. Robert I. Thompson

"I am delighted to receive the 2007 CAP Medal for Excellence in teaching, and would like to thank my nominator, the selection committee, the CAP, and, most of all, my colleagues and students at the University of Calgary for the honour of this award"

Dr. Robert ThompsonThe Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that the 2007 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching is awarded to Dr. Robert I. Thompson, University of Calgary, for making major contributions in a broad range of areas related to undergraduate teaching including laboratory and curriculum development, student consultations, Honours thesis presentations, production of educational materials, and arranging departmental seminars by researchers in physics education, in addition to being an outstanding classroom teacher.

Dr. Robert I. Thompson has been an educational leader in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Calgary since his appointment as a faculty member in 1998. Educated at the Universities of British Columbia and Toronto and trained at Rice University and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, Dr. Thompson arrived in Calgary as the founding member of the Quantum Optics research group.

He has demonstrated excellence both in teaching and in educational leadership, and his work in physics education is motivated by his belief in the importance of quality physics education for the all students. His initiatives include presentations and hands-on laboratory experiments on light and optical systems for grade 8 students and conducting physics workshops for junior high school teachers.

For university students, he has lead efforts aimed at modernizing first year physics laboratories, created well-received orientation courses for sophomore physics students, received multiple awards for his instruction of quantum mechanics to senior undergraduate and graduate physics students, created a set of fourth year research courses in his Department, and, as graduate chair, lead the renaissance and rapid expansion of Calgary's physics and astronomy graduate program.

Dr. Thompson's efforts in the field of physics education extend beyond the local region: he is presently Vice-Chair of the Division of Physics Education of the Canadian Association of Physicists, and thus in line to become the Chair in June 2007, and he is co-organizing a major physics workshop for southern Alberta teachers under the auspices of Educators Day at the joint conference sponsored by the American Physical Society Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics and the Canadian Association of Physicists Division of Atomic and Molecular Physics. Dr. Thompson is a national leader in physics education.

The CAP's Medal for Excellence in Teaching Physics was introduced in 1996 and has been awarded annually since. Dr. Thompson will receive the 2007 Prize during the CAP's awards banquet to be held in Saskatoon on June 19th, 2007.

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