2023 Medal Winners | francais

The 2023 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics

is awarded to

Jason Harlow

"I’m extremely happy and honoured to receive this award. I wish to share the recognition with my talented teaching colleagues at the University of Toronto, a dedicated support staff, and so many amazing Graduate Teaching Assistants who are in the trenches every day, really connecting with the students." winner citation

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that the 2023 CAP Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics is awarded to Jason Harlow, University of Toronto, in recognition of his influence on undergraduate education in his department and involvement in Physics Education Research. Prof. Harlow is known as an inspiring instructor who encourages students to think independently, critically, and analytically. announcement

Professor Jason Harlow is a gifted communicator and an innovative teacher who combines great enthusiasm for physics with highly effective pedagogical approaches to educate and inspire his students. A Teaching Stream faculty member at the University of Toronto since 2004, he has undertaken many innovative initiatives over the past 18 years, demonstrating a sustained commitment to teaching excellence. Particularly notable was his early adoption of online teaching, starting with the creation of asynchronous videos in 2009. This made him a go-to person when COVID-19 forced teaching online. His videos on "How to give an online lecture" and related topics were widely viewed across U of T campus and he also made himself available to colleagues, providing much-appreciated advice on pedagogical issues related to the transition online.

Prof. Harlow has played a leading role in the introduction of active learning to first-year physics courses, including the creation of new practical rooms and the development of the corresponding curriculum. He has put considerable effort into facilitating student engagement in large courses, while also making significant improvements in the Advanced Physics Lab courses and developing new courses in Introductory Optics and The Physics of Music. The latter is a fully online course pioneered several years prior to the pandemic for which Prof. Harlow has co-authored a 190-page textbook and made it freely available to his students. He has also published eight refereed papers in Physics Education Research related to his experience with a variety of approaches to teaching.

Prof. Harlow has been active in outreach for the past 15 years, has served as a Faculty Advisor for the Physics Mentorship Program and for "Let's Talk Science", and implemented a Departmental Teaching Assistant training for new graduate students. His excellence in undergraduate teaching was recognized with an Outstanding Teaching Award from U of T’s Faculty of Arts & Science in 2022. nominator citation

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