2001 Student Award Winners

John Coburn and the Harold Winters Student Award

Nicholas Fuller, a graduate student in Prof. Irving Herman's group was awarded the John Coburn and the Harold Winters Student Award on November 1, 2001. This award is from the Plasma Sciences and Technology division of the American Vacuum Society (AVS), and is presented to the student whose paper is judged to be most outstanding based on technical content and quality of presentation.

AVS Graduate Student Awards

In May of 2001, Nicholas Fuller and M.S.E. graduate student, Steffen Kaldor, won AVS Graduate Student Awards.

As an interdisciplinary, professional Society, AVS supports networking among academic, industrial, government, and consulting professionals involved in a variety of disciplines - chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, all engineering disciplines, business, sales, etc. through common interests related to the basic science, technology development, and commercialization of materials, interfaces, and processing area. Awards given by AVS are offered to recognize outstanding individual accomplishments in the fields of interest to the Society.

SEAS Great TA Awards

Undergraduate teaching has become a focus for both the University and the School within the past few years. The University recognizes excellence in teaching by Teaching Awards given at Commencement while the Columbia Engineering School Alumni Association gives Distinguished Faculty Teaching Awards at Class Day. To continue the emphasis on the importance of the undergraduate educational experience, three semesters ago Dean Zvi Galil began giving awards for exemplary Teaching Assistants. This semester's awardees reflect the varied backgrounds and specialties typical of the graduate population of the School. The awardees have been named as excellent TAs every semester since the awards began; they all possess a similar approach to being a teaching assistant.

Amaria George, a first-year graduate student who received her B.A. in physics from Reed College in Oregon, was a lab TA and a grader and likes to interact with students. "Coming to New York was not as big a change as I thought it would be from the West Coast," she said. "It's not the 'big, bad New York City' and I enjoy it. It's more fast paced and I honestly don't have a lot of time to do things now as we push toward the end of the semester, but I am planning to stay in New York this summer and take advantage of it." Amaria is taking five classes, TA'ing and working with Prof. Irving Herman on plasma etchings on semiconductors. She was thrilled with being named during her first semester as a TA and cites two qualities of a good TA: to explain complex things in several different ways and to give examples.

Steffen Kaldor, a 1996 mechanical engineering graduate of Boston University who is in the materials science area of applied physics and applied mathematics, became interested in his field following an introductory course in materials science. Speaking from the standpoint of a three-time awardee, he emphasized that the personal attention, the one-on-one informal atmosphere, makes a difference. "The advice I would give students is to take advantage of seeking out the TA. That leads to discussions that go outside the formal lecture and may lead to conversations on research or other areas. I think students will get more out of the courses and be enriched by the interaction," he said.

"Better TAs Provide Better Understanding", Spring 2001 edition of Columbia Engineering News

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