Eleven University of Cambridge lecturers have been recognised for their excellence in teaching, at an awards ceremony for the 2007 Pilkington Prizes on June 20th.

All of the lecturers have made outstanding contributions to the development of teaching in their departments and faculties. The benefits of their work have reached not only students at the University of Cambridge, but also other students and professionals world-wide. The lecturers come from departments as diverse as physics, computing and divinity and reflect the breadth of teaching excellence across the University.

Dr Toke Aidt is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Economics who has transformed several undergraduate courses at the Faculty. He has been a driving force in restructuring the Macroeconomics teaching syllabus in the Tripos. As part of this he invited representatives from the Bank of England and the Treasury to give lectures. This has been enthusiastically received by his students, and has helped them see how theoretical models are applied in practice.

Dr James Carleton Paget is a University Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies in the Faculty of Divinity, who has been nominated for his commitment to new ways of teaching his subject. Dr Paget was deeply involved with the design of the new first-year paper in his field. His pioneering collaboration with Professor William Horbury on ‘Judaism and Hellenism' has attracted many students from Classics as well as Divinity. His erudite lecturing style has earned him an enviable reputation at the Faculty of Divinity and feedback from his students demonstrates that his commitment is both appreciated and reciprocated.

Dr Neil Dodgson is a Reader in Graphics & Imaging in the University's Computer Laboratory who has been nominated for his innovative courses in computer graphics, in which he has created interactive demonstrations of graphics algorithms and used excerpts from movies to illustrate particular techniques. In all this, his aim has been to make the underlying concepts memorable and comprehensible to students, and his courses are understandably popular.

Dr Dodgson's talent for innovation also extends to the administration of teaching. He designed and ran a system for arranging all Part II supervisions in Computer Science. The lessons learnt from this process went on to inform the development of the Colleges' online supervision reporting system, CamCORS.

Professor Charlie Ellington is Professor of Animal Mechanics in the Department of Zoology who has made an invaluable contribution to undergraduate teaching in the Department of Zoology for over thirty years. He is an inspiring lecturer who has made mathematical biology and advanced quantitative physiology not only understandable, but also entertaining to hundreds of biology students.

Professor Ellington's major teaching achievement has been to develop the first year course in Quantitative Biology. He has adapted his own lectures to suit a more mixed audience, and has made them some of the best lectures on the course. In his role as course organizer of Quantitative Biology over the years, he has helped to shape a truly effective programme that has opened up whole new approaches for biologists reading Natural Sciences.

Dr Mike P Hobson is a University Reader in the Department of Physics and one of the most successful lecturers in the Department. He consistently receives excellent feedback from students and last year the staff-student consultative committee was asked “Why can't Dr Hobson give all the lectures?”

Dr Hobson has taken an active role in the management of teaching. In the past year he has contributed to working parties on Theoretical Physics and Computational Physics, as well as representing the Department on the Natural Sciences Tripos Mathematics Syllabus Committee.

Dr Hobson has also made valuable contributions to teaching through his writing. He is co-author of a textbook on Mathematical methods for Physics and Engineering which is the primary recommended text for mathematics in IA and IB of the Natural Sciences Tripos. He has also recently co-authored a textbook on General Relativity.

Dr Tom Hynes is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Engineering who has been for many years one of the most dependable, flexible and successful lecturers in the department. In a typical year, he may be found demonstrating computing to first-year undergraduates, lecturing part 1B students in thermo-fluids and mathematics, and lecturing in specialist modules on turbo-machinery.

All of Dr Hynes's courses are noted for their clarity. His success in conveying Mathematics to students has been a particular cause for congratulations. Dr Hynes is an attentive teacher who takes great care not to make assumptions about his students' needs.

Dr Gabriel P Paternain is a Reader in Geometry and Dynamics, in the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics and a remarkable lecturer. His talent for communicating mathematics has brought to life even the most complex aspects of the undergraduate syllabus. He has demonstrated the ability to explain analysis and geometry with a clarity that has won him the admiration and respect of his students.

Dr Paternain has played a significant role in developing the teaching of mathematics in different stages of the Tripos. His work on the Differential Geometry course within the reformed version of Part II has been an extraordinary success. He has in addition proposed a number of popular Part III essays.

Dr Helen Thompson is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics and a dedicated innovator whose work has transformed the teaching of Politics to undergraduate students. Dr Thompson has led the design and delivery of a new undergraduate programme in Politics. In Part II she has conceived and taught a wholly original course, still unrivalled in England, on how the international economy affects the power, authority and discretion of states. One of her students described it as “the most engrossing, fascinating, accessible and challenging learning I have done”. Helen has also led the preparation of a new MPhil in comparative politics.

Dr Dan Tucker is a Director of Studies in the Department of Veterinary Medicine and has played a key role in modernising the teaching of veterinary public health at Cambridge. His dedication in producing a top-quality course in this area has been recognised through accreditation by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. He has also been instrumental in raising the profile of veterinary public health in Cambridge's preclinical programme.

Dr Tucker has done much to develop links with outside bodies to increase the value of the student practical experience. He has developed a section in the final Veterinary Exam which is a model for other veterinary schools. Alongside all of this, he has initiated a strong research programme.

Dr Jonathan Silverman is Associate Clinical Dean and Director of Communication Studies in the School of Clinical Medicine and has played a major role in the development of medical education in Cambridge. As Director of Communication Studies he has developed and implemented courses throughout all six years of the Cambridge medical programme, starting with Preparing for Patients and moving on through basic clinical communication to teaching advanced skills for dealing with complex patients in difficult circumstances.

Dr Silverman has made an outstanding contribution to the Clinical School in Cambridge. His work is also recognised nationally and internationally through his development of the Cambridge Calgary method for teaching communication skills; a method which has been adopted widely in medical schools throughout the world.

Dr James Warren is an inspiring University Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Classics who consistently receives high praise from his students. Whether addressing a mixed class of Classics and Philosophy students, or contributing lectures on the History and Philosophy of Science, Dr Warren has an ability to engage all. A specialist in ancient philosophy, Dr Warren has played
a major role in organising and teaching Greek and Latin at the Faculty of Classics. He has also successfully designed and run two new courses of his own.

Dr Warren is well known for reacting sympathetically and innovatively to student feedback. He provides students with outstanding supplementary material both on paper and via his own user-friendly website. In College he is much in demand as a supervisor in both Classics and Philosophy.

The Pilkington Prizes were set up by the late Sir Alastair Pilkington, former Chairman of the Cambridge Foundation. The prizes are supported by Cambridge University Press, and are awarded annually by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alison Richard.

Professor Alison Richard, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, said, “These rewards have gone to outstanding lecturers and professors and reflect the breadth and depth of this University's commitment to outstanding and innovative teaching.”

Andrew Gilfillan, Managing Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa, at Cambridge University Press, said, “We are delighted to support the annual Pilkington Teaching Prizes award ceremony. We first offered to play a part in 1997, to signify the conviction we share with the University that the outstanding quality of the teaching afforded to students at Cambridge directly contributes to their success and, indeed, to the reputation of the University. Today's prizewinners have been selected by their own students and peers; we know of no better testimonial to their talents and we congratulate them on the recognition they have received.”

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