Hajimiri Wins 2019 Feynman Teaching Prize

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The Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching is Caltech's most prestigious teaching honor.

Ali Hajimiri

February 15, 2019

Established in 1993, the Feynman Teaching prize is awarded on an annual basis to honor "a professor who demonstrates, in the broadest sense, unusual ability, creativity, and innovation in undergraduate and graduate classroom or laboratory teaching."

Ali Hajimiri is the Bren Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering and Co-Director of the Space-Based Solar Power Project. His research "focuses on integrated circuits and their applications in various disciplines, such as biotechnology, communications, and sensing, spanning a wide range of frequencies from high-speed and RF to low-frequency high-precision circuits. [They] investigate both the theoretical analysis of the problems in integrated circuits as well as practical implementations of new systems in very large scale integrated circuits."

According to the Feynman Teaching Prize webpage, "The late Richard Feynman, one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists and original thinkers of the 20th century, epitomizes Caltech for many. Although Feynman's Nobel-prize winning research (he won in 1965) was largely completed before he came to Caltech in 1949, he continued to make discoveries at Caltech that many felt should have won him a second Nobel Prize. Beloved by students as a friend and teacher, Feynman also found time to perform year after year in Caltech student dramatic productions. A drummer and artist as well as a physicist and actor, in 1985 he also turned popular author and published an irreverent memoir - Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman - that spent 14 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. In 1986, he became known to an even larger audience through his participation - and his famous ice-water experiment - on the Presidential Commission investigating the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Commenting on Feymnan's appointment to the commission, one Caltech colleague came as close as any to summing up the essential quality of his genius: "Do they realize," he wondered, "that Feynman asks questions - and keeps asking them until he gets answers?"

Endowed through the generosity of Ione and Robert E. Paradise and an anonymous local couple, the prize consists of a cash award of $3,500, matched by an equivalent raise in the annual salary of the awardee."

Congratulations, Professor Hajimiri!