CU-Boulder Physics Professor Receives National Teaching Award

Published: March 7, 2006

University of Colorado at Boulder Professor Emeritus Neil Ashby has been honored by the largest professional society of physics educators in the country for outstanding work in introducing physics to students and the general public.

The American Association of Physics Teachers awarded Ashby its Richtmyer Memorial Award in January. Ashby received a certificate, a $7,500 prize and gave a major address at the association's winter meeting in Anchorage, Alaska. His lecture focused on demonstrations of fundamental relativity concepts and their practical applications in navigation, astronomy and other fields such as meteorology.

"Neil Ashby has long been a recognized world expert on relativistic effects in clocks," said Professor John Cumalat, chair of the CU-Boulder physics department. "He has made numerous theoretical contributions to the Global Positioning System and he is a leader in the new field of relativistic celestial mechanics. The department of physics is pleased that Neil has been recognized by the American Association of Physics Teachers with the Richtmyer Memorial Award."

Ashby is an affiliate at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and oversees about 30 CU-Boulder graduate and post-doctoral students who work at NIST.

His award is given in memory of Floyd K. Richtmyer, a 20th century physics educator and researcher. Richtmyer was one of the first presidents of the American Association of Physics Teachers and his work helped shape the development of physics in the United States. The Richtmyer Award was established in 1941 and has been given to more than 15 Nobel Prize winners, including CU-Boulder Distinguished Professor Carl Wieman in 1995.

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