05/09/2012 - 12:00am

Congratulations to Professor Alice Silverberg and Dr. Sarah Eichhorn!

Professor Alice Silverberg has been recognized as the 2012 Honoree for Excellence in Undergraduate Education for the School of Physical Sciences. Professor Silverberg is a renowned researcher in Algebraic Number Theory and its applications to Cryptography. Her singular ability to translate that expertise to her students is evident in her teaching evaluations and the superb comments she receives from her students. The students attest that Alice is "upbeat and energetic" and "enthusiastic". The comments of students are unanimous in praising her teaching style. Foremost in the minds of students is the ability of Professor Silverberg to engage the class in thinking about the material they are learning. She challenges the class with questions and leads them to the answer through a Socratic method. Students expressed that Professor Silverberg promotes a "participatory environment," "encourages class participation" and "likes to connect with her students and lead a discussion rather than simply copy her notes onto the board." Students repeatedly express their gratitude for Professor Silverberg’s ability to produce copious examples to illustrate the ideas presented in the courses she teaches. They also affirm that Professor Silverberg is "enthusiastic about her subject" and that she is very knowledgeable as well. Her explanations are crystal clear and that her course notes are "really understandable." Professor Silverberg has proven to be an inspirational teacher who effectively imparts her great enthusiasm for her subject to her students.

Dr. Sarah Eichhorn has been awarded the 2012 TA Professional Development Award. This award honors an individual Senate or non-Senate faculty member who has spent considerable time and effort helping his/her Teaching Assistants develop both their instructional and other academic professional skills. The Celebration of Teaching Awards are hosted by the Teaching, Learning & Technology Center and co-sponsored by the Division of Undergraduate Education and the Senate Council on Student Experience (CSE). Dr. Eichhorn has made important contributions and improvement to many aspects of undergraduate mathematics education, especially towards improving the quality of  teaching assistants in the Math Department. She has played an important role in assessing and significantly improving the quality of Teaching Assistants in the Math Department. Since her arrival at UCI in 2007, Dr. Eichhorn has been the key person on the department’s TA Training Committee and has taken a lot of responsibility. Every fall she helps coordinate the Department’s two-day TA training session. In addition, she leads the teaching portion of the Graduate Student Seminar, giving bimonthly lectures on teaching practices and involving the graduate students in activities designed to develop their teaching skills.  She also provides the same training sessions and services to TAs who are teaching during the summer sessions. Dr. Eichhorn reviews TA Evaluations to identify any problems teaching assistants might be having and works with the TAs to improve their teaching abilities.  She sits in on their discussion sections, assesses problems and provides feedback on their teaching skills. Sarah has been a valuable resource and mentor for the Department’s TAs.