Alfonso Gracia-Saz receives Excellence in Teaching Award from Canadian Mathematical Society
Alfonso Gracia-Saz of the department of mathematics in the Faculty of Arts & Science has received the 2021 Canadian Mathematical Society Excellence in Teaching Award.
The award recognizes sustained and distinguished contributions in mathematics education at the undergraduate level at a Canadian institution.
An associate professor, teaching stream, Gracia-Saz was praised for his inspiring lectures and videos, particularly in the case of his challenging Calculus with Proofs course.
“Alfonso has very high standards and expects a strong commitment on the part of his students, but he is very generous with his time and makes it abundantly clear that he’s more than willing to offer help to anybody who needs it,” said Professor Jeremy Quastel, chair of the department. “The upshot has been staggeringly good course evaluations for Alfonso personally, but also very good results for the Calculus with Proofs course overall.”
An instructor and academic coordinator of the Canada/USA Mathcamp for 13 years, Gracia-Saz maintains a calculus YouTube channel with 200 videos and more than three million views. He’s also active in mathematics outreach through competitions, math camps, science fairs and undergraduate research.
Colleague Bernardo Galvao-Sousa said Gracia-Saz “belongs to this rare breed of born teachers that possess not only the knowledge and creativity, but also the warm and dynamic personality that allows him to teach students in such a natural way that the barrier between teacher and student ceases to exist.”