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Six faculty members receive first Bing teaching awards

STANFORD -- Six faculty members have been recognized for excellence in teaching with the first Bing teaching awards, announced by Provost James N. Rosse.

Brad Osgood, associate professor of mathematics, has been named to the Bing Centennial Teaching Professorship. The Centennial Teaching Professorship is a university-wide professorship, recognizing the highest level of excellence in teaching and awarded to a faculty member "who has exhibited singular commitment to undergraduates during his or her career at Stanford."

Honored as Bing Fellows are John Bravman, associate professor of materials science; John Etchemendy, associate professor of philosophy; Gilbert Masters, teaching professor of civil engineering; John Rickford, professor of linguistics; and Mary Wack, associate professor of English. (See below for individual profiles.) The fellow awards also recognize excellence in teaching, with an emphasis on the teaching of undergraduates.

All the awards are for a three-year term, from July 1992 through July 1995.

The professorship carries a stipend of $15,000 a year, and the fellowships $10,000 a year. In both cases, the winners can use one-third of the money for any purpose, while two-thirds is designated for support of a project designed to improve teaching or the curriculum.

The centennial professor and the fellows were selected from nominations made by faculty in the three Stanford schools that teach undergraduates: Earth Sciences, Engineering, and Humanities and Sciences. Faculty committees in the schools considered more than 70 nominations for the first awards, and the final recommendations to the provost were made by a committee of the deans of the three schools.

Last year, Stanford trustee Peter Bing and his wife, Helen, gave the university a $5 million endowment to establish the Bing Fund for Teaching, which will be used to offer a variety of incentives for improved teaching.

The Bing awards join the Hoagland Prize, given at junior convocation, and the Gores Award, given at commencement, which also recognize outstanding levels of teaching throughout the university.



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