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1999-2000 Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching


Don Cohen exemplifies the best of teaching at Caltech. For over 20 years he has introduced Caltech undergraduates to what one can do with all that mathematics in AMa95. Don stands out as a teacher for his method of presentation and his commitment to ensuring that the students understand the material. He is also well-known for his construction of assignments and exams that don't merely test the ability to reproduce a previously seen method of solution, but challenge the students to apply their accumulated knowledge in a creative and non-obvious way. Don carries this same level of concern, dedication, excitement, and mastery of subject to courses at the graduate level. His influence over the years on the undergraduate and graduate students at Caltech is unsurpassed. As perhaps the best testament to his teaching one student wrote: "In short, if Cohen is teaching it, you want to take it!"