1995-96 Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching
CITATION FOR PROFESSOR YASER ABU-MOSTAFA
We unanimously select Professor Yaser Abu-Mostafa as the 1996 winner of Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching. In particular, we wish to cite his unique success in the classroom. He does in a superb fashion what all faculty wish to do: teach students complex material in such a way that they truly understand it. Often this is accomplished by his ability to approach a subject by many different routes so that each student has the best chance to find his/her own optimal vantage point.
Professor Abu-Mostafa has consistently demonstrated that no-frills teaching is not a lost art. Year after year, using only chalk and voice as his media, he has tamed Caltech's challenging curriculum for a very grateful group of students. He takes a multi-faceted approach to every topic, often fooling his students into mastering even the most difficult material. As a graduate student here he began to demonstrate a gift for teaching undoubtedly encouraged by the learning environment around him. Now he enriches this environment himself.