1994-95 Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching
CITATION FOR PROFESSOR ERIK ANTONSSON
Since arriving on campus ten years ago as an Assistant Professor, Erik has originated and taught a series of innovative mechanical engineering design courses that, while maintaining the rigor of Caltech's traditional training, exposes the students to open-ended problems with real-world constraints. These courses are so popular that students literally camp out the night before registration to be assured a place. Moreover, the vigor with which some students approach the class in matched by no other formal educational process on campus. Often Erik had to warn students against spending too much time on his class, an enviable situation few other instructors have ever been in. The annual contest that is the culmination of ME72 brings a sense of adventure and fun that Richard Feynman would have especially appreciated. Erik Antonsson's inspired teaching of these courses has created a new dimension in mechanical engineering education at Caltech.