|Korty receives AFS teaching award|
The Association of Former Students presented a College Level Teaching Award to Robert Korty, assistant professor of atmospheric sciences, at this year's College of Geosciences awards ceremony. Each year this award goes to an outstanding faculty member for dedication to teaching.
Korty, who has been with the College of Geosciences since 2007, has taught three graduate level courses, two on atmospheric dynamics and one on statistical methods in climate research, and an upper-level undergraduate class on synoptic-dynamic meteorology. Atmospheric sciences department head Kenneth Bowman nominated Korty for the award based on this daunting list of courses and on outstanding student feedback.
The classes Korty has taught required him to convey difficult mathematical concepts to students more interested in the practical applications of meteorology. "He does not gloss over the theoretical details," Bowman says. "He is also careful to ground his theoretical discussions in real-world phenomena, using weather maps, satellite images and recent research results as concrete illustrations."
This linking of theory and reality is a recurring theme in Korty's student evaluation comments. Students also regularly comment on his willingness to answer questions anytime and anywhere, even going as far as finding students after class if he thought of something else he could add. Another sentiment found in student feedback is that Korty's classes are challenging and interesting. Bowman says only the most challenging teachers can make students be excited about challenging coursework.
Korty's course evaluation scores are also high, with an average course rating of 4.65 (out of 5) over the past three semesters and an average instructor score of 4.89. He was also recognized for his teaching ability last year with a Student Recognized Award for Teaching Excellence.
Korty received his Ph.D. in climate physics and chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2005, studying under well-known climate scientist Kerry Emanuel. In addition to teaching, Korty is also a dedicated researcher, working on simulations of ocean and atmospheric circulation in past climates. He also serves as a mentor, advising three graduate students and a postdoctoral associate and acting as a committee member for 14 graduate students in atmospheric sciences, oceanography, and geology. He has also been a guest speaker at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Columbia University, and the U.S. Naval Academy.
By George Hale