About the Department
David Yaron has received the 2002 Julius Ashkin Teaching Award
David Yaron has received this year's Julius Ashkin Teaching Award for the Mellon College of Science. This award recognizes unusual devotion and effectiveness in teaching and mentoring undergraduates in the college.
Thirty-three supporting letters from students, alumni, former TAs, and faculty colleagues described Dave's dedication and excellence in many areas. He has taught both Modern Chemistry II and Honors Chemistry using innovative "concept tests" in lecture, exploratory laboratories, and hands-on activities that students greatly appreciate. He has also created a workshop-style Computational Chemistry course in which students are encouraged to do computational projects related to their ongoing undergraduate research. He has been a departmental leader in curriculum matters. He was instrumental in establishing the B.S. in Chemistry/Computational Track and recently chaired a teaching committee establishing a new Mathematical Methods in Chemistry course, among other changes.
One of the most distinctive of Dave Yaron's educational accomplishments is his leading work in software development. The Virtual Lab is a flexible simulation of solution chemistry and has been used by more than 5000 students in lecture and laboratory courses in three Carnegie Mellon courses and at least four other universities (U. British Columbia, Florida Atlantic University, West Virginia University, Monterrey Tech in Mexico). He is also developing an authoring tool called CreateStudio which allows educators with minimal programming expertise to assemble interactive student exercises that couple text, images, movies, and other multimedia with domain-specific simulations and visualization tools (learning objects). This project is one of 30 projects funded in the first round of NSF's National Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Digital Library (NSDL) program.
David Yaron also received the 2000 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award given to faculty relatively early in their careers who excel in both academic research and teaching and who are expected to be continuing leaders in chemistry and chemistry education.