Nordsieck Award

The Nordsieck Award, which was endowed by Professor Arnold T. Nordsieck's family in his honor, recognizes members of our faculty for their "excellent teaching," broadly defined. Previous winners have been selected for their contributions to computerized courseware delivery, for innovations to undergraduate courses, for outstanding classroom teaching, for authorship of authoritative textbooks, and for superb graduate mentoring.

Winners of the Arnold T. Nordsieck Award

  • 2022: Yann Chemla

    “To Yann Chemla, for his leadership of Illinois Physics undergraduate education during the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

  • 2020: Karin Dahmen
    "To Karin Dahmen, for her longstanding involvement of undergraduate students in research and her exemplary mentoring of them."
  • 2019: Lucas Wagner

    "To Lucas Wagner, for his leadership in the continued development and refinement of the introductory thermal physics and quantum mechanics courses."

  • 2018: Smitha Vishveshwara
    "To Smitha Vishveshwara, for the development of the course 'Where Art Meets Physics' that communicates the principles and elegance of physics through artistic expression."
  • 2017: Brian DeMarco
    "To Brian DeMarco, for enhancing the professional development of our undergraduate research students through his inspirational teaching and creative contributions to our Introduction to Physics Research course."
  • 2015: James N. Eckstein
    "To James N. Eckstein, for his inspiring dedication to teaching at all levels, his deep concern for the success of his students, and his efforts to revitalize the graduate E&M course."
  • 2014: Kevin Pitts

    "To Kevin Pitts, for his creation and inspirational teaching of innovative courses that introduce undergraduates to the philosophy, fidelity, and elegance of science."

  • 2013: Steven M. Errede
    "To Steven M. Errede, for creating innovative, engaging instructional laboratories in acoustics and the physics of musical instruments for beginning and advanced undergraduate students."
  • 2012: James W. Wiss
    "To James E. Wiss, for patient, insightful, and inspiring physics teaching, one problem at a time, that encourages undergraduate students to take their understanding to a new level."
  • 2011: Timothy J. Stelzer
    "To Timothy J. Stelzer, for the development and dissemination of innovative materials and techniques that have transformed introductory physics teaching."
  • 2010: Scott S. Willenbrock
    "To Scott Willenbrock, for his extraordinary ability to reach and inspire students at all levels of the curriculum, from basic science to advanced theoretical physics."
  • 2009: S. Lance Cooper
    "To S. Lance Cooper, for his inspiring dedication to teaching, the outstanding content of his courses, and his exceptional availability to students at all levels."
  • 2008: Douglas H. Beck
    "To Douglas H. Beck, for his development of the introductory honors mechanics course, incorporating sophisticated mathematical tools and a formal writing component, and for his contribution to transforming calculus instruction for engineers at Illinois."
  • 2007: Alfred W. Hubler
    "To Alfred Hubler, for bringing passion and skill to teaching and for inspiring his students to become great teachers."
  • 2006: Paul M. Goldbart
    "To Paul M. Goldbart, for exemplary classroom teaching, for superb graduate mentoring, and for leadership in advancing the graduate curriculum."
  • 2005: Naomi C.R. Makins
    "To Naomi C.R. Makins, for her superb classroom instruction in both upper-level and introductory physics courses."
  • 2004: George D. Gollin
    "To George D. Gollin, for developing innovative honors sections for our introductory courses to challenge undergraduates and to share with them the excitement of physics."
  • 2003: Nigel D. Goldenfeld
    "To Nigel D. Goldenfeld, for the development of novel graduate courses and exemplary graduate teaching."
  • 2002: Dennis J. Kane
    "To Dennis J. Kane, for fundamental and enduring advancements in undergraduate physics teaching through the development of innovative computer-assisted courseware."
Nordsieck demonstrating the solution of the Van der Pol equation on his 'differential analyzer'
Nordsieck demonstrating the solution of the Van der Pol equation on his 'differential analyzer'


About Arnold T. Nordsieck

Professor Arnold Nordsieck, a distinguished member of our department from 1947 to 1961, was a brilliant physicist with an uncommon ability to marry theory and experiment. A specialist in the mathematics of computation, he (with Hicks and Yen) successfully solved the full nonlinear Boltzmann equations for several nonequilibrium flow problems—a pioneering computational effort and a breakthrough in computational fluid dynamics and rarefied gas dynamics. He also proposed the first electrostatically supported gyroscope and built the first computer to be used at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Nordsieck Analog Computer. In 1953, he proposed the "Cornfield System," a naval air-defense system that was one of the first applications of digital computer technology to complex decision-making.