University at Albany

Excellence in Teaching (Full Time)

Each year, the University at Albany honors special members of its community with Excellence Awards denoting exceptional contributions to the life of the campus. Four faculty members received this tribute in 2004 for Excellence in Teaching (Full Time).

Ariel CatichaAriel CatichaPhysics

Characterized as a brilliant scientist and teacher by his colleagues, Professor Ariel Caticha joined the University staff in 1992 and is currently the associate chair of the Physics department, as well as the chair of both the Graduate and Undergraduate Studies committees. A member of the Undergraduate Advisement and Career Development Committee, Professor Caticha earned his Ph.D. in physics from the California Institute of Technology. Noted for his high level of enthusiasm, accessibility, and ability to convey subtle concepts, Caticha constantly scores at the highest levels in all of his teaching evaluations. “Any success I have had in teaching derives from the fortunate selection of courses I have taught,” he wrote. “I am deeply interested in the subject matter because it is closely connected to my research, and this becomes obvious to my students.” An excellent classroom teacher, Caticha has mentored six students toward their doctoral dissertations. “I could not have gotten to where I am today without all of his help. I feel Professor Caticha was the greatest teacher that I have had in all of my time in higher education,” wrote one former graduate student.

Caticha is an internationally recognized scholar. He has published 29 peer-reviewed articles, six invited articles, and six additional publications. Caticha has received research support for his work on a “theory of X-ray and neutron scattering by thin film multilayers” and “capillary waveguides for soft X-rays and neutrons.” He has served as a reviewer of National Science Foundation research grant proposals and also referees such scientific journals as Physical Review Letters, Physical Review A and B, Journal of Physics, Journal of the Optical Society of America, and Journal de Physique.

Caticha believes, “Physics is learned by doing.” He also is adamant about making himself available to his students on several levels. “I am always, inside and outside the classroom, extremely nice to all students,” he wrote. An excellent scholar, teacher, and citizen, Caticha has raised the quality of teaching at the University at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Excellence in Teaching (Full Time)

Ariel Caticha Ron McClamrock David Smith David G. Wagner
Ariel Caticha

David Smith
David G.


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