Excerpt below from the article written by Emily Eckart for the Office of Communications
June 6, 2017 12:14 p.m.
Four Princeton University faculty members received President’s Awards for Distinguished Teaching at Commencement ceremonies Tuesday, June 6.
They are: Ruha Benjamin, assistant professor of African American studies; Robert Kaster, the Kennedy Foundation Professor of Latin Language and Literature and professor of classics; Howard Stone, the Donald R. Dixon ’69 and Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and department chair; and Stacy Wolf, professor of theater in the Lewis Center for the Arts.
The awards were established in 1991 through a gift by Princeton alumni Lloyd Cotsen of the Class of 1950 and John Sherrerd of the Class of 1952 to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching by Princeton faculty members. Each winner receives a cash prize of $5,000, and their departments each receive $3,000 for the purchase of new books.
A committee of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and academic administrators selected the winners from nominations by students, faculty colleagues and alumni.
Howard Stone, who joined the faculty in 2009, studies fluid dynamics, particularly relating to engineering, chemistry, physics and biology. He is respected for his ability to elucidate difficult mathematical concepts, as well as for his commitment to mentoring.
A colleague described Stone as “a kind and caring educator who excels in bringing out the best in students, researchers, staff and colleagues.”
Hundreds of undergraduate students enroll in Stone’s course “Mathematics in Engineering I,” an upper-level class on differential equations. A recent graduate student admired Stone’s enthusiasm for the subject matter: “In the first meeting with all of the assistant instructors, [Stone] asked each of us how we felt about differential equations, and then informed us that he loved differential equations. [He] launched a discussion on why the subject was such a privilege to teach. This passion set the tone for the semester.”
An undergraduate student commented: “Professor Stone’s lectures were always incredibly clear, well-structured and engaging. What made [them] so effective was their emphasis on using systematic mathematical reasoning over rote memorization.”
A current Ph.D. candidate, who has taken two courses with Stone, said, “What I learned from Professor Stone in those courses was not something that I could have acquired by reading a fluid dynamics textbook, not even a hundred textbooks.”
Stone is highly regarded for his long-term commitment to mentoring. A recent alumnus, now a Ph.D. candidate, said: “Now that I work in the field and go to conferences I have met many of his protégés. I know firsthand that he views mentoring as a lifetime job.”