Anthony Anderson, recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award, 1988


Tony Anderson was born in England, and received all his degrees from Oxford University. He joined the University of Waterloo in 1966, and is currently a professor in the Department of Physics. He is a respected researcher. The author or co-author of over 100 refereed scientific publications, he edited 2 volumes entitled The Raman Effect, which became the standard reference texts for Raman spectroscopy throughout the world in the 1970's. But Tony is here today to be honoured for his teaching. What does it take to be a superb teacher? For Tony Anderson, this question was answered by the many individual testimonials written by current and former undergraduate and graduate students, and by his colleagues. And his outstanding record of course evaluations quite clearly documents his students' admiration and praise. Tony Anderson is a basically shy person, with a delightful sense of dry British humour. A colleague wrote in a nomination letter: “Physics is a difficult subject to teach; it requires logic, organization and clarity. Flamboyance and showmanship don't count for much when teaching physics. [Our best teachers] are reserved and quietly spoken. Yet the students realize that these people have been the best at explaining difficult concepts, being patient when the student didn't grasp the idea, and being always available for help. Tony Anderson has been all of these things and more. I suggest Dr. Anderson be judged on 22 years of outstanding averages on student evaluations from physics students.” Professor Anderson has also devoted much of his energy outside the classroom or laboratory to support teaching. He has published in the journal Physics Education, and is a regular contributor to local teaching enterprises run by the department, such as Phys 13 News and the Sir Isaac Newton scholarship examination for high school students. He has served as a judge at local science fairs. Although primarily engaged in research during his sabbatical leaves, he has always been on the lookout for new demonstrations, films, and other aids to improve his and the department's teaching effectiveness. One characteristic of a superb teacher is the ability to profoundly influence students over their entire time at university. Tony's ability to do this is clearly stated by the alumnus who wrote: “I look back at the five years at Waterloo and remember his course to be at the top.”