Professor David Jao received a Faculty of Mathematics Award for Distinction in Teaching at the 2017 Faculty Reception on September 21, 2017. Previous C&O faculty recipients of the award include Ian Goulden (2009), Alfred Menezes (2010), Levent Tuncel (2012), and Penny Haxell (2014).
Since beginning his faculty position at Waterloo in 2015, David has taught a wide range of undergraduate courses including Advanced Algebra (Math 145), Introduction to Combinatorics (Math 239), Introduction to Optimization (CO 250), Coding Theory (CO 331), Game Theory (CO 456), Mathematics of Public-Key Cryptography (CO 485) and Applied Cryptography (CO 487). He has been an active supervisor of graduate students, having advised 2 PhD students and 11 Master's students to completion. He is currently supervising 4 PhD students and 1 MMath student.
David's dedication to teaching excellence and student success is exemplary. His nomination for the teaching award was supported by letters from dozens of ex-students. Students described his teaching as "true inspiration and insight" and commented that "you learn more in a course than you think was possible". Many students commented on David's exceptional knowledge of the subject matter and for the passion he displays when teaching. Especially noteworthy is the "self-discovery" approach to teaching the first-year advanced algebra course (Math 145), which a student remarked "showed us that we can teach ourselves." Another student noted: "I feel excited for my mathematical career, and I think Professor Jao is part of that."
Read the Math Faculty's announcement here.