Students’ pedagogical award given to Tünde Fülöp

Tünde Fülöp, Professor at the Department of Physics, receives the students' pedagogical award Guldäpplet (“the Golden Apple”) for her course Vector Fields and Classical Physics. The purpose of the award is to draw attention to outstanding contributions for students in applied physics and applied mathematics at Chalmers.
What does it mean for you to receive this prize?
“I am very happy and honoured. It is great to know that the students appreciated my lectures. As a former Engineering Physics student (enrolled 1991) I feel a strong connection with the students. I got lots of positive energy from them during the whole course. And that they even nominated me for this fantastic prize, it is unbelievable!”

How did you set up the course to make the students feel committed, and what do you think of as success factors in your teaching?
Tünde Fülöp“Above all, I really enjoy teaching. It feels a bit like walking on clouds, and I suspect that feeling may be contagious. I do my best to create a relaxed atmosphere, so that the students can feel that they can ask any questions, like in a happy family. My aim is that it should feel like a dialogue between me and the students. It does not always work out like that, but this group of students was really fantastic.”

“One way to make my lectures more personal is to tell anecdotes about the scientists that are relevant for the material. I am a bit of a science history nerd, knowing about how the subject developed and who have been involved is a way for me to understand the big picture. But beyond the pedagogical value, I think it is a lot of fun to share such information. To become a physicist is a journey and it is much more fun if you get to know your travel companions, whether they are dead or alive.”

Were there any challenges in teaching the course during the pandemic, and if so, how did you address them?
We were lucky in that sense. Almost all the restrictions were lifted during that period. I chose to have all activities on campus and booked the largest lecture halls available. In some cases, when students could not attend due to illness, we tried to help them by sending them notes. 
As far as I know, there were no major issues, and the examination showed that the students managed to learn the material.”

What does teaching and meeting with the students give back to you?
“It gives me a lot of joy and strength. There is not much that can compete with the energy that comes from a classroom full of interested students. Something magical happens there and it is hard to explain that to outsiders. As a physicist, I think of resonance phenomena, but it is better than that, it is not something that happens just then and there, the feeling remains for a longer time. I still feel happy when I think back to the lectures and students from the fall term.”

Last but not least, how are you going to celebrate?
“I will go to the section dinner on Saturday and celebrate together with the students.”

The motivation for the award Guldäpplet 2022 by the Student Board of Physics:
With her burning interest and inspiring lectures, Tünde has made the course "Vector fields and classical physics" a favourite among many students. By responding to students' questions with kindness together with a great commitment to the course content, the course has maintained a high quality and a good structure throughout the study period. In addition to this, Tünde has also taught in a way that made it very entertaining to follow the lectures.
This is why Tünde Fülöp is awarded Guldäpplet 2022.

For more information, please contact:
Tünde Fülöp

Text: Lisa Gahnertz
Photo: Anna-Lena Lundqvist

Page manager Published: Fri 25 Feb 2022.