Stellenbosch University
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BSc lecturers: inspiring, challenging but never dull
Author: Media & Communication, Faculty of Science
Published: 07/04/2016

Three lecturers from the Department of Mathematical Sciences were lauded for their inspirational lectures by six top performing first-year students during the Vice-Rector: Teaching and Learning's First-Year Prestige Dinner on 13 April 2016.

Prof. Florian Breuer, from the Division: Mathematics in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, were nominated by three students, while Dr Dimbinaina Ralaivaosaona and Dr Paul Grobler, both from the Division: Applied Mathematics in the same department, were nominated by another three top-performing first year students.

Dr Marietjie Lutz and Dr Gareth Arnott from the Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science were also nominated, as well as Dr Johannes Kriel from the Department of Physics.

The First-Year Prestige Dinner rewards the hard work of the 2015 first-year students and at the same time highlight the role of the lecture in the achievement of this success.

The students had the following to say about their lecturers:

About Prof. Breuer

"Your lecturing style is fantastic. Instead of just showing students how to do new work, you first tried to get us to come up with our own ideas and discover new concepts ourselves. You would always encourage discussion and involvement in your lectures. A deeper understanding of Mathematics was encouraged in lectures and you often gave us extra information, which sparked interest in the subject matter."

Sarah Selkirk (Faculty of Science)

" 'n Mens het die gevoel gekry dat u dit geniet om klas te gee en dat u graag wil hê elke student moet die vak deurkom.  Meer as dit selfs: u wou hê elke student moes met 'n beter begrip van Wiskunde uitstap ná elke lesing en ek dink u het dit reggekry."

– Jacob Hugo (Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences)

"U was toegewyd om studente te help om sukses te behaal en hulle te inspireer om harder te werk.  U het geluister na elke student, ons uitgedaag met probleme, laat streef na beter dinge, en ook aangemoedig om elke dag tot die beste van ons vermoë te prestreer. Dankie vir u toewyding aan elke student en dat u my so geïnspireer het.

Julie-Anne Gerber (Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences)

About Dr Ralaivaosaona

"You surpassed my wildest hope in what I wanted in a Maths teacher. You were brilliant, funny, highly intellectually stimulating, and witty. You were not loud or demanded respect, but you definitely earned it. When you walked in the class became quite. I am convinced that the other students in my class would agree, you earned our respect, and kept it until the end."

Ruan Viljoen (Faculty of Engineering)

"I would like to thank you for a wonderful year of Engineering Mathematics. Your energy and your enthusiasm for the subject made the lectures a joy. You motivated me to excel in this module, and with some hard work, I achieved beyond what I could have hoped for."

René Spoerer (Faculty of Engineering)

About Dr Paul Grobler

"Another enjoyable part of the lectures was the friendly informality you portrayed which made the subject much more relatable. Many other lecturers did not come close to the level of enthusiasm that was present in your lectures either – it was always inspiring to see how exciting the work was made to appear."

Lodevicus van Niekerk (Faculty of Science)

About Dr Johannes Kriel

"What I found most enjoyable about your teaching was the absolute lack of any noticeable favouritism towards the students. You were willing to put effort into helping all students as long as they provided you with answerable questions or at least showed that they wanted to learn about this strange beast called Physics."

Matthew Greenwood (Faculty of Science)

About Dr Marietjie Lutz

 "Doktor se sin vir humor het dit ook makliker gemaak om vroeg op 'n Donderdagoggend agtuur klas by te woon. Dit, tesame met dokter se produktiewe lesings, was 'n groot motiveerder. Laastens het jy ons aangemoedig om nooit op te gee nie en om ingestel te wees om altyd iets te probeer leer."

Nina Truter (Faculty of Science)

About Dr Gareth Arnott

"Your passion for what you do is so inspiring and motivating and there is never a dull moment in your classes. You are a marvelous lecturer, although the term 'teacher' is more accurate. I have never been intimidated to ask a question due to your approachable and friendly nature and your ability to sympathize with your students is remarkable." – Emma

Emma van der Merwe (Faculty of AgriSciences)