College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences

Outstanding Visiting Assistant Professor Awards 2023 - 2024


Courtney George
Courtney George UCR Math

Courtney George's dedication to teaching is evident from her glowing student evaluations, her impressive response rates (of at least 86%), her often-bustling office hours, and her work with faculty in coordinated courses. Students praised her clear explanations, how she listened to student concerns, her patience, her welcoming nature, and her detailed clear notes with "the most beautiful" penmanship. Courtney also shared her experiences and insights with graduate students as a panelist for the Choosing a PhD Advisor: Panel Discussion.

Hassan Attarchi
Hassan Attarchi UCR Math

Hassan Attarchi has consistently received excellent evaluations and comments from his students, who praise his enthusiasm for teaching, understanding nature, and positive attitude, as well as his ability to give "clear and concise explanations of tough materials".  Last fall he helped organize our Teaching Workshop and led a session.

Matthew Harper

Matthew Harper has been a leading force in pivotal research contributions within Weyl Algebras at UCR. His dedication to teaching is evident in his evaluations, with students describing him as organized and enthusiastic. Students appreciate his helpfulness, clear explanations, and ability to make complex concepts understandable.

Fazel Hadadifard

Fazel Hadadifard has taught a variety of courses at UCR, from Calculus to senior-level courses, and has consistently received high evaluations. Students often emphasize the clarity of his lectures, genuine enthusiasm, willingness to help, and his accommodating nature as an instructor. Fazel has just published a paper on the incompressible Euler equation, with several more submitted.

Past Outstanding VAP Awardees

  • 2022 - 2023

    Catherine Cannizzo

    Catherine is an outstanding teacher who puts a tremendous amount of effort into creating the best learning experience for students, which is evident to faculty who have worked with her and through glowing comments from her students. Students appreciate that she is respectful, organized, patient, effective, and makes math fun. On top of that, she has contributed to the department with an excellent talk about her research in the geometry topology seminar that led to her co-organizing and speaking regularly in a quarter-long informal learning seminar.

    Hassan Attarchi

    Hassan is very successful in teaching at UCR, which is reflected in his excellent evaluations and extremely positive comments. Students emphasize his teaching style, clear explanations and appropriate pace. Hasan is very accommodating, patient and passionate, always willing to help students as well as provide additional online materials.

    Javier Gonzalez-Anaya

    Javier actively promotes our math undergraduates by leading several sections of Math 197, proposing research problems to his students, and mentoring his students as they pursue academic careers. He also co-organized a comprehensive two-quarter-long seminar in algebraic geometry and actively supported the training and development of graduate students. He has contributed to various departmental events such as panels and conferences, making positive contributions to the department's overall success.

    Sayan Das

    Sayan was nominated by three graduate students for his dedication to teaching, which extends to how he engages with the students and TAs in his courses, as well as to the support, advice, and mathematical insights he offers to PhD students. His evaluations are consistently high and student comments are full of praises for his understanding, passion, enthusiasm, and overall high quality instruction.

  • 2021 - 2022

    Xing Yang

    Sarah Yeakel

    Javier Gonzalez-Anaya

  • 2020 - 2021

    They are all enthusiastic and well-organized teachers and have had excellent teaching performance at UCR. Students particularly praised their efforts to help them transit into online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this difficult transition, they all remained caring, well-organized and effective teachers. They also have excellent service and research record.

    Scott Atkinson

    Alessandra Costantini

    Sayan Das

    Mahesh Sunkula

  • 2019 - 2020

    Zhixian Zhu: Zhixian has served as a mentor for other VAPs, and has run the Putnam training seminar for 2 quarters. Her willingness to work with the Under-graduate Assessment Committee in 2018 and 2019 in her teaching of Math 172 was key to the glowing reviews the Math Department received. She just had an important paper accepted by Advances in Math, a leading journal. She has been a mainstay in the Algebraic Geometry seminar, having given a large percentage of the talks, all excellent. In the Fall, Zhixian begins a tenure-track job at Capital Normal University in Beijing, China.

    Zhanar Berikkyzy: Zhanar has run the combinatorial number theory seminar during most of her time at UCR. In recent quarters she has organized it as a reading seminar, and has been actively mentoring graduate students on follow-up projects related to the papers read. She has been particularly involved in her mentoring and support of other VAPs. Zhanar is quite active and productive in research.

    Liwei Chen: Liwei Chen has produced many remarkable results in Several Complex Variables. His recent work on the mapping property of the Bergman projections has introduced a brand new approach to the subject. The series of papers on the integral solutions for ∂-bar equations on product domains are very impressive contributions in the PDE method of complex analysis.

    Alessandra Costantini: Alessandra has been very active in engaging graduate students in research activities. She organizes an active commutative algebra seminar (Math 260) by herself, leading this important seminar following the retirement of David Rush. In Winter, she ran the seminar for twelve students, and in Spring for seven. This is done on an overload basis. She has given many of the talks herself, as well as arranging a wide variety of external speakers.

  • 2018 - 2019

    Zhixian Zhu

    Zhanar Berikkyzy

    Christina Vasilakopoulou: Christina’s teaching record is excellent, consistently earning high evaluations and praise from students. Her success in teaching difficult classes like Math 4 is especially appreciated by the department. Students are extremely grateful for her enthusiastic instruction, her genuine care for their learning, and her approachable nature which makes it particularly easy to ask her questions both in class and during office hours.

  • 2017 - 2018

    Humberto Diaz

    Chenxu Wen

  • 2016 - 2017

    Youngsu Kim: Already, in his first quarter, Youngsu demonstrated great teaching skill and received glowing praise from his students. He has received many comments in his evaluations on his impressive clarity and enthusiasm. Youngsu’s success in teaching difficult classes like Math 22 is especially appreciated by the department.

    Fernando Lopez Garcia: Fernando's teaching record is not only superb, it is consistent in its excellence.  He has earned, without exception, excellent evaluations in every class he has taught.  Students are especially grateful for his great talent in explaining mathematics.

    Daniele Rosso: Daniele's dedication to teaching is evidenced not only by his high evaluations and excellent student comments but by his commitment to furthering his own education as a teacher.  Last Summer, he participated in the 2016 UCR/NASTA Scientific Teaching Summer Institute to further develop his already impressive teaching skills. His teaching efforts and compassion have been deeply appreciated by his students. He also serves the department well by creating and maintaining its collegial atmosphere.

  • 2014 - 2015

    Paolo Mantero: : For excellence demonstrated in teaching, research in service in the position of Visiting Assistant Professor.

  • 2013 - 2014

    Paolo Mantero: For excellence demonstrated in teaching, research in service in the position of Visiting Assistant Professor.

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