The "Golden Raven" is the award for outstanding teaching at the University of Bayreuth. This year it honours lecturers who have addressed these questions in new and intelligent ways. Prof. Dr. Stephan Gekle, Professor of Theoretical Physics, in particular "Biofluid Simulation and Modelling", was nominated by the Mathematics, Physics & Computer Science student representatives. An online vote ultimately resulted in the decision in favour of Prof. Gekle.
When you talk to students about Mr Gekle, they mention two things in particular: Teaching and accessibility. Even with purely digital teaching, he manages to make complicated subject matter understandable. And at the same time, he always keeps an open ear for students - both online and offline. A particularly good example of this is his lecture "Theoretical Mechanics".
For physics students, "Theoretical Mechanics" is a basic lecture. The topics are - among other things - Kepler’s equations, Newton’s formulae, and the theory of relativity by Albert Einstein. Not the most accessible material!
Even for physics students, these topics are anything but easy. Prof. Gekle, however, manages to explain the complex content in his videos in such a way that it is easy to understand. At the same time, he offers his students many additional opportunities to make learning easier.
One of these offers is e-learning quizzes. This is a very practical way for course participants to test their level of knowledge. Especially if, as is the case with Prof. Gekle, you receive detailed feedback on answers. A question wall was also instituted. With the help of a kind of "digital board", students could ask questions anonymously - which were then answered promptly and comprehensively.
Good videos, exercises, quizzes, and the question wall together make learning the material much easier. Of course, they do not replace the course participants' own work. Yet Prof. Gekle has invested a lot of work in giving his students the best possible opportunities.
The question wall exemplifies the second point mentioned: accessibility. You notice this in the "Theoretical Mechanics” lecture. But also, for example, when you write a thesis with Mr Gekle. There are not many working groups where you meet weekly with the supervising professor to discuss the progress of your work and problems. Nor are there many lecturers who accompany new students throughout their time at the University as a confidant.
Supervision and teaching are obviously close to Prof. Gekle’s heart. He holds well thought-out classes, never patronizing students, providing a wealth of additional content and excellent teaching of complex material. For this, Prof. Gekle thoroughly deserves the teaching award of the University of Bayreuth.