Sonoma State University
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Saeid Rahimi Wins Excellence in Teaching Award

Dr. Saeid Rahimi has been chosen by Sonoma State University to receive one of two 1999 Excellence in Teaching awards.

The $5000 award “recognizes and rewards excellence in teaching and outstanding contribution to the education of Sonoma State University students through classroom instruction and other activities that promote student learning.” Funded by local donors, the award was started in 1998 as a replacement for the Outstanding Professor award, which the California State University system discontinued after many years. Winners of the new award are chosen by a committee of faculty and students appointed by the academic senate.

When congratulated on the prize, the modest professor replied, “I try to teach and deal with my students the way my best professors treated me.”

Dr. Rahimi was recognized for his outstanding work with students in courses ranging from the first course in the calculus-based sequence to advanced laboratory courses in electronics, photonics, and semiconductors. The founder of the semiconductor and photonics laboratories, he has developed several courses and has also taught a special studies course in the graphical programming language LabVIEW. In the fall this versatile experimentalist will teach the theoretical course in quantum physics for senior physics majors. He has even developed and taught a general education laboratory course in the physics of toys.

He currently has five students working on individual research projects in photonics, some of them paid from two grants he has received from Lockheed Martin Co.

Dr. Rahimi received his bachelor’s degree from Shiraz University in his native Iran and his Ph.D. at Pennsylvania State University. He did postdoctoral research in semiconductors at the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology before coming to SSU in 1982.

The Outstanding Professor award was conferred on three members of the Department of Physics and Astronomy: Dr. Lynn Cominsky in 1993, Dr. Richard Karas in 1978, and Dr. Garrison Sposito in 1970.


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