Morris Orzech (2000)

orzechAffiliation at the time of the award: Queen’s University, Mathematics and Statistics.

Citation: Morris is a dedicated teacher who works tirelessly to improve the quality of education for his students and to promote effective teaching among his colleagues. He has led curriculum development efforts in his own department and was among the first at Queen’s to use “incomplete notes” for a large first-year linear algebra course, a technique which keeps students involved while freeing them from making copious notes. These interactive notes play a key role in creating independent learners and promoting deep learning. He was also one of the first to introduce a computer-based bulletin board called “MathChat” to promote discussion of mathematical issues dealt with in class among students, teaching assistants and instructors. This pioneering use of the Internet is now used in over 80 different courses at Queen’s. He works closely with the Learning Technology Unit, serving on its advisory Board and presenting sessions on incorporating technology into the classroom. He has given presentations at the annual Technology Education Day and acts as an invaluable resource person and instructor for courses and seminars offered by the Instructional Development Centre. He is a member of Queen’s Cross-Faculty Teaching Forum, a planning group university-wide events on teaching.

In 1995, he crated the Mathematics and Statistics Teaching and Learning Seminar series which regularly brings together highly motivated teachers from the Department, the Faculty of Education, the Instructional Development Centre, and occasionally visitors from other universities and local high schools. He has been a leader at Queen’s as well as nationally with respect to a wide variety of educational issues in mathematics. Morris has chaired the Canadian Mathematical Society’s Education Committee, a national body for promoting and studying the teaching in mathematics in post-secondary institutions. Over the years, Morris has given numerous talks and workshops about aspects of the teaching of mathematics within the department, in the university and at meetings of the Canadian Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America. He has published two papers in peer-reviewed educational journals, one in PRIMUS, and the other in the International Journal of Academic Development.