2005 Distinguished Research Award
Jeffrey J. Prentis, Professor of Physics
Jeffery J. Prentis, professor of physics in the College of Arts, Sciences and Letters, is the recipient of the Distinguished Research Award. For the past twenty years at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Dr. Prentis has admirably exemplified the teach-scholar model. The many publications that contain his research are used in the classroom; and his teaching innovations are published in the literature.
All his research is conducted on campus in close collaboration with his own students. It is notable that since 1999, he has been the sole faculty author of seven publications with six different undergraduates. Not only are these publications impressive in their own right; they also range across many fields, including statistical physics, quantum physics, and granular materials. Work of this nature is demanding and involves a blending of the techniques of both experimental and theoretical physics that are appropriate for each project.
Professor Prentis' pioneering ideas have received wide recognition. He has had two cover stories in the highly respected journal, The Physics Teacher; and in this journal's history he is the only author whose innovations have been featured twice. His articles in the American Journal of Physics have been publicly praised as being among the best articles ever published in the twelve-year history of the editor. In 2001 he received the University of Michigan technology transfer inventor's recognition award for his Boltzmann machine and for the statistical physics demonstrator. His colleagues and fellow scientists applaud Professor Prentis for research that is "elegant, original, profound, and inspiring."