The Stanford Physics Department awards excellence among our graduate teaching assistants with the Paul H. Kirkpatrick award. This Award was established to recognize those graduate students who have demonstrated a talent for and commitment to the teaching of physics to undergraduates, thereby exemplifying the dual commitment to teaching and research characteristic of Paul Kirkpatrick's own scientific life. Paul H. Kirkpatrick was a distinguished member of the Stanford Physics Department for 28 years before retiring in 1960. He died in December 1992 at the age of 98. Although well known for his 40 years of x-ray research, for the invention of the x-ray microscope, and for his pioneering work in scientific holography (long before the invention of the laser), he is at least as famous for his spirited championship of the importance of furthering excellence in the teaching of physics. Paul Kirkpatrick's strength of character, integrity and compassion were much admired by colleagues, family and friends.
Many of our Kirkpatrick awardees have gone on to distinguished teaching careers in Physics. We are grateful to the original donors for establishing this endowed fund that will allow us to continue to award excellence in teaching.