The Goodwin Medal

Georgia Van de Zande with plushie band-saw

2021 Goodwin Medal recipient Georgia Van de Zande, with a plush band-saw she made.

Each year, MIT awards the Goodwin Medal to a graduate TA or Instructor (G) who has performed above and beyond the norm, and whose teaching efforts can truly be characterized as “conspicuously effective.” Read descriptions of recent outstanding teachers below under “Former Goodwin Medal Recipients”. This award was established in memory of Harry Manley Goodwin, the first dean of the graduate school at MIT, through a gift from his widow, Mary B. Goodwin, and son, Richard H. Goodwin.


The award will be presented to a graduate student teacher who has established a place of distinction in teaching in the opinion of his or her colleagues, students, and faculty. The nominee should be a current graduate student who is primarily at MIT (if involved in a joint program with another university). Co-teachers may be nominated jointly, but the specific contributions of each individual must be detailed (please see below). Descriptions of recent recipients (below) may provide helpful reference points for faculty and department nominators.


The award consists of an engraved bronze medal, designed by Katharine Lane, and a monetary gift of $5,000.


Any member of the faculty or any organized student group (through one of its responsible officers) may submit a nomination. These nominations should be sent to the faculty head of the candidate’s home department of registration, even if the candidate has taught subjects listed in other departments.

The final nomination from each department is due to the Office of Graduate Education on March 28, 2022. Nomination letters may be addressed to Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education Blanche Staton; nomination packages should be sent to, as a single, consolidated PDF file if possible.

Nominations must include:

  • Nomination letter from the department head
  • Candidate’s curriculum vitae
  • A summary of the candidate’s specific teaching responsibilities
  • Subject evaluation reports, at the instructor level, for each course taught by the nominee
  • Most important, letters from colleagues, students, and faculty to justify the characterization of the candidate’s teaching as “conspicuously effective.” Letters may be addressed to Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education Blanche Staton. A strong nomination includes at least one letter from students; one from colleagues; and one from faculty, although there is no limit on the number of letters.


Selection of the winner will be made by a committee consisting of former Goodwin Medalists and other outstanding teachers who are currently on the MIT faculty. The selection committee is chaired by the Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education.

The recipient will be announced at the MIT Awards Convocation in May.

Former Goodwin Medal Recipients

Year Name Department
2021 Georgia Van de Zande Mechanical Engineering
2020 Olivia Brode-Roger Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
2019 Andrew Turner and Claire Kim Physics and Anthropology and Science, Technology and Society (HASTS)
2018 Or Gadish Health Sciences & Technology
2017 Cauam Ferreira Cardoso Urban Studies and Planning
 2016 [No recipient]
 2015 George Chen and Ramesh Sridharan  Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
 2014  [No reciepient]
 2013 Joe Steinmeyer and Tony Tao  Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Aeronautics and Astronautics
 2012  Adrian Chi-Yan Liu  Physics
 2011  Taylor Barton  Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
 2010  Zhe Lu and Yoda Patta Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering
 2009  Barry Kudrowitz  Mechanical Engineering
 2008 Christian Schubert Chemistry
2007 Michael Metzger  Management Science
2006 Helena de Bres and Stephen Hou  Linguistics and Philosophy/ Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
2005 Michael Hinczewski and Benjamin Vandiver Physics and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
2004 Brian C. Dean and Rajeev Malhotra Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Health Science Technology
2003 Jeffrey Allan Bowers and Ziad Nejmeldeen Physics and Economics
2002 Elizabeth A. Kensinger Brain and Cognitive Sciences
2001 Christopher Gouldstone Aeronautics and Astronautics
2000 Megan Yakeley and Catalin Zara  Architecture and Mathematics
1999 Babak Ayazifar and Marc Paradis Electrical Engineering and Computer Science/ Brain and Cognitive Sciences
1998 Kevin M. Shea Chemistry
1997 Christopher Morse and Adil Najam Chemistry and Urban Planning and Studies
1996  [No recipient]
1995 Todd Anderson and David Laws Chemistry and Urban Planning and Studies
1994 John R. Buck Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
1993 Andrew K. Barrows and Farshid Hajir Aeronautics and Astronautics and Mathematics
1992 Jacqueline A. Acho and Mohamed Yahiaoui Chemistry and Ocean Engineering
1991 James Fuller Abbott and Gregory W. Wornell Physics and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
1990 Franklyn Turbak Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
1989 Stephen M. Slivan Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
1988 Carol B. Conaway  Political Sciences
1987 Lisa J. Mulvey  Civil and Environmental Engineering
1986 David P. Keenan and Erik G. Vaaler Ocean Engineering and Mechanical Engineering
1985 Steven C. Semken Material Science and Engineering
1984 Janice H. Hammond Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
1983 Edward Kaplan and Matt M. Rodammer Urban Studies and Planning and Material Science and Engineering
1982 Paul Smoke Urban Studies and Planning
1981 Peter Greenberg/Robert Winters Mathematics
1980 Jean-Paul Lavallaye Chemistry
1979 James E. Hubbard, Jr. and Steven R. Taylor Mechanical Engineering and Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
1978 John Michael Bartley Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
1977 Thomas O. Mason and Thomas W. Wolf Materials Science and Engineering and Political Science
1976 Douglas A. Limbert Mechanical Engineering
1975 Harold Rogers Chemistry
1974 Ihab Farag and Ronald Hollander Chemical Engineering and Metallurgy
1973 Alan J. Grodzinsky Electrical Engineering
1972 Samuel A. Cohen Physics
1971 Woodie C. Flowers and Lawrence E. Susskind Mechanical Engineering and Urban Studies and Planning
1970 William Lawrence Verplank Mechanical Engineering
1969 Harriet Jane Fell Mathematics
1968 Charles L. Seitz, III Electrical Engineering
1967 Walter H. Berninger and John W. Hafstrom Electrical Engineering
1966 James R. Geiser Mathematics
1965 Barbara Corey Hall and Frank E. Perkins Linguistics and Civil and Environmental Engineering
1964 [No recipient]
1963 Walter Godchaux III Biology
1962 Norton Lambert Starr II  Mathematics
1961 Richard Y. Kain Electrical Engineering
1960 Douglas Alfred East Mechanical Engineering
1959 Harry B. Lee Electrical Engineering
1958 Donald Lester Kreider Mathematics
1957 Thomas Greenway Stockham, Jr. Electrical Engineering
1956  [No recipient]
1955 James K. Knowles Mathematics
1954 Robert L. Barringer Physics
1953  [No recipient]
1952 Holt Ashley and Kenneth Wadleigh Aeronautics and Astronautics/ Mechanical Engineering