Harvard Physics Professor, Learning Catalytics Co-Founder Eric Mazur Wins $500K Minerva Prize for Advancements in Education

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A teaching pioneer, Mazur, who co-founded Learning Catalytics, acquired by Pearson in 2013, named first-ever winner for significant contributions to improving higher education

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June 17, 2014 — The Minerva Academy, an honorary institution dedicated to promoting and rewarding extraordinary advancements and innovation in higher education teaching around the world, announced Dr. Eric Mazur as the first winner of the Minerva Prize for Advancements in Higher Education. In recognizing Dr. Mazur, who co-founded Learning Catalytics, acquired by Pearson, for his significant contributions to improving higher education, the Academy noted his development of Peer Instruction, an innovative teaching method that has been recognized worldwide for driving dramatic improvements in student learning.

Dr. Mazur is the Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics and Area Dean for Applied Physics at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The Minerva Prize, which opened for global nominations in April 2013, recognizes one faculty member from any institution worldwide who has made a significant impact on student learning experiences through extraordinary innovation in higher education. The Minerva Prize will be officially awarded to Dr. Mazur at the Minerva Academy Summit in October 2014. He will receive a $500,000 cash prize as part of the award.

“Research has shown that instant feedback as well as peer-to-peer engagement helps improve student comprehension, and in my own years as a professor, I have had the benefit of seeing this firsthand,” said Dr. Mazur. “I am honored and humbled to receive the Minerva Prize, and look forward to continue to endeavor to improve teaching and learning for better student outcomes.”

Dr. Mazur is an internationally recognized scientist, researcher and professor. He leads a vigorous research program in both optical physics and physics education and supervises one of the largest research groups in the Applied Physics Area at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Dr. Mazur is also the author of the book “Principles and Practice of Physics” First Edition.

Learning Catalytics is a student engagement, assessment, and classroom intelligence system that uses mobile devices to track students’ understanding of class material in real time and to promote peer discussion; the platform grew out of Dr. Mazur’s work on peer instruction.

About Pearson
Pearson is the world's leading learning company, with 40,000 employees in more than 80 countries working to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning. For more information about Pearson, visit http://www.pearson.com.

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