Richtmyer Memorial Award
The Richtmyer Memorial Award is an award for physics education, named for physicist Floyd K. Richtmyer and given annually by the American Association of Physics Teachers. Its recipients include over 15 Nobel Prize winners.
Establishment and award criteria
Floyd T. Richtmyer (1881–1939) was one of the first presidents of the American Association of Physics Teachers and his work helped shape the development of physics in the United States. The Richtmyer Award was established in 1941, and is typically given to educators who have made outstanding contributions as teachers in their fields. It is awarded to those who have not only produced important current research in physics, but to those who have, by means of communication to both students and other educators, imparted information and motivation to participants in the field. The effective use of a teaching method in order to pass on information, and to stimulate interest in physics, is seen as being worthy of recognition in its own right, in addition to the importance of the production of new research.
Recipients of the award deliver a Keynote Address, the annual Richtmyer Lecture, which is designed for communication with non-specialist audiences, during the AAPT Winter Meeting.
Past recipients of the award include "a long list of giants in the field of physics"  such as UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau(1989); Steven Chu of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (1990), who also is a UC Berkeley professor of physics and a physics Nobelist, and who has been the 12th United States Secretary of Energy since 2009; and physicists Charles Townes (1959), Emilio Segrè (1957), J. Robert Oppenheimer (1947), and Nobel prize winner Carl Wieman of the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1995.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, the following scientists from a wide number of institutions have received this award:
- 2001 - Shirley Ann Jackson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 
- 2002 - Jordan A. Goodman, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 
- 2003 - Margaret Murnane, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 
- 2004 - Lene Vestergaard Hau, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 
- 2005 - Carlos Bustamante, University of California, Berkeley CA 
- 2006 - Neil Ashby, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 
- 2007 - Alex Filippenko, University of California, Berkeley CA 
- 2008/9 - Vera Rubin, Carnegie Institution of Washington
- 2010 - Not Awarded
- 2011 - Kathryn Moler, Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials and Physics, Stanford University, CA 
- 2012 - Brian Greene, Columbia University, New York, NY 
It is the emphasis on mentoring younger teachers that has made the Richtmyer Award distinct from other teaching awards that centre mainly upon the education of students. The Richtmyer Award is the forerunner of modern awards such as the Young Faculty Award (YFA) program established by DARPA, the aim of which is to identify and engage rising research stars in junior faculty positions at U.S. academic institutions. 
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