Brock prof makes short list in TVO’s best lecturer contest

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Brock prof makes short list in TVO’s best lecturer contest

Published on December 09 2009

A Brock professor known for his interdisciplinary work in mathematics and art has now been recognized for his teaching.

Bill Ralph, associate professor of Mathematics has been selected as one of the 20 finalists in this year’s TVO Best Lecturer Competition, which celebrates the most engaging lecturers in Ontario.

For this year’s contest TVO received more than 970 nomination submissions for 692 professors from 37 post-secondary schools across the province.

"I want to say a huge thank you to my students for nominating me for the TVO contest,” said Ralph. “Brock has always had a student-centered approach to learning and I'm proud to be a part of it."

Ralph has been at Brock since 1985. He studies algebraic topology and the behaviour of certain “chaotic dynamical systems”, which he uses to generate mathematical art that can be seen at

He is also cross appointed with Brock’s Centre for Digital Humanities where he teaches digital media production.

Some of the students who nominated Ralph are from Brock's new MICA (Mathematics Integrated with Computer Applications) program, which he also helped to develop. In this program, future mathematics teachers create interactive learning objects and future researchers explore the boundaries of mathematics using the latest computer technology.

One of his student nominators notes: "No matter how stressed or upset I am, I know walking in to professor Ralph's calc class that I will be laughing at least once and feeling much better by the time I leave. He is able to accomplish this while still successfully teaching the necessary concepts."

TVO staff and an independent jury will review the submission videos to select 10 finalists whose names will be announced on Monday Feb. 8, 2010. The winning lecturer and their school will be awarded a $10,000 TD Insurance Meloche Monnex scholarship.

For more information, please visit — or contact Bill Ralph, associate professor, Mathematics, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x3804;

Professor Bill Ralph

Professor Bill Ralph