Geoff Hutchison wins 2018 Tina and David Bellet Excellence Award

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 7 February 2018

Geoff Hutchison is the 2018 Tina and David Bellet Excellence Awardee. The award recognizes his effectiveness and his innovations in teaching.

This award established in 1998 with a gift from Dietrich School alumnus, David Bellet (A&S '67) and his wife Tina, and endowed in 2008 through the family's further generosity, this annual award recognizes outstanding and innovative teaching in undergraduate studies in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. Each fall, students and faculty are encouraged to submit nominations to the associate dean for undergraduate studies. A committee reviews nominations and requests dossiers from eligible candidates. Award recipients each receive a one-time cash prize

Among many innovations Hutchinson developed Avagadro molecular editor; with that software, he designed projects that allow Physical Chemistry students to perform quantum mechanical calculations to visualize results/concepts. He has worked with Daniel Lambrecht to develop the Pitt Quantum Repository a website for viewing molecules on a desktop, web, or iPhone. Students can visualize and rotate molecules for themselves – connecting the 3D visualization to 2D handouts or presentation slides. This repository and the Avagoro suite of projects are increasingly being used in the Chemistry curriculum, including introductory freshman courses, to explain structure-function relationships.