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John Taylor Named Hazel Barnes Prize Winner

John Taylor, a nationally renowned physics professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, has been selected to receive the Hazel Barnes Prize, the University of Colorado Boulder's highest recognition for teaching and research.

The prize includes an engraved University Medal and cash award of $20,000.

Chancellor Richard L. Byyny announced that Taylor, creator of the popular CU Wizards program, will be recognized during summer commencement exercises, held Aug. 7 in the Norlin Quadrangle.

Taylor is widely known as the original "Mr. Wizard" of the CU Wizards shows at the University of Colorado. The entertaining shows are designed to raise children's interest in the basic principles of science. Since the program started in 1980, Taylor has given shows to more than 25,000 children in 150 schools and museums throughout Colorado.

He also is the recipient of the 1991 University of Colorado Presidential Teaching Scholar award and the 1989 Colorado Professor of the Year award presented by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. A television series he helped produce through the university, "Physics For Fun," which aired from 1988 to 1990, received an Emmy Award.

Taylor, who joined the physics faculty as an assistant professor in 1966, exemplifies the integration of teaching, research and community service. He has received numerous teaching awards while at CU, including the President's Teaching Scholar in 1991 and the 1989 Colorado Professor of the Year Award and the National Professor of the Year Award. In 1998, he was a visiting lecturer at the International Science Festival in New Zealand.

Taylor, a prolific scholar, has published numerous papers in prestigious research journals including Physical Review and the Journal of Mathematical Physics. His other publications are primarily teaching related textbooks and magazines.

His textbooks are considered seminal contributions to physics education. "An Introduction to Error Analysis," published in 1982, is the most popular text on error analysis in the United States and perhaps in the world. He also served as the associate editor of the American Journal of Physics from 1988-1992.

Taylor hold's a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Cambridge University and a doctorate in physics from the University of California at Berkeley. He taught at Princeton University before arriving at CU-Boulder.

The Hazel Barnes Prize is the largest single faculty award funded by the university. Taylor is the eighth Hazel Barnes Prize recipient, joining Klaus Timmerhaus of chemical engineering (1992), Reginald Saner of English (1993), David Prescott of MCD biology (1994), Michael Grant of EPO biology (1995), John "Jack" Kelso of anthropology (1996), Jane Bock of EPO biology (1997), and G. Dale Meyer of business (1998).

The prize was established in 1991 by former Chancellor James Corbridge in honor of philosophy Professor Emerita Hazel Barnes to recognize "the enriching interrelationship between teaching and research." Barnes, a renowned teacher from 1943 until her retirement in 1986, is internationally known for her interpretation of the work of French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre.