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Michael Dennin of UC Irvine Receives Award for OpenCourseWare Excellence

Distinction is Given by Education-Portal.com for OpenCourseWare Excellence

IRVINE, Calif. – August 30, 2011 – Michael Dennin, a professor of physics at the University of California, Irvine, has been honored as a recipient of the Education-Portal.com’s OCW People’s Choice Awards. Dennin’s course titled, “Science from Superheroes to Global Warming,” was voted the winner in the best user experience category. This was the first year Education-Portal.com held the awards honoring the best of the OpenCourseWare movement, and UC Irvine was also nominated in three other categories for best user experience, most open resource and best non-video open educational resource.

“I am pleased to contribute and be an integral part of such an important educational community,” said Dennin. “The award serves as a testament to UC Irvine’s commitment to educating students about the role science plays in our society and the encouragement of creativity and scientific progress through the development of additional OCW materials and courses.”

The courseware awards were hosted by Education-Portal.com, a website that showcases leading educational institutions on the Internet, to provide recognition to outstanding individuals, courseware and OpenCourseWare sites in the OCW community. More than 4,000 people voted on the website for the winners in each division, including the best user experience category.

Dennin’s course explores the ways in which science works using case studies that are drawn from a wide spectrum of people‘s experiences, including superheroes, movies and real world issues such as global warming. The OCW course shares basic concepts such as the scientific method and the process of organized skepticism that leads to scientific progress. The course case studies present a chance for students to improve, develop and gain a better appreciation for science and the scientific method.

“It is an honor to have UC Irvine recognized for its overall contributions to the OpenCourseWare movement,” said Larry Cooperman, director of UC Irvine’s OpenCourseWare project. “Through courses as such, Dennin continues to contribute to the greater educational community by creating equal, open accessibility to high quality educational materials.”

Dennin received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, while working on pattern formation and electro convection in nematic liquid crystals. He held a postdoctoral position at the University of California, Los Angeles, working on two-dimensional flow problems using Langmuir monolayers. He is a professor at the University of California, Irvine, in the Physics department, where he continues his work on complex fluids.

To learn more about the award, visit: http://education-portal.com/articles/Best_User_Experience_Science_from_Superheroes_to_Global_Warming.html

About UC Irvine’s OpenCourseWare Initiative

The University of California, Irvine was the first University of California campus–and West Coast University–to join the OCW Consortium. UC Irvine's membership in the OCW Consortium is consistent with its public- and land-grant missions and its desire to play a significant role in contributing to the social welfare of the state, the nation and the world. Open educational resources (OER) showcase the University's high quality education and makes courses and course materials free for everyone in the world. UC Irvine's OCW is a large-scale, Web-based resource that houses educational assets that are discoverable, searchable, modifiable, and, best of all, free and easily available. Through the OCW movement, UC Irvine provides University-quality courses and learning assets to populations of self-learners that are underserved and in many cases, unable to participate in formal education at a university. This site also offers access to UC Irvine’s online continuing education offerings. For more information about UC Irvine's OCW initiative, visit http://open.uci.edu/, e-mail open@uci.edu or follow us at Twitter.com/UCI_OCW and Facebook (UC Irvine OpenCourseWare).

About the University of California, Irvine

Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation, and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit uci.edu.