UTN´s pedagogical prize to Luís Diogo


The UTN Pedagogical Prize 2023 is awarded to Luís Diogo, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Mathematics. He receives the award for his enthusiasm and commitment to each student's understanding and his exceptional ability to highlight the very details that students find difficult. By providing several different perspectives and relating the mathematics to applications based on the programmes the students study, he gives them the opportunity to understand in depth. 

Luís Diogo in front of the black board full of notes,holding a chalk.

Congratulations Luís! How does it feel to receive the award?

"Thank you! It was a wonderful surprise when I heard about it. It made me very happy."

How do you succeed so well in capturing what the students do not understand?

"I have been fortunate to teach subjects that I find interesting. When preparing my courses, I try to communicate what I like about the subject in the most direct way that I can, and to point out relations to other subjects that the students may be familiar with. Since the students are much better than me at knowing what they are not understanding, I try to encourage them to ask questions. Those are great opportunities to clarify a point that other students may also find difficult, or to make a connection to another topic that may have been studied before or that students may learn about later."

Do you also have the opportunity to help those who do not dare to ask their questions in the lectures?

"I try to convince students that their questions are welcome. For those who prefer not to ask questions during the lectures, I usually stay in the classroom during the mid-lecture break and for a bit after the lecture. I also try to give helpful replies to questions that students send me by email."

Where do you get knowledge and inspiration for pedagogical development?

"In general, I have learnt about many interesting teaching techniques and ideas from talking to colleagues. More specifically, when preparing a course I find it very helpful to talk to colleagues that have taught the same course in the past. I have also taken many courses as a student, and try to replicate in my teaching the practices that I found most effective."

Do you have a pedagogical role model and what do you think it takes to stand out in the crowd of good teachers?

"I am fortunate to have had many excellent teachers, who are my pedagogical role models. I also had the privilege of studying and teaching in different countries, with somewhat distinct teaching traditions. I find this broad experience helpful to deal with the challenges of teaching mathematics, like looking for a good balance between rigor and intuition, or trying to encourage student participation in class."

What is the best thing about teaching maths?

"The feeling that students have understood and appreciated a relevant idea is very rewarding."

What is your best study tip for students?

"Unfortunately I did not appreciate it enough when I was a bachelor’s student, but exchanging ideas with other students is a very helpful and fun way to learn."

About Luís Diogo

Career path: I have a bachelor’s degree from Instituto Superior Técnico, in Lisbon, a master’s from the University of Chicago and a PhD from Stanford University. I was a postdoc at ETH Zurich, at Columbia University and at Uppsala University. I was an assistant professor at Universidade Federal Fluminense, in Brazil, before returning to Uppsala University. I have been a senior lecturer here since 2021.

Courses he teach: This year I have been teaching Geometry and Analysis III, Fourier Analysis and Complex Analysis.

Luís and maths: It is difficult for me to put it in less pompous terms, but I find mathematics an unending source of beautiful and deep ideas.

In his free time: I have a young daughter, so a lot of my free time is occupied with occupying her free time.

Read more

UTN's Facebook post on the prize award

News from the Department of Mathematics

Last modified: 2023-08-15