Frank Witte


Dr. Frank Witte
Associate Professor (Teaching)

twitter: @Alarcos

Frank Witte is Associate Professor (Teaching) and Departmental Tutor in the Department of Economics at UCL where he also teaches Economics of Science and Environmental Economics. Before coming to UCL Economics in 2010 he obtained a PhD from the University of Heidelberg in theoretical physics and taught theoretical physics as a senior lecturer at Utrecht University in the Netherlands until 2010. He was a visiting fellow at St John’s College in Cambridge (UK) in 2002, an academic visitor at Imperial College in London (UK) in the Quantum Optics and Laser Science group in 2009 and international visiting fellow to Grinnell College (USA) in 2012. He served on several national and international teaching evaluation panels, including the TEEP project in 2004 by ENQA to assess the methodology for trans-European evaluations of teaching & curricula. From 1998 till 2010 Frank was also heavily involved in setting up University College Utrecht, the first residential Liberal Arts & Sciences programme in the Netherlands.

Influenced by these varied experiences he has come to view the ‘quality of interaction’ as the key classroom ingredient that distinguishes good, activating and challenging teaching. His focus are on teaching methods that spark and train critical thinking, quantitative and mathematical skills, develop research skills, that make proper use of the ‘Socratic method’ and/or that deploy ‘story-telling’ techniques in the classroom. He also eagerly experiments with the interactive use of web-based tools for teaching and learning.

Frank is completing a modelling & networks based Economics of Science textbook and in his spare time he occasionally writes science-education pieces for the Cambridge-based ‘The Naked Scientists’, develops ideas and materials with his fellow ‘Rogues’ of “Star Wars in the Class” and maintain a number of blogsites in collaboration with others.