Appointment of Alison Gibbs as Director of the Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation

From: Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education & Vice-Provost, Academic Programs
Date: April 9, 2020
Re: Centre for Teaching Supporting & Innovation (CTSI) – Call for Director Nominations (PDAD&C #63)

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Alison Gibbs as Director of the Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation for a five-year term beginning July 1, 2020.

Professor Gibbs is currently a Professor, Teaching Stream in the Department of Statistical Sciences in the Faculty of Arts & Science. Professor Gibbs is an accomplished and recognized teacher, having received the Faculty of Arts and Science Outstanding Teaching Award in 2012, the University of Toronto President’s Teaching Award in 2016, and a 3M National Teaching Fellowship in 2018. She showed tremendous leadership as Associate Chair of Undergraduate Studies in Statistics during a period of unprecedented growth in student demand for programs in statistics, from 1000 students to over 4000 students.

Professor Gibbs work has focused on the teaching and learning of statistics and data science at all levels, from primary through graduate school. She has taught probability, statistical theory, and statistical practice to students at all levels and through a variety of formats, including small seminar courses, large lectures, and a Massive Open Online Course with over 60,000 students. She has been engaged in various projects related to data science in schools, online learning, inverted classrooms, statistics and data science curriculum development, and the development of professional identity and adaptive expertise. Professor Gibbs’ research interests have ranged from theoretical properties of statistical algorithms to how students learn. Her publications include studies of convergence rates of Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithms, collaborative work investigating issues in human health, explorations of how secondary school students’ reason about Big Data, and examinations of how students most effectively engage with online learning resources.

Professor Gibbs completed a BMath in Applied Mathematics at the University of Waterloo and a BEd at the University of Western Ontario. She taught secondary school mathematics before pursuing graduate studies in Statistics at the University of Toronto, completing an MSc and a PhD. She joined the University as a faculty member in 2002.

Professor Gibbs’ approach to teaching, her passion for educational innovation and excellence, and her experience with a wide range of pedagogical and curricular approaches will be a great benefit to the University in this new role. Please join us in congratulating Professor Gibbs on this new appointment.