Media Releases

Excellence in Teaching and Research Honoured at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

March 10, 2017

Toronto, ON – Seven faculty members at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have received awards for achievements in research and teaching.

Four faculty members were awarded with the 2016 Roger Martin Awards for Excellence in Research and Teaching. Established by Prof. Roger Martin, a former Dean of the Rotman School, the awards are presented annually to faculty members who have achieved distinction for their teaching or research activities. The co-winners of the Roger Martin Excellence in Research Award are Prof. Joshua Gans and Prof. Peter Christoffersen. The co-winners of the Roger Martin Excellence in Teaching Award are Prof. Mikhail Simutin and Prof.  Avi Goldfarb.

Two faculty members have also received the newly established Outstanding Research Impact Award which recognizes research and intellectual activities which have a significant impact on external non-academic audiences including the business and public policy communities both locally and internationally. The co-winners for 2016/17 are Prof. Nina Mažar and Prof. Dilip Soman.

Prof. Ajay Agrawal is the winner of the Distinguished Scholarly Contribution Award which recognizes and encourages research and research-related service that contribute to the development of a robust and dynamic research environment within and beyond the Rotman community.

Joshua Gans is a professor of strategic management and holder of the Jeffrey S. Skoll Chair of Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Rotman School (with a cross appointment in the Department of Economics). Since 2013, he has also been Area Coordinator of Strategic Management. He is also Chief Economist of the Rotman School’s Creative Destruction Lab. He holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and an honors degree in economics from the University of Queensland. His research is primarily focused on understanding the economic drivers of innovation and scientific progress, and has core interests in digital strategy and antitrust policy. His recent book, The Disruption Dilemma, published by The MIT Press in 2016, explained why some companies have successfully managed disruption and why some have not.

Peter Christoffersen is a professor of finance at the Rotman School and holds the TSX Chair in Capital Markets. He is also a fellow at the Bank of Canada. His main research interests are in volatility modeling for option valuation as well as in developing back testing procedures for risk management systems. He is the author of the Elements of Financial Risk Management, Second Edition (Academic Press, December 2011). He has won research awards from the Q-Group, KPMG, the Montreal Exchange, and STOXX. He has given invited lectures at the Bank of America, the Bank of Canada, the European Central Bank, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, and the International Monetary Fund among others. Since 2012, he has also been a member of the Model Validation Council at the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System. His PhD is from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mikhail Simutin is an assistant professor of finance at the Rotman School. Since 2012 he has taught a finance course in the first year of the Rotman MBA program regularly receiving high marks from his students in their course evaluations. His research interests include empirical asset pricing, mutual funds, and risk and performance measurement. His work has appeared in Journal of Financial Economics and Financial Management. His PhD is from the University of British Columbia.

Avi Goldfarb is the Ellison Professor of Marketing at the Rotman School. He teaches courses on data, marketing, and digitization in several of the Rotman School’s programs. His research focuses on understanding the opportunities and challenges of the digital economy and he has published over 60 academic articles in a wide range of journals.  He is Chief Data Scientist of the Creative Destruction Lab, Senior Editor at Marketing Science, a fellow at the Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman research group, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University.

Nina Mažar is an associate professor of marketing. Dilip Soman is a professor of marketing and holds the Corus Chair in Communications Strategy at the Rotman School. Profs. Mazar and Soman are co-directors of the Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman (BEAR) which is a research cluster that partners with non-profit organizations, companies, and governmental agencies to use research findings to solve social problems such as financial literacy, obesity, and fraud. BEAR, and its partners, combine decades of research in decision-making with empirically-tested tools to facilitate behavioural change.

Prof. Soman’s research is in the area of behavioural economics and its applications to consumer wellbeing, marketing and policy. He works with ideas42 and serves as advisor to a number of welfare organizations. In 2016, he was appointed to the Privy Council Office in the Canadian Federal Government as a Senior Policy Advisor in its Innovation Hub in Ottawa. His PhD is from the University of Toronto.

Prof. Mažar is a Fellow of the Science Leadership Program in Canada and was named one of “The 40 Most Outstanding B-School Profs Under 40 In The World” by Poets&Quants in 2014. With her focus on behavioural economics, she investigates consumer behaviour, how it deviates from standard economic assumptions, and its implications for policy. She serves as advisor to a number of organizations around the world. In 2015, Nina was appointed to the World Bank as the Senior Behavioural Scientist of its new Global INsights Initiative (GINI) in Washington, DC. She holds a Dr. rer. pol. (Ph.D. equivalent) from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany.

Ajay Agrawal is the Peter Munk Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Rotman School and the Founder and Academic Director of the School’s Creative Destruction Lab. The CDL leverages the Rotman School’s leading faculty and industry network as well as its location in the heart of Canada’s business capital to accelerate massively scalable, technology-based ventures that have the potential to transform our economic and social landscape. Since its inception, companies who have graduated from the program have gone on to create more than $950 million (CDN) in equity value.  Prof. Agrawal is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and Co-Founder of The Next 36. He teaches courses on business strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship and conducts research on the economics of innovation and creativity. His PhD is from the University of British Columbia.

The Rotman School of Management is located in the heart of Canada’s commercial and cultural capital and is part of the University of Toronto, one of the world’s top 20 research universities. The Rotman School fosters a new way to think that enables our graduates to tackle today’s global business and societal challenges.  For more information, visit


Ken McGuffin
Manager, Media Relations
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto
Tel: 416-946-3818