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Foundations and Frontiers of Physics Education Research: Puget Sound 2011 Plenary Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Paula R. L. Heron, University of Washington

Paula Heron is a Professor of Physics at the University of Washington.  She received a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in physics from the University of Ottawa (1990) and a Ph.D. in theoretical condensed matter physics from the University of Western Ontario (1995).  Since joining the UW Physics Department in 1995, she has been studying learning and teaching in undergraduate physics courses for science and engineering students and in programs for current and future elementary, middle and high school teachers.  She has given invited talks at conferences and in universities in the US, Canada, and Europe.  She has served as an elected member of the Executive Committee of the Forum on Education of the APS and as Chair of the Committee on Research in Physics Education of the AAPT.  She is a co-Founder and co-Chair of the biannual conference series "Foundations and Frontiers in Physics Education Research," which began in 2005 and has become the leading conference devoted to PER in North America.  In 2007 she was elected Fellow of the APS.  In 2008 she shared the APS Physics Education Award with Lillian C. McDermott, Peter S. Shaffer and the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington.

Plenary Speaker

Stephanie V. Chasteen, University of Colorado at Boulder

Stephanie Chasteen's experience ranges from science research to education to communication.  She holds a doctorate in Condensed Matter Physics from the University of California at Santa-Cruz.  During her doctoral work, she pursued a sideline career in science journalism, culminating in a wide range of published pieces and a AAAS Mass Media Fellowship at National Public Radio's Science Desk in Washington D.C.  Her first postdoctoral appointment focused on working with high-school science teachers to promote inquiry-based instruction, under award-winning physics educator Dr. Paul Doherty at the Exploratorium's Teacher Institute.  She has produced numerous podcasts translating science topics and educational practices to working teachers, both at the Exploratorium and through the National Science Digital Library.  She is currently completing her second postdoc, in physics education research, at the University of Colorado's Science Education Initiative, where she has focused on upper-division physics courses.  Outside of CU, she focuses on educational change through teacher professional development and program evaluation, with an emphasis on research-based instructional methods and dissemination of research results.

Stephanie's Science Teaching Blog

Hunter G. Close, Texas State University – San Marcos

Hunter Close is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Seattle Pacific University.  While earning his PhD from the University of Washington Physics Education Group, he researched student learning of linear momentum, angular momentum, and rigid body dynamics.  His current research interests are in the application of conceptual metaphor, embodied cognition, interaction analysis, and history and philosophy of science to learning about physics and about physics teaching.  Presently he is pursuing these interests in the context of the Energy Project at Seattle Pacific University, the purpose of which is to study and support the learning of energy and the development of teachers' proximal formative assessment skills for energy.  He also runs the Physics Learning Assistant Program and has developed the Physics Interview Project at SPU.

Dedra Demaree, Ohio State University

Dedra Demaree is Assistant Professor of Physics at Oregon State University. She received her PhD from Ohio State University in 2006, then completed a one-year visiting professorship at the College of the Holy Cross. She was hired at OSU to extend the physics department's nationally recognized innovative teaching in the upper division to the lower division courses. She is in the process of reforming the introductory physics courses to incorporate interactive activities to engage students and practices that are authentic to the discipline of physics and that build transferable scientific skills. Her reforms include major remodeling of classroom space as well as changing the structure of courses. Her primary research focuses upon assessing these reforms and understanding how to turn a large lecture course into a community of participating learners: what teacher approaches are effective, what student barriers must be overcome, and how to train other instructors to effectively implement the reformed course goals. Her professional services in the past three years have included working directly with programs in Cape Town, South Africa, aimed at helping underprivileged students succeed in university-level science.

Louis Deslauriers, Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative

Louis Deslauriers completed his M.S.E. in Electrical Engineering (2000), M.Sc. in Physics (2001), and his Ph.D. in Applied Physics (2006), at The University of Michigan. His post doctoral work in Atomic Interferometry was conducted at Stanford University from 2006 to 2008. In 2008 Louis Deslauriers decided to satisfy his curiosity about physics education research and as such took a position of researcher with the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC.  At UBC he has worked on course transformation and assessment in modern physics, quantum mechanics, and other topics.