PhysTEC 2007 Conference Presenters
Wendy Adams, University of Colorado
Wendy is a graduate researcher in the Physics Education Research group at Colorado. She developed and validated the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS). In addition, she has studied the effectiveness of and developed the interface design guidelines for the Physics Education Technology Project (PhET) interactive computer simulations. Currently Wendy is studying problem solving and developing a problem solving evaluation tool.
David Aragon, Director, Multicultural Engineering Program, University of Colorado at Boulder
David Aragon serves as the Co-Director of the Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP) for the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder. As the MEP co-director for student development and retention, David administers a comprehensive scholarship and academic excellence program for 200 underrepresented minority undergraduate engineering students. In addition, David serves on the management team for the National Science Foundation Colorado Alliance for Minority Participation (CO-AMP) which funds academic enrichment activities supporting the retention and graduation of underrepresented minority engineering and science students at fourteen colleges and universities in Colorado and the four-corners region. David has 20 years of experience and increasing responsibility in the design, management, and administration of programs supporting the educational, career and leadership development of students of color.
David currently leads a collaborative partnership with the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. (NACME) which funds scholarships for underrepresented minority engineering students enrolled at the University of Colorado. David also serves as secretary on the Board of Directors for Colorado MESA, a state-wide pre-college program providing enrichment activities (mathematics, engineering and science) in K-12 schools throughout Colorado; and, he recently completed a two-year term as treasurer on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates, Inc. (NAMEPA). He previously worked in Admissions at the University of Colorado, and also spent two years as Manager for Training and Development for INROADS/Colorado, Inc.
Janet A Blume, Brown University
Janet Blume got her a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree from Princeton University in 1982, followed by a PhD in Applied Mechanics from the California Institute of Technology in 1986. She immediately joined the faculty in Engineering at Brown as an as a member of the Mechanics of Solids and Structures group, doing research in the mathematical issues in the behavior of solids undergoing large deformations.
Professor Blume has taught many engineering courses in the mechanical and civil engineering areas at all levels of the graduate and undergraduate curricula. She is particularly devoted to teaching the Introduction to Engineering course, which includes design projects and applied laboratories. She advises research theses at all levels.
In addition to the teaching and research listed above, Professor Blume is actively involved in Engineering Outreach and leads several programs aimed at bringing engineering topics into math and science education at the pre-college level. She runs a unique Engineering Undergraduate Teacher Preparation Program, in which engineering students can graduate in 4 years with an ScB degree and Rhode Island certification to teach high school physics.
Professor Blume lives in Providence with her husband, 2 sons, and lots of pets.
After receiving my teaching credential in chemistry from Occidental College in Eagle Rock, California, I began my teaching career in 1977. For the first five years I taught a variety of science and math courses in a continuation high in Santa Maria, California. After teaching 1 year in the U.S. Virgin Islands we returned to the mainland, and I started teaching in a Jr. High School in Los Osos, California. I thought it was only until I could find a job at the high school level. It turned out I loved the age and the curriculum and didn't leave for 19 years. In 2001 I started working at San Luis High, where I taught physical science, chemistry, and math. Now I am extremely fortunate that the local college, California State University at San Luis Obispo, asked if I would serve as a Teacher in Residence for the year 2005-2006. Over the years I have participated in the variety of extras that teachers involve themselves in. A partial list includes having served as a mentor teacher, union negotiator, and technology mentor. I've participated in pilot teaching programs, presented numerous workshops, been the site teacher of the year, club advisor and served as the science department representative on more committee meetings than seems possible.
Catherine Crouch, Swarthmore College
Catherine Crouch is Assistant Professor of Physics at Swarthmore College, where she joined the faculty in 2003. She earned her B.A. in physics from Williams College and her Ph.D. in experimental condensed matter physics at Harvard University. She then did postdoctoral research in both physics education and condensed matter physics with Eric Mazur at Harvard University. Her education research interests include gender differences in introductory college and university physics, the effectiveness of lecture demonstrations. She is also interested in curricular teaching issues, in particular how to optimize the introductory physics course for life science students. Her current physics research is on fluorescence from single semiconductor nanoparticles.
Eugenia Etkina, Rutgers University
Eugenia Etkina has an extensive teaching experience in physics and astronomy instruction at middle school, high school and university levels. She earned her Ph.D. in physics education from Moscow State Pedagogical University. She now is an associate professor of science education at Rutgers University. She taught middle school physics and mathematics, high school physics and astronomy and university physics courses. She is currently teaching pre- and in-service teachers how to teach physics and works collaboratively with the department of Physics and Astronomy to reform introductory physics courses. She developed an approach to teaching physics where students construct their understanding using processes similar to those used by scientists in real world research. She studies how students develop and transfer scientific abilities
Cathy Mariotti Ezrailson, Texas A&M
Dr. Cathy Mariotti Ezrailson is an Assistant Research Scientist and Lecturer at Texas A&M University. Dr. Ezrailson is also Director of the Texas Alliance for Math, Science, Engineering and Technology initiatives in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture. An AAPT Physics Teaching Resource Agent, she has taught AP physics, scientific research and design, computer technologies, geology, chemistry in Texas public schools and community colleges for more than 25 years. She currently teaches science methods for elementary and middle school science education majors at Texas A&M University She has designed and implemented the EMIT model, an inquiry-based teaching method for Graduate Teaching Assistants, Peer teachers, Pre-K through 12th grade pre-service, in-service teachers and math and science tutors. She is also the managing editor of ThePhysicsFront, the AAPT/NSDL pre-college collection for physics and astronomy.
Noah Finkelstein, University of Colorado at Boulder
Noah Finkelstein is an assistant professor of physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He received his Ph.D. at Princeton University, studying laser physics and light interaction with matter. During a post-doc, he studied education, learning, conditions which support learning in a cross-cultural psychology laboratory at the University of California, San Diego. Since he has been at CU (Fall 2003), he has helped build one of the largest and newest research groups in physics education in the U.S. (http://per.colorado.edu). His work focuses on understanding student learning in context and understanding what context in physics education means and how it shapes learning. That is, rather than focusing on individuals learning a particular concept, he focuses on how individuals learn particular concepts in particular environments using particular tools (both material and intellectual tools). His work stems from the socio-cultural school of psychology and education. Noah is a member of AAPT, APS, and serves on the APS Forum on Education and the Physics Education Research Leadership Organizing Council. More about Noah can be found on his website at: http://spot.colorado.edu/~finkelsn
Kathleen A. Harper, The Ohio State University
Kathleen Harper serves as Director of Undergraduate Course Development in the Department of Physics and the Managing Director of the College of Mathematical and Physical Sciences' INitiative for Quantitative Education Research Infrastructure (INQUERI). She received her Ph. D. in physics from The Ohio State University, specializing in physics education research and working with Alan Van Heuvelen. Her research focus is the development of problem solving skills in introductory physics courses, and she has presented or co-presented numerous workshops on the use of non-traditional problem types in physics instruction. She has been part of the national Modeling movement since the mid 90's, participating in the national leadership workshop in Chicago from 1995-1997 and co-leading a national Phase II workshop in the Washington, DC area from 1998-1999. At the local level, she has co-led Modeling workshops for Ohio teachers since 2004. Dr. Harper currently serves on the AAPT Research in Physics Education committee.
Charles Henderson, Western Michigan University
Charles Henderson is an assistant professor at Western Michigan University with a joint appointment in the Physics Department and the Mallinson Institute for Science Education. Much of his research focuses on understanding and promoting educational change, both empirically through interviews, observations, and interventions with physics faculty and theoretically through analysis of change models and assumptions. Dr. Henderson has a number of publications and presentations related this work (see http://homepages.wmich.edu/~chenders/). His primary teaching assignments have been in the introductory calculus-based physics sequence, where, as part of the PhysTEC project, he has worked with his WMU colleagues to develop courses consistent with the results of educational research. He has taught high school physics and chemistry and is currently an officer in the Michigan AAPT section and chair of the national AAPT committee on research in physics education.
Paula Heron, University of Washington
Paula R.L. Heron is an Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Washington. She received a B.Sc. in physics from the University of Ottawa and a Ph.D. in theoretical condensed matter physics from the University of Western Ontario (1995). She joined the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington in 1995. Dr. Heron has published a number of papers on her research, which focuses on difficulties that students encounter in applying concepts from introductory physics in their subsequent studies. She has given invited talks at national meetings and international meetings and in university physics departments. In 2005 she co-organized and co-chaired "Foundations and Frontiers in Physics Education Research," the first major conference devoted to the field in the United States. She has extensive experience in designing and conducting special courses for prospective and practicing K-12 teachers. Dr. Heron is currently an elected member of the Executive Committee of the APS Forum on Education and serves on the AAPT Committee on Teacher Preparation. She has consulted on several NSF-funded education projects.
Steve Iona, University of Denver
Steve Iona served as a high school science and mathematics teacher for about 30 years. Outside of the school district, Steve has worked with teacher preparation programs at several local schools of education. He has been trained as a Mentor Teacher, earned an administrative license, and has supervisor several student teachers alternative licensure candidates. He has served as a Teacher in Residence at the University of Colorado-Boulder as part of the PhysTEC program, served as a consultant and teacher as part of the STEM-Colorado program co-teaching an education seminar for Learning Assistants, and he is a consultant with the LA-TEST Program at CU-Boulder.
Steve is a Departmental Lecturer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Denver. He also plays an important role in outreach activities for DU including directing the Denver Area Physics Teachers Group. Steve was recently elected to serve as national secretary for the American Association of Physics Teachers.
Drew Isola, Western Michigan University
Drew Isola began teaching in 1982 having just graduated from Michigan Technological University in Michigan's Upper Peninsula certified to teach both math and physics. He started teaching in a small private school in center-city Philadelphia. After which he moved back to Michigan where he completed his M.S. in Science Education at Western Michigan University and started teaching for Allegan Public Schools in Allegan, MI, a small town on the west side of the state. In 1999 he finished his PhD with a dissertation focused on students' mental models and how they are constructed. His teaching experience ranges over wide variety of levels in both mathematics and science, both as an adjunct faculty member for various colleges and universities in West Michigan and as a high school and middle school teacher. He has been the Teacher - in- Residence at Western Michigan University since August 2005. Being a TIR has given him opportunities to share with pre-service and beginning teachers some of the lessons learned from his classroom experiences, spend more time mentoring novice and cross-over physics teachers, and make numerous presentations at state and national meetings on the subject of teacher preparation.
Patsy Ann Johnson, Slippery Rock University
Patsy Ann Johnson is a Full Professor at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania in the Secondary Education/Foundations of Education Department. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of North Dakota. She has taught mathematics and physics in high schools and in colleges. She designed and directed professional development programs for in-service mathematics and science teachers of grades 5 -12 that she gave the title of Optimizing the Learning of Female Students. She was a Director and an External Evaluator for Operation Physics teacher professional development programs in Pennsylvania. She was a member of the development group for the Powerful Ideas in Physical Science curriculum model for use while teaching elementary education majors. She was a Co- Principal Investigator and the Western Coordinator for the Collaborative for Excellence in Teacher Preparation in Pennsylvania. She has been a leader of workshops about physics education and gender equity throughout the United States. The participants in these workshops have been teachers of kindergarten through professors of undergraduate physics courses.
Mila Kryjevskaia, University of Washington
As a PhD student in the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington, Mila has been investigating student understanding of mechanical waves and using the results to guide the development of instructional materials. She has developed a new module on waves for Physics by Inquiry, which is used in courses for prospective and practicing K-12 teachers. She has also revised and extended the materials in waves included in Tutorials in Introductory Physics, which is intended to supplement standard introductory physics courses.
Micahel Marder, University of Texas at Austin
Michael Marder is a Professor of Physics at UT Austin. His work in physics focuses on theoretical, experimental, and numerical investigations of how things break, for which he was recently named a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He is the author of a graduate text on Condensed Matter Physics. In 1998 he was asked to direct programs in the College of Natural Sciences involving outreach to public schools, and to help build a new program to prepare secondary teachers of science and mathematics called UTeach. He is currently co-director of UTeach. He also directs the Discovery Learning Project, which aims to help university faculty teach through inquiry, and several other projects to improve teaching of science and mathematics in public schools in Austin and in Texas.
Lillian McDermott, University of Washington
Lillian Christie McDermott is a Professor of Physics and Director of the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington. She received her B.A. from Vassar College and a Ph.D. in experimental nuclear physics from Columbia University (1959). For more than 30 years, Prof. McDermott has worked to establish research on the learning and teaching of physics as a field for scholarly inquiry by physicists. The research-based instructional materials developed by the group are used nationally and internationally in undergraduate courses (Tutorials in Introductory Physics, Prentice Hall, 1998, 2002) and in special physics courses for the preparation of K-12 teachers (Physics by Inquiry, Wiley, 1996). Among her most significant awards are the 2002 Medal of the International Commission of Physics Education (International Union of Pure and Applied Physics), the 2001 Oersted Medal of the American Association of Physics Teachers (the highest award of the AAPT), the 2000 Education Research Award of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents, and the 1990 Millikan Lecture Award of the AAPT. She has served on numerous national boards and committees, including the National Research Council's Board on Science Education and Committee on Undergraduate Science Education.
Cherry Murray, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Cherry Murray is the Deputy Director for Science & Technology at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. In this position, she is the senior executive responsible for overseeing the quality of science and technology in the Laboratory's scientific and technical programs and disciplines. This includes the development of the strategic science and technology plan; development of standards for scientific research performance and program quality; and oversight of efforts to recruit, develop and retain the Laboratory's scientific, engineering and technical workforce.
Murray comes from Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, where she served as senior vice president for Physical Sciences and Wireless Research. Murray joined Bell Labs in 1978 as a member of the technical staff. She was promoted to a number of positions over the years, including department head for low-temperature physics, department head for condensed-matter physics and semiconductor physics and director of Bell Labs' physical research lab. In 2000, Murray became vice president for physical sciences and then senior vice president in 2001.
Murray has been nationally recognized for her work in surface physics, light scattering and complex fluids. She is a member of the National Academy of Science, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Discover Magazine named her as one of the "50 Most Important Women in Science" in 2002.
Murray received her BS and PhD in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has served on the governing boards of the National Research Council and Argonne National Laboratory, and the Executive Board and Council of the National Academy of Science and the National Research Council. Murray is Vice President of the American Physical Society, and Chair elect of the Physics Section and Member of the Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Murray is also a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1989, she won the APS Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award and was awarded the 2005 APS George Pake Prize. She is the author of two patents and more than 75 publications. She served on the "NRC Gathering Storm" Committee in 2005.
Julia Olsen, University of Arizona
Julia Olsen is completing her PhD in Science Education, with a minor in Special Education. Her current research is on Impacts of Technology-based, Differentiated Instruction on Special Needs Students in the Context of an Activity-Based Middle School Science Instructional Unit, where she developed computer mediated instructional modules for learning disabled students, field tested with Lawrence Hall of Science's GEMS Middle School Space Science Sequence. Specific areas of interest and research are curriculum design and development of resources for differentiated instruction in science, as well as supporting classroom teaching of special education and at-risk students in inclusionary science classrooms, using technology to assist conceptual understanding among diverse learners.
Valerie Otero, University of Colorado
Valerie Otero is an assistant professor of Science Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is involved in focused efforts to create pathways for undergraduate mathematics and science students to integrate content, pedagogy, and practice through collaborations among mathematics, science, and education faculty. Dr. Otero is a co-developer of the Physics for Elementary Teachers curriculum and the Colorado Learning Assistant Model. In addition to studying the efficacy of the Learning Assistant Model, Dr. Otero investigates pre-service teacher cognition in highly interactive science learning environments, particularly involving physics content. She studies how mediating features of learning environments enhance or reduce opportunities for participation, identity development, and physics learning among teachers and students of all ages.
Kathy Perkins, University of Colorado
Kathy is an Assistant Professor Attendant Rank in the PER group at University of Colorado. She has used the CLASS survey to characterize students' beliefs in a range of physics classes, to investigate correlations between students' beliefs and other educational outcomes, and to probe correlations between teaching practices and shifts in belief. Her other research interests include: the design and use of interactive simulations for teaching and learning science; and mechanisms for supporting sustainable course reform.
Bob Poel, Western Michigan University
Bob Poel is currently an Emeritus Professor of Physics from Western Michigan University but still active in the field of science education and science teacher preparation. Currently he is serving as co-chair of the Michigan Department of Education's High School Science Education Project and worked specifically with the physics work group that wrote the physics expectations. He is the co-PI on a project that recently published middle-school physical science textbook titled, InterActions in Physical Science, that is based upon National Science Education Standards and the latest research findings in how students develop a deep understanding of basic physical science concepts and the nature of scientific inquiry. Previous teaching experience includes work at the middle-school, high-school, undergraduate and graduate levels with recent emphasis in curriculum development, in-service teacher professional development and teacher preparation. Professional memberships involving various committee positions and offices include Michigan Science Teachers Association, National Science Teachers Association, and the American Association of Physics Teachers. At Western Michigan University he was a member of the Mallinson Institute for Science Education and Director of the Center for Science Education that provided a wide-range of professional development opportunities for K-12 science teachers via summer short courses, workshops, and extended programs with school districts.
Steven Pollock, University of Colorado at Boulder
Steven Pollock is an associate professor of physics at the University of Colorado, (CU) Boulder. His research activities are focused on Physics Education, with particular interest in student learning in large scale classes, and the constraints and opportunities of replicating "proven" curricular practices. He is actively involved in implementing and evaluating innovations in teaching physics, including the incorporation of undergraduate Learning Assistants into the classroom.
Edward F. Redish, University of Maryland and University of Colorado / JILA
E. F. (Joe) Redish is a Professor of Physics and an affiliate Professor of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Maryland. For over twenty-five years he was an active researcher in theoretical nuclear physics. He always had a strong interest in teaching, and, upon discovering that a classroom was an even more complex strongly-interacting many-body system than a nucleus, switched his field of research to physics education. For more than a decade, Joe has been a leader in helping to establish a discipline-based education research community within physics. He has researched a variety of topics ranging from the implications of student expectations for their behavior in introductory physics to the difficulties advanced students have with quantum mechanics. His current interest is in building theoretical models for science education with ties to neuroscience, cognitive science, and the behavioral sciences. He is the winner of numerous awards for his education work including the Millikan Medal from the American Association of Physics Teachers, the Director's Distinguished Teaching Scholar award from the National Science Foundation, and a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher award at the University of Maryland.
Peter S. Shaffer, University of Washington
Peter S. Shaffer is an Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Washington. After completing his undergraduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1982, he received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Washington in 1993 for research on the learning and teaching of physics. Dr. Shaffer has focused on student understanding of basic physics concepts that are typically taught at the precollege and introductory university levels. He is also conducting research on more advanced topics such as quantum mechanics and special relativity. The research includes students at a wide variety of instructional levels including precollege teachers, introductory and advanced undergraduates, and physics graduate students. Results have guided the development of two sets of instructional materials that are used nationally and internationally: Physics by Inquiry and Tutorials in Introductory Physics. In addition to presenting invited talks at national and regional meetings of the AAPT, he regularly conducts workshops and seminars for faculty and K-12 teachers.
Nancy Stauch, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
Nancy Stauch received her Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from Cal Poly State University in 1979. After teaching outdoor education in the San Luis Obispo, area she returned to Cal Poly and earned her teaching credential. Nancy has taught middle school, high school, and continuation high school in her 23 years in the classroom. During this time she has been actively involved in teacher preparation, mentoring numerous science teachers over the years. In addition, she has been a guest lecturer in the teaching methods course, designing lessons that bring the reality of secondary science teaching to the program. She is currently in her third year as a Teacher in Residence at Cal Poly, where she is working on improving the teacher preparation program. Her compassion and enthusiasm for teaching continues to grow as she works at recruiting, training and mentoring new science teachers.
Robert Thorne, Cornell University
Robert Thorne is a professor of physics at Cornell University and president of Mitegen, LLC. He received his B.Sc. in electrical engineering from the University of Manitoba and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana. His research explores quasi-one-dimensional electronic conductors, problems in determining the structures of proteins by X-ray crystallography, and new approaches to recovering text from ancient stone inscriptions. Following an "apprenticeship" with Raphael Littauer (who introduced in-class electronic polling to physics instruction at Cornell in 1971), Robert Silsbee and Don Holcomb (former AAPT president), he has focused on introductory course teaching. In an attempt to address one of his greatest professional frustrations (and reduce hateful student comments), he has devoted particular effort to understanding and connecting with students who enroll in Cornell's introductory physics sequence for life science, chemistry, earth and atmospheric science, and human ecology majors and others in the pre-medical/pre-veterinary track. For his efforts he has received a Cornell Faculty Innovation in Teaching Award, the Class of 1972 Award for Teaching Innovation, and a Faculty Appreciation Award from Cornell's Intrafraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Letter Council and the Panhellenic Association. He co-directs Cornell's PhysTEC site with Deb Trumbull of Education. For more information, visit http://www.physics.cornell.edu/people/faculty and http://pages.physics.cornell.edu/~rthorne/physics-ed/index.html.
Alan Van Heuvelen, Rutgers University
In the latter 1980s with support from the U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education I developed a college version of a new physics learning system called Overview Case-Study (OCS) Physics. A set of materials was developed to support OCS Physics instruction: an OCS Workbook, the Active Learning Problem Sheets (the ALPS Kits), and an ActivPhysics comprehensive multimedia product developed with Paul D'Alssandris. The materials were based on the findings of physics education research and cognitive science and emphasize multiple representations of processes, active student participation, the use of hierarchical methods to store and access knowledge, and contextually interesting more complex problems.
Over time I became aware of workplace studies, which indicated that traditional physics instruction did not hit the mark in terms of the needs of the 21st century workplace. I bought into an instructional system developed by Eugenia Etkina. We have since collaborated to build a new Investigative Science Learning Environment (ISLE) learning system based on her methods of scientific inquiry and on my previous work using multiple representations to enhance learning. During the last 14 years, I have led or co-led over 60 physics education workshops for physics professors and physics teachers on five continents and have given about 45 invited talks concerning physics education.
Carl Wenning, Illinois State University
Carl J. Wenning is coordinator of the Physics Teacher Education program at Illinois State University - a member of PhysTEC. He has been a member of the Physics Department there since 1978. Wenning was named coordinator of the Physics Teacher Education (PTE) program in 1994. Starting with only two physics teaching methods courses and five PTE majors, the program has since grown to six undergraduate PTE courses and some 50 PTE majors. A Master's-level teacher education program is slowly emerging with several graduate courses now in place. Wenning is chair of the Ad Hoc Committee for High School Physics Teacher Recruitment, Preparation, and Retention for the Illinois Section of the AAPT. He has obtained multiple grants since 2001 to establish school-university partnerships in Illinois. He is working with Illinois science education organizations to increase the number of high school physics teacher candidates. Carl has served as editor-in-chief of Journal of Physics Teacher Education Online since 2002.
Carl Wieman, University of British Columbia and University of Colorado at Boulder
Dr. Carl Wieman is Director of the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at the University of British Columbia. Before taking that position at the start of 2007, he was at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he has been since 1984 and maintains a part time appointment. At Colorado, he held the multiple titles of Distinguished Professor of Physics, Presidential Teaching Scholar, and Director of the Science Education Initiative. Wieman has carried out extensive research in experimental atomic physics and physics education, and he has over 200 publications. His work in atomic physics research has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001. Wieman also carries out research and has numerous publications in physics and chemistry education research, particularly focusing on a) the use of interactive simulations (PHET), and b) student beliefs about science and their relationship to instruction and student outcomes. His education work has been recognized by being named the US University Professor of the Year in 2004 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Higher Education, and receiving the 2006 Oersted Medal for contributions to physics education by the American Association of Physics Teachers. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and is the founding Chair of the NAS Board on Science Education.