Presentations

    Visualizations and visual illusions: how the mind tricks us, at Center for Astrophysics Lecture, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), Tuesday, January 11, 2005:
    Neurobiology and cognitive psychology have made great progress in understanding how the mind processes information – in particular visual information. The knowledge we can gain from these fields has important implications for the presentation of visual information and student learning.
    How the mind tricks us: visualizations and visual illusions, at SLAC Colloquium, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (Menlo Park, CA), Monday, October 9, 2006:
    Neurobiology and cognitive psychology have made great progress in understanding how the mind processes information – in particular visual information. The knowledge we can gain from these fields has important implications for the presentation of visual information and student learning.
    How the mind tricks us: visualizations and visual illusions, at Physics Colloquium, Amherst College (Amherst, MA), Thursday, October 4, 2007:
    Neurobiology and cognitive psychology have made great progress in understanding how the mind processes information – in particular visual information. The knowledge we can gain from these fields has important implications for the presentation of visual information and student learning
    The scientific approach to teaching: Research as a basis for course design, at Physics Colloquium, University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA), Monday, September 8, 2008:
    Discussions of teaching -- even some publications -- abound with anecdotal evidence. Our intuition often supplants a systematic, scientific approach to finding out what works and what doesn't work. Yet, research is increasingly demonstrating that our gut feelings about teaching are often wrong. In this talk I will discuss some research my group has done on gender issues in science courses and on the effectiveness of classroom demonstrations.
    The make-believe world of real-world physics, at Physics Colloquium, Brandeis University (Waltham, MA), Tuesday, September 8, 2009:
    That physics describes the real world is a given for physicists. In spite of tireless efforts by instructors to connect physics to the real world, students walk away from physics courses believing physicists live in a world of their own. Are students clueless about the real world? Or are we perhaps deluding ourselves and misleading our students about the real world?
    Venturing toward better teaching: Professors' knowledge base for pedagogical improvement in introductory STEM classrooms at major research universities., at The Association for The Study of Higher Education Annual Meeting (Vancouver, BC, Canada), Thursday, November 5, 2009
    Educational reformers often portray the majority of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professors at American research universities as subject-matter experts but pedagogical novices (Baldwin, 2009; Boyer, 1998; Coopala, 2009; Handeslman et al., 2006; Wieman, 2006). Images of STEM professors as lacking knowledge about best teaching practices are especially prevalent in discussions about academic researchers: A wide array of constituents, from students and journalists to scholars of teaching and learning, have long proffered views of academic researchers as so heavily... Read more about Venturing toward better teaching: Professors' knowledge base for pedagogical improvement in introductory STEM classrooms at major research universities.
    The make-believe world of real-world physics, at Physics Colloquium, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA), Thursday, May 17, 2012:
    That physics describes the real world is a given for physicists. In spite of tireless efforts by instructors to connect physics to the real world, students walk away from physics courses believing physicists live in a world of their own. Are students clueless about the real world? Or are we perhaps deluding ourselves and misleading our students about the real world?
    The scientific approach to teaching: Research as a basis for course design, at Physics Colloquium, Boston University (Boston, MA), Tuesday, January 22, 2013:
    Discussions of teaching -- even some publications -- abound with anecdotal evidence. Our intuition often supplants a systematic, scientific approach to finding out what works and what doesn't work. Yet, research is increasingly demonstrating that our gut feelings about teaching are often wrong. In this talk I will discuss some research my group has done on gender issues in science courses and on the effectiveness of classroom demonstrations.
    Flat space, deep learning, at Physics Colloquium, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), Monday, March 28, 2016:
    The teaching of physics to engineering students has remained stagnant for close to a century. In this novel team-based, project-based approach, we break the mold by giving students ownership of their learning. This new course has no standard lectures or exams, yet students’ conceptual gains are significantly greater than those obtained in traditional courses. The course blends six best practices to deliver a learning experience that helps students develop important skills, including communication, estimation, problem solving, and team skills, in addition to a solid conceptual understanding... Read more about Flat space, deep learning