Presentations

    Direct Laser Writing of 3-D Diffraction Gratings and Diffraction Optics, at MRS 2014 Fall Meeting and Exhibit, Symposium L: Optical Metamaterials and Novel Optical Phenomena Based on Nanofabricated Structures (Boston, MA), Thursday, December 4, 2014
    Integrated diffractive optics has many applications in beam shaping and control on the micro-scale. Fabrication using lithography is limited to planar or layered geometries. We demonstrate fabrication of diffractive elements via direct laser writing. We have tested 3D diffraction gratings and zone plates designed for operation at visible wavelengths. Direct laser writing is a promising technique to fabricate integrated 3D and multi-layer diffraction optics. We have previously developed a laser writing technique that enables fabrication of disconnected metal structures in a polymer matrix,... Read more about Direct Laser Writing of 3-D Diffraction Gratings and Diffraction Optics
    Why can students pass tests but fail at life?, at SSAT National Conference 2014 (Manchester, UK), Friday, December 5, 2014:
    Why is it that stellar students sometimes fail in the workplace while dropouts succeed? One reason is that most, if not all, of our current assessment practices are inauthentic. Just as the lecture focuses on the delivery of information to students, so does assessment often focus on having students regurgitate that same information back to the instructor. Consequently, assessment fails to focus on the skills that are relevant in life in the 21st century. Assessment has been called the "hidden curriculum" as it is an important driver of students' study habits. Unless we rethink our approach to... Read more about Why can students pass tests but fail at life?
    The Flipped Classroom on a Shoestring, at SSAT National Conference 2014 (Manchester, UK), Friday, December 5, 2014:
    The basic goals of Peer Instruction are to encourage and make use of student interaction during lectures, while focusing students' attention on underlying concepts and techniques. The method has been assessed in many studies using standardized, diagnostic tests and shown to be considerably more effective than the conventional lecture approach to teaching. Peer Instruction is now used in a wide range of science and math courses at the college and secondary level. In this short workshop, participants will learn about Peer Instruction, serve as the "class" in which Peer Instruction is... Read more about The Flipped Classroom on a Shoestring
    The Principles and Practice of Physics, at University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), Thursday, December 11, 2014:
    The Principles and Practice of Physics is a groundbreaking new calculus-based introductory physics textbook that uses a unique organization and pedagogy to allow students to develop a true conceptual understanding of physics alongside the quantitative skills needed in the course. The book organizes introductory physics around the conservation principles and provides a unified contemporary view of introductory physics. In this talk we will discuss the unique architecture of the book, the conservation-laws-first approach, and results obtained with this book.
    Assessment: The silent killer of learning, at University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), Thursday, December 11, 2014:
    Why is it that stellar students sometimes fail in the workplace while dropouts succeed? One reason is that most, if not all, of our current assessment practices are inauthentic. Just as the lecture focuses on the delivery of information to students, so does assessment often focus on having students regurgitate that same information back to the instructor. Consequently, assessment fails to focus on the skills that are relevant in life in the 21st century. Assessment has been called the "hidden curriculum" as it is an important driver of students' study habits. Unless we rethink our approach to... Read more about Assessment: The silent killer of learning
    Peer Instruction, at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Shanghai, China), Monday, December 15, 2014:
    The basic goals of Peer Instruction are to encourage and make use of student interaction during lectures, while focusing students' attention on underlying concepts and techniques. The method has been assessed in many studies using standardized, diagnostic tests and shown to be considerably more effective than the conventional lecture approach to teaching. Peer Instruction is now used in a wide range of science and math courses at the college and secondary level. In this short workshop, participants will learn about Peer Instruction, serve as the "class" in which Peer Instruction is... Read more about Peer Instruction
    Memorization or understanding: are we teaching the right thing?, at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Shanghai, China), Monday, December 15, 2014:
    Education is more than just transfer of information, yet that is what is mostly done in large introductory courses -- instructors present material (even though this material might be readily available in printed form) and for students the main purpose of lectures is to take down as many notes as they can. Few students have the ability, motivation, and discipline to synthesize all the information delivered to them. Yet synthesis is perhaps the most important -- and most elusive -- aspect of education. I will show how shifting the focus in lectures from delivering information to synthesizing... Read more about Memorization or understanding: are we teaching the right thing?
    Peer Instruction, at Beijing Normal University (Beijing, China), Tuesday, December 16, 2014:
    Education is more than just transfer of information, yet that is what is mostly done in large introductory courses -- instructors present material (even though this material might be readily available in printed form) and for students the main purpose of lectures is to take down as many notes as they can. Few students have the ability, motivation, and discipline to synthesize all the information delivered to them. Yet synthesis is perhaps the most important -- and most elusive -- aspect of education. I will show how shifting the focus in lectures from delivering information to synthesizing... Read more about Peer Instruction
    Femtosecond Materials Processing I: Transparent and soft materials, at Tsing Hua Univeristy (Beijing, China), Wednesday, December 17, 2014:
    The intersection of materials research and ultrafast optical science is producing many valuable fundamental scientific results and applications, and the trend is expected to evolve as new and exciting discoveries are made. Femtosecond laser micromachining presents unique capabilities for three-dimensional, material-independent, sub-wavelength processing. At the same time the surface processing of materials permits the creation of novel materials that cannot (yet) be created under other conditions. In the first part of this talk we will discuss how when the ultashort laser pulses are focused... Read more about Femtosecond Materials Processing I: Transparent and soft materials
    Femtosecond Materials Processing II: Nontransparent materials, at Tsing Hua Univeristy (Beijing, China), Wednesday, December 17, 2014:
    The intersection of materials research and ultrafast optical science is producing many valuable fundamental scientific results and applications, and the trend is expected to evolve as new and exciting discoveries are made. Femtosecond laser micromachining presents unique capabilities for three-dimensional, material-independent, sub-wavelength processing. At the same time the surface processing of materials permits the creation of novel materials that cannot (yet) be created under other conditions. In the first part of this talk we will discuss how when the ultashort laser pulses are focused... Read more about Femtosecond Materials Processing II: Nontransparent materials
    Peer Instruction Part II, at Tsing Hua Univeristy (Beijing, China), Thursday, December 18, 2014:
    The basic goals of Peer Instruction are to encourage and make use of student interaction during lectures, while focusing students' attention on underlying concepts and techniques. The method has been assessed in many studies using standardized, diagnostic tests and shown to be considerably more effective than the conventional lecture approach to teaching. Peer Instruction is now used in a wide range of science and math courses at the college and secondary level. In this workshop, participants will learn about Peer Instruction, serve as the "class" in which Peer Instruction is demonstrated,... Read more about Peer Instruction Part II
    Peer Instruction, at Tsing Hua Univeristy (Beijing, China), Thursday, December 18, 2014:
    Education is more than just transfer of information, yet that is what is mostly done in large introductory courses -- instructors present material (even though this material might be readily available in printed form) and for students the main purpose of lectures is to take down as many notes as they can. Few students have the ability, motivation, and discipline to synthesize all the information delivered to them. Yet synthesis is perhaps the most important -- and most elusive -- aspect of education. I will show how shifting the focus in lectures from delivering information to synthesizing... Read more about Peer Instruction
    Exclusively-visual analysis of classroom group interactions, at American Association of Physics Teachers Winter Conference (San Diego, CA), Sunday, January 4, 2015:
    Data that measures group learning are time-consuming to collect and analyze on a large scale. As an initial step towards scaling qualitative classroom observation, our team qualitatively coded classroom video using an established coding scheme with and without its audio. We find that inter-rater reliability is as high when using visual data only—without audio—as when using both visual and audio data to code. Also, inter-rater reliability is high even when comparing use of visual and audio data to visual-only data. We see a small bias that interactions are more often coded as group... Read more about Exclusively-visual analysis of classroom group interactions
    The Principles and Practice of Physics, at Webinar (Cambride, MA), Thursday, January 15, 2015:
    The Principles and Practice of Physics is a groundbreaking new calculus-based introductory physics textbook that uses a unique organization and pedagogy to allow students to develop a true conceptual understanding of physics alongside the quantitative skills needed in the course. The book organizes introductory physics around the conservation principles and provides a unified contemporary view of introductory physics. In this talk we will discuss the unique architecture of the book, the conservation-laws-first approach, and results obtained with this book.
    Confessions of a converted lecturer, at Teaching and Learning Initiative, Mt. Holoyoke College (South Hadley, MA), Friday, January 16, 2015:
    I thought I was a good teacher until I discovered my students were just memorizing information rather than learning to understand the material. Who was to blame? The students? The material? I will explain how I came to the agonizing conclusion that the culprit was neither of these. It was my teaching that caused students to fail! I will show how I have adjusted my approach to teaching and how it has improved my students' performance significantly
    The Principles and Practice of Physics, at Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, BC, Canada), Thursday, January 22, 2015:
    The Principles and Practice of Physics is a groundbreaking new calculus-based introductory physics textbook that uses a unique organization and pedagogy to allow students to develop a true conceptual understanding of physics alongside the quantitative skills needed in the course. The book organizes introductory physics around the conservation principles and provides a unified contemporary view of introductory physics. In this talk we will discuss the unique architecture of the book, the conservation-laws-first approach, and results obtained with this book.
    Flat space, deep learning, at ISoTL Invited Scholar Series Lecture, The Chan Centre for Performing Arts, Royal Bank Cinema, University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC, Canada), Thursday, January 22, 2015:
    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
    The Tyranny of the Lecture, at Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, BC, Canada), Thursday, January 22, 2015:
    Most -- if not all -- of the important skills in our life are acquired outside the traditional classroom setting. Yet we continue to teach using lectures where students passively take down information. Instead, we should really focus on the assimilation of that information and shift the focus from teaching to helping students learn. Over the past 20 years, instructors world-wide have begun to adopt Peer Instruction to get students to think in class. With the advent of new technology the process can be significantly improved. A new data-analytics driven audience response system does away with... Read more about The Tyranny of the Lecture
    Assessment: The silent killer of learning, at Pearson Innovation Summit (Vancouver, BC, Canada), Friday, January 23, 2015:
    Why is it that stellar students sometimes fail in the workplace while dropouts succeed? One reason is that most, if not all, of our current assessment practices are inauthentic. Just as the lecture focuses on the delivery of information to students, so does assessment often focus on having students regurgitate that same information back to the instructor. Consequently, assessment fails to focus on the skills that are relevant in life in the 21st century. Assessment has been called the "hidden curriculum" as it is an important driver of students' study habits. Unless we rethink our approach to... Read more about Assessment: The silent killer of learning
    The Principles and Practice of Physics, at Pearson Innovation Summit (Vancouver, BC, Canada), Friday, January 23, 2015:
    The Principles and Practice of Physics is a groundbreaking new calculus-based introductory physics textbook that uses a unique organization and pedagogy to allow students to develop a true conceptual understanding of physics alongside the quantitative skills needed in the course. The book organizes introductory physics around the conservation principles and provides a unified contemporary view of introductory physics. In this talk we will discuss the unique architecture of the book, the conservation-laws-first approach, and results obtained with this book.

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