Presentations

Getting every student ready for every class, at Webinar, Mercy College (Cambridge, MA), Thursday, November 2, 2017
Over the past decades there has been a concerted push away from passive lecturing to active engagement in the classroom. A successful implementation of the so-called flipped classroom requires students to come to class prepared, either by reading the textbook or watching a pre-recorded video. A variety approaches have been devised to get students to take responsibility for this information transfer, but none manage to get all students to participate, compromising the in-class activities. I will present a new approach to get every student to prepare for every class using a new social learning... Read more about Getting every student ready for every class
Zero-index nanophotonics, nonlinear optics, and quantum entanglement, at Nano-optics: Principles enabling basic research and applications, Centro Ettore Majorana (Erice), Saturday, July 22, 2017
In these interactive lectures we explore how light can be manipulated at the nanoscale. We begin by describing optical propagation in ordinary materials and then show how materials can be engineered to achieve a refractive index of zero. These zero-index materials have remarkable properties and can be integrated in photonic circuits. We also give an introduction to nonlinear optics and discuss how zero-index materials can be used to accomplish phase matching in nonlinear optics and to obtain longer coherence times and lengths among entangled emitters or qubits.

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The surprising world of nanostructured composites with zero refractive index, at 10th International Conference on Nanophotonics (Recife, Brazil), Sunday, July 2, 2017
Nanotechnology has enabled the development of nanostructured composite materials (metamaterials) with exotic optical properties not found in nature. In the most extreme case, we can create materials which support light waves that propagate with infinite phase velocity, corresponding to a refractive index of zero. This zero index can only be achieved by simultaneously controlling the electric and magnetic resonances of the nanostructure. We present an in-plane metamaterial design consisting of silicon pillar arrays, embedded within a polymer matrix and sandwiched between gold layers. Using an... Read more about The surprising world of nanostructured composites with zero refractive index
Less is More: Extreme Optics with Zero Refractive Index, at CLEO/Europe – EQEC 2017 (Munich, Germany), Tuesday, June 27, 2017
By simultaneously controlling the electric and magnetic properties of a nanostructured composite material (metamaterial), we can create materials with a refractive index of zero. We present a novel on-chip platform to explore zero-index metamaterials.
Innovating Education to Educate Innovators, at International School on Light Sciences and Technologies (Santander, Spain), Friday, June 23, 2017
Can we teach innovation? Innovation requires whole-brain thinking — right-brain thinking for creativity and imagination, and left-brain thinking for planning and execution. Our current approach to education in science and technology, focuses on the transfer of information, developing mostly right-brain thinking by stressing copying and reproducing existing ideas rather than generating new ones. I will show how shifting the focus in lectures from delivering information to team work and creative thinking greatly improves the learning that takes place in the classroom and promotes independent... Read more about Innovating Education to Educate Innovators
Innovating education to educate innvators, at International School on Light Sciences and Technologies, Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (Santander, Spain), Friday, June 23, 2017:
Can we teach innovation? Innovation requires whole-brain thinking — right-brain thinking for creativity and imagination, and left-brain thinking for planning and execution. Our current approach to education in science and technology, focuses on the transfer of information, developing mostly right-brain thinking by stressing copying and reproducing existing ideas rather than generating new ones. I will show how shifting the focus in lectures from delivering information to team work and creative thinking greatly improves the learning that takes place in the classroom and promotes independent... Read more about Innovating education to educate innvators
Less is More: Extreme Optics with Zero Refractive Index, at International School on Light Sciences and Technologies, Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (Santander, Spain), Wednesday, June 21, 2017:
Nanotechnology has enabled the development of nanostructured composite materials (metamaterials) with exotic optical properties not found in nature. In the most extreme case, we can create materials which support light waves that propagate with infinite phase velocity, corresponding to a refractive index of zero. This zero index can only be achieved by simultaneously controlling the electric and magnetic resonances of the nanostructure. We present an in-plane metamaterial design consisting of silicon pillar arrays, embedded within a polymer matrix and sandwiched between gold layers. Using an... Read more about Less is More: Extreme Optics with Zero Refractive Index
Confessions of a converted lecturer, at 21st Annual IAMSE Meeting, University of Vermont (Burlington, VT), Sunday, June 11, 2017:
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
Innovating Education to Educate Innovators, at 2017 National STEM Cell Foundation Scholars Program, Western Kentucky University (Bowling Green, KY), Thursday, June 8, 2017
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 Innovating Education to Educate Innovators
Assessment: The silent killer of learning, at 2017 National STEM Cell Foundation Scholars Program, Western Kentucky University (Bowling Green, KY), Thursday, June 8, 2017
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

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