Colloquium

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.
Optical Hyperdoping: Silicon sees the infrared light, at Applied Physics Colloquium, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), Friday, October 9, 2009:
Shining intense, ultrashort laser pulses on the surface of a crystalline silicon wafer drastically changes the optical, material and electronic properties of the wafer. The resulting textured surface is highly absorbing and looks black to the eye. The properties of this 'black silicon' make it useful for a wide range of commercial devices. In particular, we have been able to fabricate highly-sensitive PIN photodetectors using this material. The sensitivity extends to wavelengths of 1600 nm making them particularly useful for applications in communications and remote sensing.
Confessions of a converted lecturer, at Physics Colloquium, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), Monday, September 28, 2009:
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
Nonlinear optics at the nanoscale, at Physics Colloquium, Temple University (Philadelphia, PA), Monday, September 21, 2009:
We explore nonlinear optical phenomena at the nanoscale by launching femtosecond laser pulses into long silica nanowires. Using evanescent coupling between wires we demonstrate a number of nanophotonic devices. At high intensity the nanowires produce a strong supercontinuum over short interaction lengths (less than 20 mm) and at a very low energy threshold (about 1 nJ), making them ideal sources of coherent white-light for nanophotonic applications. The spectral broadening reveals an optimal fiber diameter to enhance nonlinear effects with minimal dispersion. We also present a device that... Read more about Nonlinear optics at the nanoscale
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?
Nonlinear optics at the nanoscale, at Physics Colloquium, Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA), Wednesday, April 8, 2009:
We explore nonlinear optical phenomena at the nanoscale by launching femtosecond laser pulses into long silica nanowires. Using evanescent coupling between wires we demonstrate a number of nanophotonic devices. At high intensity the nanowires produce a strong supercontinuum over short interaction lengths (less than 20 mm) and at a very low energy threshold (about 1 nJ), making them ideal sources of coherent white-light for nanophotonic applications. The spectral broadening reveals an optimal fiber diameter to enhance nonlinear effects with minimal dispersion. We also present a device that... Read more about Nonlinear optics at the nanoscale
Confessions of a converted lecturer, at Physics Colloquium, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC), Monday, April 6, 2009:
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
Subcellular surgery and nanosurgery, at Physics Colloquium, Australian National University (Canberra, Australia), Tuesday, March 24, 2009:
We use femtosecond laser pulses to manipulate sub-cellular structures inside live and fixed cells. Using only a few nanojoules of laser pulse energy, we are able to selectively disrupt individual mitochondria in live bovine capillary epithelial cells, and cleave single actin fibers in the cell cytoskeleton network of fixed human fibro-blast cells. We have also used the technique to micromanipulate the neural network of C. Elegans, a small nematode. Our laser scalpel can snip individual axons without causing any damage to surrounding tissue, allowing us to study the function of individual... Read more about Subcellular surgery and nanosurgery
Optical hyperdoping: Extending silicon's reach, at Jones Seminar, Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth University (Hanover, NH), Friday, February 13, 2009:
Silicon is the world's most widely used semiconductor. As the building block of a photovoltaic cell, silicon offers a combination of stability, efficiency, and manufacturability currently unmatched by any other material. However, as an indirect absorber of light, thick layers of highly-pure, expensive material are required for efficient light absorption and charge collection. Furthermore, silicon does not absorb in the infrared, a spectral region that contains about a quarter of the sun's radiation. In this talk, I will discuss optical hyperdoping, a non-equilibrium laser-doping technique we... Read more about Optical hyperdoping: Extending silicon's reach
Subcellular surgery and nanosurgery, at Physics Colloquium, University of Massachusetts Boston (Boston, MA), Wednesday, November 5, 2008:
We use femtosecond laser pulses to manipulate sub-cellular structures inside live and fixed cells. Using only a few nanojoules of laser pulse energy, we are able to selectively disrupt individual mitochondria in live bovine capillary epithelial cells, and cleave single actin fibers in the cell cytoskeleton network of fixed human fibro-blast cells. We have also used the technique to micromanipulate the neural network of C. Elegans, a small nematode. Our laser scalpel can snip individual axons without causing any damage to surrounding tissue, allowing us to study the function of individual... Read more about Subcellular surgery and nanosurgery

Pages