Keynote or Plenary

A Moral Dilemma: How will we teach after the pandemic?, at 33rd International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics (ICTCM) 2021, Friday, October 8, 2021:

The rapid transition to online teaching necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic has been a good opportunity to rethink our approach to teaching. Moving to an online format suggests that many activities that have traditionally been synchronous and instructor-paced, can be made asynchronous and self-paced. What may have seemed like a challenge, is a great opportunity to improve the quality of education.

Effective Remote Teaching, at SAIP2021 South-African Institute of Physics Conference, North-West University, South Africa, Friday, July 30, 2021:

The rapid transition to online teaching necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic has been a good opportunity to rethink our approach to teaching. Moving to an online format suggests that many activities that have traditionally been synchronous and instructor-paced, can be made asynchronous and self-paced. What may have seemed like a challenge, is a great opportunity to improve the quality of education.

 
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Metamaterials for extreme optics, at SAIP2021 South-African Institute of Physics Conference, North-West University, South Africa, Tuesday, July 27, 2021:

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. We have developed a variety of in-plane metamaterial designs that permit obtaining a refractive index of zero in the optical regime. We will report on some of the exotic physics of zero-index metamaterials, including strong enhancement of nonlinear optical phenomena. We can also...

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Innovating educators to educate innovators, at Apertura Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción, Concepción, Chile, Thursday, May 6, 2021:

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...

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Twilight of the Lecture: Peer Instruction for Active Learning, at 1st International Conference on Teaching and Learning, Muscat, Oman, Monday, February 10, 2020:

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...

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Educating the innovators of the 21st century , at Congreso Internacional de Innovación Educativa Tecnológico de Monterrey (Monterrey, Mexico), Monday, December 16, 2019:

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...

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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
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 Education and Training in Optics and Photonics (ETOP) 2017, Zhejiang University (Hangzhou, China), Monday, May 29, 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 Innovators, at Faculty Seminar Day, Mercy College (Dobbs Ferry, NY), Tuesday, May 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

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