Keynote or Plenary

Femtosecond laser micromachining, at Mexican Optics and Photonics Meeting 2015 (León, Guanajuato, Mexico), Thursday, September 10, 2015:
When femtosecond laser pulses are focused tightly into a transparent material, the intensity in the focal volume can become high enough to cause nonlinear absorption of laser energy. The absorption, in turn, can lead to permanent structural or chemical changes. Such changes can be used for micromachining bulk transparent materials. Applications include data storage and the writing of waveguides and waveguide splitters in bulk glass, fabrication of micromechanical devices in polymers, and subcellular photodisruption inside single cells.
Laser doping and texturing of silicon for advanced optoelectronic devices, at 11th Conference on Lasers and Electro- Optics Pacific Rim (CLEO-PR 2015) (Busan, South Korea), Tuesday, August 25, 2015:
Irradiating a semiconductor sample with intense laser pulses in the presence of dopants drastically changes the optical, material and electronic properties of the sample. The properties of these processed semiconductors make them useful for photodetectors and, potentially, intermediate band solar cells. This talk discusses the processes that lead to doping and surface texturing, which both increase the optical absorption of the material. We will discuss the properties of the resulting material including the formation of an intermediate band. We have developed laser-processed silicon... Read more about Laser doping and texturing of silicon for advanced optoelectronic devices
Assessment: The silent killer of learning, at EduTECH 2015 Higher Ed Congress (Brisbane, Australia), Wednesday, June 3, 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
Assessment: The silent killer of learning, at EduTECH 2015 K-12 Congress (Brisbane, Australia), Tuesday, June 2, 2015:
Why is it that stellar students sometimes fail in the workplace while dropouts succeed? Are current assessment practices authentic? How do you implement an assessment process that supports the new interactive teaching techniques and 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' learning and study. Unless we provide a holistic approach to assessment of teaching and learning, it is difficult to produce meaningful and sustainable educational change.

Black silicon and the quest for intermediate band semiconductors, at Siam Physics Congress 2015 (Krabi, Thailand), Thursday, May 21, 2015:
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.
Peer Instruction, at Second McGillActive Learning Conference, McGill University (Montreal, QC, Canada), Monday, May 4, 2015:
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 2-hour long workshop, participants will learn about Peer Instruction, serve as the "class" in which Peer Instruction is... Read more about Peer Instruction
Assessment: The silent killer of learning, at Second McGillActive Learning Conference, McGill University (Montreal, QC, Canada), Monday, May 4, 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
Flat space, deep learning, at Interface 2015, University of Florida (Gainesville, FL), Friday, April 24, 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
Assessment for and not of learning, at Ohio State Academy of Teaching Conference, Ohio State University (Columbus, OH), Friday, April 3, 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 for and not of learning
The scientific approach to teaching: Research as a basis for course design, at Ohio State Academy of Teaching Conference, Ohio State University (Columbus, OH), Friday, April 3, 2015:
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.

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