Lecture

Peer Instruction in STEM Teaching, at Aalto University, Espoo, Finland, Wednesday, December 8, 2021
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 in STEM Teaching
Optical Metamaterials and their Index of Refraction, at University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium, Friday, November 19, 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, and materials where waves stop propagating, yielding extreme localization of light. In this lecture we will (interactively!) explore some of these unusual phenomena.
Peer Instruction, at ENLIGHT Teaching and Learning Conference, University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium, Friday, November 19, 2021:
Learning is a social experience — it requires interactions and interactivity. Since I introduced Peer Instruction three decades ago, 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... Read more about Peer Instruction
The Moral Dilemma of Going Back: How the Pandemic Changed My Teaching, at Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley, Saturday, September 25, 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.
How to flip your teaching, when the whole world is flipping out, at Hatem Lecture, Mt. Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, MA, Thursday, June 11, 2020:
The sudden transition to online teaching necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic is a good opportunity to rethink our approach to teaching. In this interactive demonstration I will discuss how changing synchronous and  instructor-paced activities to asynchronous and self-paced activities not only facilitates the move to online teaching, but also provides an opportunity to improve the quality of education
Getting every student ready for every class, at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Monday, June 1, 2020:

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...

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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
Innovating Education to Educate Innovators, at Nanjing University of Science and Technology (Nanjing, China), Monday, June 5, 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
Assessment: The silent killer of learning, at Nanjing University of Science and Technology (Nanjing, China), Monday, June 5, 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
Less is More: Extreme Optics with Zero Refractive Index, at Nanjing University of Science and Technology (Nanjing, China), Monday, June 5, 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

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