2012

The Peer Instruction Story, at COPI 2012, Beijing Normal University (Beijing, China), Saturday, December 15, 2012:
Presentation delivered on the occasion of receiving an Honorary Professorship at Beijing Normal University. The presentation provides a timeline of the development and dissemination of Peer Instruction.
Peer Instruction, at COPI 2012, Beijing Normal University (Beijing, China), Friday, December 14, 2012:
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 2-3 hour long workshop, participants will learn about Peer Instruction, serve as the "class" in which Peer Instruction is... Read more about Peer Instruction
Black silicon and the quest for intermediate band semiconductors, at Zhejiang University (Hangzhou, China), Thursday, December 13, 2012:
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.
Educating the Innovators of the 21st Century, at Zhejiang University (Hangzhou, China), Thursday, December 13, 2012:
Can we teach innovation? Innovation requires whole-brain thinking — left-brain thinking for creativity and imagination, and right-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 Educating the Innovators of the 21st Century
Memorization or understanding: are we teaching the right thing?, at New England Association of Schools and Colleges Annual Meeting (Boston, MA), Thursday, December 6, 2012:
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 Memorization or understanding: are we teaching the right thing?
Flipping the learning: innovating with impact, at SSAT National Conference: Innovating Learning (Liverpool, UK), Tuesday, December 4, 2012:
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 Flipping the learning: innovating with impact
Peer Instruction workshop, at SSAT National Conference: Innovating Learning (Liverpool, UK), Tuesday, December 4, 2012:
Most -- if not all -- of the important skills in our lives are acquired outside the traditional classroom setting. Yet we continue to teach using lectures where students passively take down information. Peer instruction is a research-based pedagogy that actively engages students in the classroom and has been shown to dramatically improve conceptual understanding, even in large classes. While successfully implementing peer instruction doesn't require any technology, using the right technology can improve student engagement, increase learning, and make it easier to implement peer instruction in... Read more about Peer Instruction workshop
Assessment: The Secret to Great Teaching, at Webinar Series on Strategies for Innovation in Engineering Education in Brazil, LASPAU-Affiliated with Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), Sunday, December 2, 2012:
Open the doors to any classroom across the globe and you will observe an almost universal model for the evaluation of student learning. Instructors stand at the front of a lecture hall, teach content, students (at least we hope) attempt to learn that content, and then instructors evaluate that content learning through traditional assessments such as multiple-choice exams, quizzes, or research papers. Most of these conventional approaches to evaluation are one-dimensional and not aligned with overarching learning goals that relate to competencies students actually need to progress successfully... Read more about Assessment: The Secret to Great Teaching
Memorization or understanding: are we teaching the right thing?, at Interactive Workshop, Wright State University (Dayton, OH), Friday, November 30, 2012:
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 Memorization or understanding: are we teaching the right thing?
Black silicon, at Physics Seminar, Wright State University (Dayton, OH), Friday, November 30, 2012:
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.

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