Presentations

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 2017 National STEM Cell Foundation Scholars Program, Western Kentucky University (Bowling Green, KY), Thursday, June 8, 2017
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 Innovating Education to Educate Innovators
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
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
Confessions of a converted lecturer, at Thomas Q. Morris Symposium on Medical Education, Columbia University (New York, NY), Tuesday, May 23, 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

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