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The Physics Education Group at the University of Washington conducts a coordinated program of research, curriculum development, and instruction to improve student learning in physics and physical science from kindergarten through graduate school.  The work of the group is guided by ongoing discipline-based research.  

The primary curricula developed by the group include Physics by Inquiry (Wiley and Sons) and Tutorials in Introductory Physics (Pearson Publishing).  Results from research are disseminated through journal articles, talks at various colleges and professional meetings (e.g., the American Association of Physics Teachers, the American Physical Society, etc.), and in various workshops given by group members.

Recent news

Wed, August 10th

Paul Emigh has recently accepted a post-doctoral position with Oregon State University, starting in fall 2016. He will be working with Corinne Manogue and Liz Gire within the context of the Paradigms in Physics program, OSU's upper-division physics courses. He will be investigating upper-division students' sense-making in physics and math courses, as well as continuing to examine the conceptual understanding of students within all areas of physics.

We'll miss you, Paul!

Wed, August 3rd

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) hosted the 2016 Summer Meeting in Sacramento, California in mid-July, and many members of UWPEG were in attendance! Tong, Bert, Marshall, Ryan, and Paul all gave contributed presentations:

  • Tong Wan: Student Ability to Use Complex Numbers in Quantum Mechanics
  • Bert Xue: Improving Student Understanding of Vector Fields in E&M
  • Ryan Hazelton: Investigating Student Understanding of Vector Calculus in E&M
  • Marshall Styczinski: Improving Understanding of Gauss’s Law by Replacing Examples with Reasoning
  • Paul Emigh: Developing and Assessing Quantum Tutorials: Time Dependence and Measurements

Sheh Lit, Bert, Tong, and Paul all presented posters during the Physics Education Research Conference (PERC) poster sessions:

Many former group members also gave contributed and invited talks. UWPEG family connections are far-flung and deeply involved in our scientific community! The AAPT Summer Meeting was a fantastic experience for all those who attended, they all agree. Research was presented, connections were made, friendships among colleagues were established and reaffirmed, and many a serendipitous discussion was to be had. Several of the attendees are planning new directions for their projects and even new collaborations!

Mon, August 1st

Paul sitting on a replica of the iron throne from Game of Thrones

Paul is again a part of our research group, as he has returned to accept a position as a post-doctoral researcher. We are happy to welcome Paul back to the group--here, he will be continuing development of the Tutorials in Advanced Physics: Quantum Mechanics along with Tong. Ever-more-frequent discussions of quantum mechanics are heard, and Paul is often lost in thought on his office chair, pictured here. Welcome back, Paul!

Fri, November 6th

Paul Emigh will be taking a one-semester teaching position at Gonzaga University starting in January! He will be teaching second-quarter introductory physics lectures and labs, focusing on thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, and waves.

Wed, October 21st

Professor Peter Shaffer has recently been elected a fellow of the American Physical Society. Peter is being recognized "for contributions to the field of physics education research (PER) and to the development of research-based instructional materials that have led to improved learning in physics by undergraduates and K-12 teachers."

This is a great honor--congratulations, Peter!

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