Lecturer of Physics
Areas of Expertise: Physics education and cognition, Galilean and special relativity, and astronomy
Currently in my lab, we are organizing and analyzing the data taken from the 70-odd students who participated last semester in a project known as “Transforming Reference Frames.” This project seeks to probe student mental models regarding Galileo’s Principle of Relativity. This spring, we expect to set up and start using a state-of-the-art eye-tracking device in order to collect optical data. We will thereby vastly deepen our investigation of student cognition as it applies to relative motion.
Asked whether I identify more with Edison or Einstein, I have to say that I identify more strongly with Einstein: I am fascinated with the mathematical and philosophical properties of electromagnetic radiation – particularly the notion of invariance under reference frame transformation – but could not convert a tungsten into a working bulb to save my light.