Michael Loverude

Physics Education Research in the Upper Division Courses

Loverude_MichaelAbstract:  Physics education research (PER) came of age largely in the context of introductory-level college courses that serve students who are primarily non-physics majors, including engineering students and preservice teachers.  More recently, a number of researchers have extended this focus into the middle- and upper-division courses taken by physics majors.  The apparent assumption in courses at this level has been that these students are well matched to the lecture-based traditional curriculum and that deep understanding would naturally follow from mastery of mathematical techniques.  In this talk, we examine those assumptions and the response of physics majors in upper-division courses to research-based instructional strategies as well as standard and modified assessment strategies.

Short Biography:  Dr. Michael Loverude is a Professor in the Department of Physics at California State University Fullerton.  He is one of three PIs on a project to perform research and curriculum development in upper-division courses in thermal physics. He and Dr. Brad Ambrose are co-guest editor of a special issue of Physical Review Special Topics: Physics Education Research that focuses on PER in upper division courses.  Since 2011 Loverude has served as the director of the Catalyst Center for the Advancement of Research in Math and Science Education, a collaborative effort between the Colleges of Education and Natural Sciences and Mathematics at Cal State Fullerton. Loverude earned his PhD in 1999 from the University of Washington in Physics Education Research.