I’m a physics education researcher who studies how tools and science practices affect student learning in physics, and the conditions and environments that support or inhibit this learning.
I earned my B.S. in physics from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004. I worked on opto-microfluidics transport and control experiments at the Georgia Institute of Technology earning my M.S. in physics before shifting my research focus to physics education. I helped found the Georgia Tech Physics Education Research group in 2007 and earned the first physics education focused Ph.D. from Georgia Tech in 2011 working on computational modeling instruction and practice. I moved to the University of Colorado Boulder as a postdoctoral researcher and helped transform upper-division physics courses to more active learning environments.
I conduct research from the high school to the upper-division and am particularly interested in how students learn physics through their use of tools such as mathematics and computing. My work employs cognitive and sociocultural theories of learning and aims to blend these perspectives to enhance physics instruction at all levels. My projects range from the fine-grained (e.g., how students understand particular elements of code) to the course-scale (e.g., how students learn to model systems in electromagnetism) to the very broad (e.g., how does computing affect learning across a degree program?). Presently, I am an associate professor at Michigan State University and at the University of Oslo.