Group Members

GT Faculty

Mike Schatz (Physics)

schatz.jpg Mike Schatz is a Professor in the School of Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received his B.S. from the University of Notre Dame in 1983 and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Texas in 1991. He is interested in using Physics Education Research to improve large calculus-based introductory physics courses. These courses provide exposure to physics fundamentals required by virtually all science and engineering majors in the U.S.; thus, strengthing introductory physics instruction helps advance the scientific and technological capabilites of our nation. In recent years, Physics Education Research has helped strengthen introductory physics; however, these courses still have significant room for improvement in a number of respects. The group's work focuses on two efforts to strengthen introductory courses, specifically: (1) Using cognitive science in a systematic way to develop new instructional materials, and (2) Developing ways to integrate numerical computation and visualization into all aspects (lecture, lab and homework) of the introductory course.

Richard Catrambone (Psychology)

richard.jpg Richard Catrambone is a Professor in the School of Psychology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received his B.A. from Grinnell College in 1982 and his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Michigan in 1988. The question Catrambone likes to ask–and the thread that runs through the projects he does alone and in collaboration with others–is: What does someone need to know in order to solve novel problems or carry out tasks within a particular domain? Catrambone's research interests include problem solving, analogical reasoning, educational technology, and human-computer interaction. He is particularly interested in how people learn from examples in order to solve problems in domains such as algebra, probability, and physics. He explores how to create examples that help learners understand how to approach problems in a meaningful way rather than simply memorizing a set of steps that cannot easily be transferred to novel problems. More broadly, he is interested in the design of teaching and training materials–including software and multimedia environments–based on cognitive principles that help students learn basic tasks quickly and promote transfer to novel problems. In particular, he uses task analysis techniques to explore what students need to know in order to solve problems in a domain and then to use the results of the task analysis to guide the construction of teaching and training materials/environments.

Jack Marr (Psychology)

jmarr.jpg M. Jackson (Jack) Marr received the BS degree in 1961 from Georgia Tech where he studied mathematics, physics, and psychology He received a Ph.D. in experimental psychology with a minor in physiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1966. He is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Georgia Tech where he has taught courses in physiology and behavior, behavioral pharmacology, and probability & statistics, and continues to teach the experimental analysis of behavior. Since 1991 he has been involved through NSF grants and other support in the assessment and improvement of engineering education. This work has included design of instructional systems to teach electromagnetics in calculus-based engineering physics using methods derived from applied behavior analysis of skill acquisition and the cognitive science of problem solving. More recently he has been part of a multi-disciplinary team to evaluate and enhance instruction in the Matter and Interactions curriculum in mechanics and electromagnetics. Other current research interests include dynamical systems theory applied to behavior analysis, the quantitative analysis of behavior, comparative behavior analysis, and theoretical/conceptual issues in behavioral analysis.

Graduate Students

Emily Alicea-Munoz (Physics)

ealicea.jpg Emily Alicea-Munoz is a graduate student in the School of Physics. She has a B.S. in Physics from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez and an M.S. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from Penn State. In the past she has worked at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center doing research on cosmological black hole mergers. She joined the Georgia Tech Physics Education Research Group in 2012, with the goal of studying outreach methodologies within a physics education framework. Emily lives in Atlanta with her husband, John Wise (of the Georgia Tech Center for Relativistic Astrophysics) and their two cats, Sampson and Ditto.

Scott S. Douglas (Physics)

Scott Douglas received his BA in Physics from Colgate University in 2009, where he wrote his honors thesis on computational simulations of the Hodgkin-Huxley model of neural transmission. That same year, he entered the Ph.D. physics program at Georgia Tech, where he worked with his advisor Steve Harvey on various projects relating to computational structural biology and biophysics until the end of 2010. Finding himself more and more engaged by the act of teaching biophysics rather than by the biophysics itself, he switched to Mike Schatz's physics education research group in 2011, where he belongs today. His work emphasizes the cognitive aspects of computational thinking, and he maintains a working relationship with Steve Harvey in the development of software tools and curricula for teaching computational structural biology. Scott was born and raised in Atlanta, enjoys beer-brewing and writing, and is engaged to be married to Anat Fintzi, a Brain and Cognitive Sciences Ph.D. student at Vanderbilt University.

Post-Docs & Researchers

John M. Aiken (Physics)

johnm.jpg John is interested in how students conceive force and motion in the context of computational modeling. In collaboration with GTPER and the Atlanta Public Schools, John is currently investigating how students learn physics and scientific practices in a high school classroom, specifically computational modeling. Using a variety of methods including written assessments, talk aloud interviews, and free response essays John has found in a pilot study in collaboration with the Westminster Schools that students successful at computation may be successful at learning conceptual physics.

You can learn more about me here.

You can contact me at johnm[dot]aiken[at]gmail[dot]com.


Shih-Yin Lin (National Changhua University of Education)

me_2_004.jpg Shih-Yin Lin grew up in Taiwan and received her B.S. and M.S. in Physics from the National Taiwan University. In 2008, she entered the Ph. D. program in Physics and Astronomy at University of Pittsburgh, specializing in physics education research. At UPitt, Shih-Yin has conducted several investigations to assess students' problem solving performance from different perspectives and to explore strategies to improve students' problem solving skills. She joined the Georgia tech PER group in 2013.

John Burk (St. Andrew's School)

burk_john.jpg John Burk teaches physics at The Westminster Schools, in Atlanta, GA. He received his BS in Physics from Duke University in 1998, and went on to teach Physics, Computer Science and mathematics at St. Andrew's School, where he taught for 8 years. Following his work at St. Andrew's, he completed a M.S. degree in Applied Physics from Johns Hopkins University, while teaching at Sidwell Friends School in Washington DC. In 2009, John moved to Westminster where he has been teaching physics to 9th graders and working to develop a curriculum using VPython to introduce his students to the power of computational modeling. In 2012, John moved back to St. Andrew's School to continue exposing high school students to computational modeling.

Danny Caballero (Michigan State)

dcaballero.jpg Marcos “Danny” Caballero is a PhD graduate from GTPER. He received his B.S. in Physics from the University of Texas in 2004. He worked in the field of optomicrofludics in Mike Schatz's lab, developing optical transport methods for fluid droplets, earning his M.S. in 2006. He found an interest in physics education research, specifically in how computation and visualization might aid student ability to solve novel problems. Danny earned his PhD in 2011 under the direction of Mike Schatz. Danny worked on various standardized assessment and computational development projects. His most recent research focused on developing computational homeworks assignments designed to help students form strong qualitative understanding of kinematics and dynamics as well as flexible problem solving abilities. Danny was a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Colorado in the Physics Education Research group investigating reform and implementing computational modeling in upper-division physics courses. Danny is now Assistant Professor of Physics at Michigan State University working in physics education research. Danny continues to collaborate with GTPER on a number of projects.

Ed Greco (Physics)


Ed Greco studied as an undergraduate at Jacksonville University here he earned a B.S. in mathematics and physics with honors in 2000. That fall, he entered the Ph.D. program in Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In 2003, he began work under the supervision of Roman Grigoriev within the department’s Center for Nonlinear Science and successfully defended his thesis in 2007 on the topic of thermocapillary droplet migration with applications to microfluidic systems. Since 2008 Ed has remained in his home department as a physics instructor and advisor to the local SPS chapter. He currently collaborates with the Physics Education Research group of Michael Schatz and continues to investigate and publish with Roman Grigoriev.

Matt Kohlmyer (NCSU)

ASCII���COPYRIGHT Brand Fortner Matt Kohlmyer received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in 2005 but conducted most of his thesis research at NC State in the Physics Education Research Group. From 2006-2008 he was a postdoctoral fellow at Georgia Tech, where he helped to introduce and implement the “Matter & Interactions” curriculum. In 2008 he returned to NC State as a Teaching Assistant Professor. Matt collaborated with the GT Group on several projects until becoming WebAssign's Physics Visoneer.

people.txt · Last modified: 2015/01/28 17:03 by johnmark
Trace: people
Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki Recent changes RSS feed Valid XHTML 1.0