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Physics Education Research Conference 2013 Plenary Speakers

Plenary Speakers

Sian L. Beilock, University of Chicago

Sian L. Beilock is a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago. Her research program sits at the intersection of cognitive science and education. She explores the cognitive and neural substrates of skill learning, including embodied cognition of physics concepts, as well as the mechanisms by which performance breaks down in high-stress or high-pressure situations. Her work sheds light on the connections between affect and cognition in learning math and science, in part by exploring the mechanisms of stereotype threat and the effects of anxiety on achievement in math and science classrooms.

Noah D. Finkelstein, University of Colorado-Boulder

Noah Finkelstein is a professor of physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. There, he co-directs the Physics Education Research group and directs the Integrating STEM Education program.  Noah studies conditions that support students' interests and abilities in physics at multiple levels, with research projects ranging from the dynamics of classroom learning to the institutional level decisions that can support students' learning in the classroom and beyond. His theoretical work seeks to build models of learning that emphasize the critical and inextricable role of context in student learning of physics. His experimental work has revealed some of the affective dimensions of the contexts of physics learning, including the in?uence of stereotype threat on exam performance and the impact of faculty practices on students' comfort with discussing physics with peers and instructors.

Ayush Gupta, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

Ayush Gupta is a Research Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics, University of Maryland, College Park in the Physics Education Research Group. His research interests include cognitive modeling of student thinking and learning, the role of emotions in students' reasoning, and the use of mathematics in physics and engineering. His research aims to unpack the moment-to-moment entanglement of learners emotions, conceptual knowledge, epistemological stances, and identity. This work draws on the knowledge-in-pieces framework as well as interaction analysis methodologies, thus aiming to forge common ground between cognitivist and situated perspectives on learning.

Marja-Liisa Hassi, University of Helsinki

Marja-Liisa Hassi has a Master's degree in mathematics and a Ph.D. in education from the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her research interests include mathematics learning and problem solving, affective factors and learning, motivational processes, and self-regulated learning. She serves as an adjunct professor for the Faculty of Behavioral Sciences at the University of Helsinki, and has worked in the Ethnography and Evaluation Research group at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has collaborated internationally with education and mathematics education researchers and contributes to faculty professional development and assessment of technical and vocational education initiatives in developing countries.

Kevin Pugh, University of Northern Colorado

Kevin Pugh is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Northern Colorado.  His work focuses on investigating transformative experience -- experiences where students actively use curricular concepts to see and experience the world in a personally meaningful, new way. The primary goal of this work is to better address why school learning often fails to make a difference in students' everyday, out-of-school experience. Related to this work are investigations of in?uences on transformative experience, methods of teaching for transformative experience, and the relationship between transformative experience and enduring understanding in the context of science education. Research on motivation, transfer of learning, and Dewey's theory of aesthetic experience are important in?uences on his work.