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July 2016 Member Spotlight - Emily MarshmanSpotlight Archive

Member Spotlight

Emily Marshman
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

I joined AAPT in 2012 when I was a graduate student conducting research in physics education, in particular, developing tools for teaching and learning in upper-level undergraduate physics courses. I wanted to connect with other researchers and share my findings at AAPT meetings. As a member of AAPT, I have been able to meet and brainstorm with other physics teachers and researchers, learn about research-based teaching strategies for physics, share my work with other teachers and researchers, and get feedback on my own research. I have also been able to attend workshops which help me keep up-to-date regarding the most effective and innovative teaching strategies in physics. In addition, I have attended committee meetings and serve on an AAPT committee. The AAPT committees keep me be informed about issues that affect physics instructors and serve as a platform to share my ideas on how to address these issues. In sum, AAPT gives me the opportunity to participate in a large teaching community in which I can ask questions and share my ideas about teaching physics.

Currently, I am a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Pittsburgh. I have been investigating how to make the teaching and learning of upper-level quantum mechanics courses better. Along with my research advisor, Dr. Chandralekha Singh, I have developed a framework for thinking about how to teach quantum mechanics. We have been researching common student difficulties in quantum mechanics and developing tools to help undergraduate and graduate students learn about various topics in quantum mechanics. In addition to my research on the teaching and learning of quantum mechanics, I have also been examining how to improve the professional development of graduate students to prepare them for their teaching assistantships. The findings of my research can help improve the teaching and learning of physics in introductory as well as advanced courses.

Being a member of the AAPT community has helped me to see what a diverse, enthusiastic group of people physics teachers are, and I am happy to be a part of the community. I want to especially thank my research advisor, Dr. Chandralekha Singh, for introducing me to AAPT and helping me reach my goal of getting my Ph.D. in physics in July 2015. I also want to thank Dr. Alexandru Maries for his help and feedback on all of my research projects.