David Sokoloff Becomes AAPT President

College Park, Maryland, United States, January 12, 2011

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) has announced that David R. Sokoloff, Ph.D. has assumed the role of AAPT President. Sokoloff, Professor of Physics, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, will serve as President in 2011, and Past President in 2012.

He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Queens College of the City University of New York, and earned his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1972. Sokoloff taught at Western Illinois University and the University of Michigan-Dearborn before joining the physics faculty of the University of Oregon.

For more than two decades, he has conducted research into students' understanding of physics, and used the results of physics education research to develop active learning laboratories and interactive lecture demonstrations that connect students to the behavior of the physical world. He has also been active sharing these active learning approaches with colleagues.

Since 1999, he has been part of teams presenting active learning workshops in countries around the globe, primarily sponsored by the National Science Foundation, UNESCO, or AAPT.  Although these workshops have spanned a full range of introductory physics topics, all were designed to introduce the principles of interactive teaching. He is editor/contributor to Active Learning in Optics and Photonics Training Manual (UNESCO, 2006).

Sokoloff was recently honored with the 2010 Excellence in Physics Education Award from the American Physical Society (with Priscilla Laws and Ronald Thornton). He has also been the recipient of AAPT's Distinguished Service Citation (1997) and Robert A. Millikan Award (2007). An active member of AAPT since 1972, Sokoloff has served as a New Faculty Workshop presenter (2006-present); Co-chair of the Committee on Research in Physics Education (1992-95); PTRA workshop presenter, and given many other national and international presentations.

Sokoloff says of his new role, "This is a critical moment in the history of AAPT, and while the task is daunting, as 2011 President I look forward to working with our Executive Board, AAPT office staff, and our new Executive Officer, Beth Cunningham, to institute changes that will keep the Association vibrant well into the future. This will not happen without the strong support and involvement of our devoted members!”

About AAPT:The AAPT is the premier national organization and authority on physics and physical science education —with more than 10,000 members worldwide. Our mission is to advance the greater good through physics education. We provide our members with many opportunities for professional development, communication, and student enrichment. We serve the larger community through a variety of programs and publications. AAPT was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland.

For more information: Contact Marilyn Gardner, Director of Communications, mgardner@aapt.org, (301)209- 3306, (301)209-0845 (Fax)