People in the OSU PER Group

Below is brief information on all members of our group, as well as alumni, friends, and former faculty. Links and email addresses are provided for members who have requested it.


Gordon Aubrecht (email) (WWW)
Studies introductory students understanding of quantum mechanics, energy, and their attitudes towards physics courses. Author of Energy, a textbook for non-physicists which discusses energy and energy production/use from both physics and social/economic angles. Gordon has been heavily involved in AAPT and outreach activities for most of his career.
Lei Bao (email) (WWW)
The head faculty member of our group, Lei has his hands full with advising nearly all the OSU PER grad students. His research interests are broad, including cognitive science, assessment, mental models, and curriculum development.
Andrew Heckler (WWW)
The newest faculty member of the group, Andrew began his physics career in Astrophysics and Cosmology and is now interested in the cognitive origins of student difficulties in physics, learning and transfer of abstract and concrete representations, the hierarchical structure of physics knowledge, and general application of PER principles to the classroom. He also helped to create a Middle Childhood education major for math and science at OSU and is very active in professional development workshops for K-12 science teachers in central Ohio, including modeling workshops.
E. Leonard Jossem
It is with great sadness that we announce that Len Jossem died in 2009. He was widely known and greatly respected in the PER community, having been a supporter of educational reform for decades. He served on a wide variety of national and international committees and commission. He also served as chairman of the OSU physics department for thirteen years, was president of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) in 1973-74, and was presented AAPT's Oersted Medal in 1994.

Current Grad Students

Aaron Adair (email)
Jing Han (email)
Brendon Mikula (email)

Graduate Alumni

Wendy Ake
Leith (Dwyer) Allen (email)
Florin Bocaneala (email)
Dedra Demaree (WWW)
Assistant Professor of Physics
Oregon State University
Kathy Harper (email)
Albert Lee (WWW)
Assistant Professor of Physics
California State University, LA
Gyoungho Lee (email) (WWW)
Professor of Education
Seoul National University
Pengfei Li (email) (WWW)
Assistant Professor of Physics
Savannah State University
Yuhfen Lin
Yuhfen studied extending inquiry learning beyond introductory physics; getting future physicists to start thinking like physicists.
David May (email)
Project Director
"Vertically Integrated Partnership K-16" University System of Maryland
Maximiliano Montenegro
Keith Oliver (email) (WWW)
Associate Professor of Physics
Grand Valley State University
Rebecca Rosenblatt (email)
Assistant Professor of Physics
Illinois State University
Homeyra Sadaghiani (WWW)
Assistant Professor of Physics
California State Polytechnic University.
Tomm Scaife (email) (WWW)
Assistant Professor of Physics
University of Wisconsin - Platteville.
Steve Stonebraker (WWW) (email)
Looking for trends in the inconsistencies in students' answers to multiple questions on a single topic. Also involved in the VR environment project, and formerly the main investigator on "Flexible Homework", and a side-project to look for an effect on students' test scores based on where they sit during lecture.
Dave Van Domelen (email)
Jing Wang (email) (WWW)
Assistant Professor of Physics
Eastern Kentucky University.
Rasil Warnakulasooriya (email)
Wenhui Zhao
The indispensable computer programmer behind our VR simulations and the software backend for our clickers project.
Xueli "Sue Lee" Zou (email) (WWW)
Associate Professor of Physics
California State University, Chico

Former Post Docs

Lin Ding (WWW)
Assistant Professor of Education
School of Teaching and Learning at Ohio State University
YeounSoo Kim (email)
Developing the in-class Conflict and Anxiety Recognition Evaluation (iCARE), a way of measuring students' perceptions of their cognitive conflict or learning anxiety. Also, developing instructional strategies to help students manage cognitive conflict and anxiety in learning physics.
Seth Rosenberg
Eleanor Sayre (WWW)
Assistant Professor of Physics
Kansas State University
Beth Thacker (WWW)
Associate Professor of Physics
Texas Tech University

Friends of OSU PER

Ed Adelson (WWW)
The course manager for our department's calculus-based intro sequence, Ed has an interest in PER and often serves as a lecturer in our reformed sequence for engineers (part of the university's FEH program).
Eugenia Etkina (email) (WWW)
A longtime friend of the group and a repeated visiting faculty member.
Uri Ganiel (email)
A frequent visitor to our group. Uri's home base is the Weizmann Institute of Science's Department of Science Teaching.
David Mills (email) (WWW)
Bruce Patton
Bruce does research here at OSU in condensed matter theory, but he has a side interest in education and is one of our primary "Physics by Inquiry" instructors.
Neville W. "Bill" Reay (WWW)
Bill was emeritus professor at OSU and emeritus distinguished professor at Kansas State, is an APS fellow that for decades worked in experimental high energy physics. He joined the OSU PER group for a number of years, concentrating fulltime on teaching and PER. Presently, he was the PI on an OSU seed grant and an NSF-CCLI phase 2 grant, both of which are directed toward developing research-based methodologies for using clickers.
Alan Van Heuvelen (email)
For many years, Alan was the head of our group. Now he's working at Rutgers with frequent collaborator Eugenia Etkina.
Kenneth G. Wilson (WWW)
One of our group's founding members, Ken was at OSU from 1988-2002. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and received the 1982 Nobel Prize in Physics for work on phase transitions in bulk matter.

This page last modified on 2012-August-10.
For questions, corrections, etc., contact Andrew Heckler (