Noah Finkelstein

Noah Finkelstein

Educational Transformation at a Critical Time: The essential roles and promise of physicists

Significant, perhaps unprecedented, attention is being paid to the needs for transformation within the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at the undergraduate level.

This talk examines how higher education STEM disciplines, and physicists and physics departments in particular, are positioned to contribute to these discussions and address our challenges. I will review our own efforts in physics education transformation and the growth of work in physics education research (PER) at CU-Boulder as an example.

Our work develops a new theoretical line of inquiry in physics education research through experimental work at the individual, the course, and the departmental scales. I present samples of these scales reviewing: how we can build on understanding of student reasoning to study and transform our introductory through upper division courses, studies of how our environments do and do not support women in physics, and models for engaging in sustainable and scalable transformation.

Short biography

Noah Finkelstein is a Professor and Vice Chair (2021-2022) in the department of Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder.

He conducts research is in physics education, specifically studying the conditions that support students’ identities, engagement and outcomes in physics – developing models of context. In parallel, he conducts research on how educational transformations get taken up, spread, and sustained.

He is a PI in the Physics Education Research (PER) group and was founding co-director of CU’s Center for STEM Learning. He co-directs the national Network of STEM Education Centers, is building the international STEM DBER-Alliance, and coalitions advancing undergraduate education transformation.

He is involved in education policy, serving on many national boards in the U.S., sits on a National Academies’ STEM education roundtable, is a Trustee of the Higher Learning Commission (which accredits institutions of higher education), and is a Fellow of both the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Finkelstein is also a Presidential Teaching Scholar and the inaugural Timmerhaus Teaching Ambassador for the University of Colorado system.


December 8: The Congress Handbook is now available for download.
December 5: the Congress' Whova mobile app may be downloaded via the following link: Get Whova Now
December 2: Second Congress bulletin published today; available on the Bulletins page.
November 16: Congress bulletin published today; available on the Bulletins page.
October 26: Discounts on local tours for Congress delegates; for more details, please see the home page.
October 17: The Congress program is available both online (via Indico) and as a PDF; links are on the Program page.
October 13: Please see the home page for comments on recent spam activity.
September 16: Early-bird registration extended to Friday October 14th.
July 29: Abstract submissions closed. Close to 800 submissions received. Authors to be notified of outcomes once the reviewing process is completed in early September.


Copyright AIPC 2022