Fred Goldberg is Professor of Physics in the Department of Physics at San Diego State University. He is also Head of the Physics Learning Research Group in the Center for Mathematics and Science Education (CRMSE). Although trained in atomic physics, for the past fifteen years he has concentrated his efforts on research in physics learning and the development of instructional materials. During the past eight years he has directed ten major projects (nine supported by the National Science Foundation) involving research in physics learning, materials development, teacher preparation and/or teacher enhancement. His research focus has been on investigating student understanding in various domains of physics, developing strategies to facilitate meaningful learning within those domains, and documenting how students learn physics in the context of using these new strategies (many of which involve computer technology). He has collaborated with members of the Physics Learning Research Group to develop interactive computer programs in the domains of geometrical optics, static electricity, electric circuits and magnetism. The design of these programs was based on research in how students learn physics. The powerful and innovative software being developed in the present CPU project builds on that previous work.
Pat Heller is a professor of science education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota. She received a M.S. in physics from the University of Washington in 1969 and a Ph.D. in science education from the University of Michigan in 1978. She has a wide range of teaching experiences, including general science at the elementary school level, physics, chemistry and physical science at the high school level, and science education for elementary and secondary teachers at the college level. Her research focus has been in two areas: student difficulties with the conceptual and mathematical aspects of problem solving, and the design and evaluation of an instructional approach to help students overcome their difficulties with these two aspects of problem solving.
Project Associate Manager
Sharon Bendall received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in physics from Memphis State University, then for over two years worked in traditional research at IBM's T. J. Watson Laboratory in New York State. After coming to San Diego, Sharon has served as a part-time faculty member of the Physics Department at San Diego State University, where she has taught the calculus-based introductory physics course for scientists and engineers. Since leaving traditional physics research 10 years ago, she has been intensively involved in research in physics education. Her experience as a professional researcher in a non-academic environment has given her insight into the abilities that students need after their tenure in formal education. Sharon has had senior responsibilities on two prior NSF-funded projects. On these projects she participated in the development of a computer-based physics curriculum for pre-service elementary shcool teachers. She recently served as the principle investigator on another NSF-funded project to develop a "writing to learn" strategy for the calculus-based introductory physics course. The strategy helps students to develop a strong conceptual base that is often lacking in traditional versions of this course. On the CPU Project Sharon will participate in the design of the CPU curriculum and will work with national teams who will be implementing the curriculum. In addition to her work in physics education, Sharon enjoys church and family activities (she has a terrific husband and three great children), cooking and flower gardening (her husband claims that she mostly likes to plant and pick them, leaving the rest of the work to him).
Boston University Academy
Jennifer holds a B.A. in physics from
Wellesley College, a Masters of Natural Science from
Worcester Polytechnic Institute and is currently completing
a doctorate in science education at Boston University. She
taught physics and astronomy at the Pomfret School, Phillips
Academy and most recently at Boston University Academy where
she currently serves as Administrative Dean. Jennifer is the
author of Problem Solving Exercises in Physics.
Belmont High School
Paul taught high school physics for
twenty-five years at Cold Spring Harbor H.S. in New York and
Belmont H.S. in Massachusetts before joining The Center for
the Enhancement of Science and Mathematics Education
(CESAME) at Northeastern University. At CESAME, he works
with teachers around New England to advance K-12 educational
Jim Minstrell, ACT
Systems for Education
Robert Morse, St.
Bob Morse has taught high school physics for over 25 years in both public and private school settings, currently teaching at St. Albans School in Washington, DC. Since 1985 he has also been a Physics Teaching Resource Agent, creating and giving workshops for other physics teachers. He is the author of the AAPT PTRA-Plus Workshop TEACHING ABOUT ELECTROSTATICS and one of the authors of the SATLE Project curriculum in electricity. He has also written a number of short articles for The Physics Teacher magazine. Bob has worked extensively with computers in his teaching using Microcomputer Based Laboratory methods and simulations coupled with laboratory experiences for teaching mechanics. His other interests include amateur radio, sailing, music and theatre. An active member of the American Association of Physics Teachers, Bob has served on the High School committee and is currently a member of the Laboratory committee. He is a Tandy Technology Scholar and a Presidential Award Winner. One of his student's favorite activities is the catapult contest, in which teams of students build catapults which fit in one cubic foot and launch racquet balls for distances up to about 50 meters.
Patrick E. Walker is partner a in and
co-owner of WalkerVision Interarts, and has served as a
multi-media expert on the CPU project. Together with family
members he consults on design and development of multimedia
applications and produces audio and video media for
interactive educational and training programs. For the local
performing arts community WVI also specializes in high
quality live-switched on-location multi-camera video
recording. Pat is also a part-time professional singer, and
has performed under the top choral directors in the USA for
more than thirty years.
Andy had just started working on his
doctorate when the CPU Project began. He has helped develop
some of the CPU course materials, and he has been involved
in classroom testing of CPU materials at SDSU, including
teaching one section of the course. His dissertation
research is focused on categorizing the ideas that CPU
students develop about magnetic materials, and on
identifying and systematizing some of the social and
classroom influences on students' conversations which lead
to the development of ideas in the classroom. Read about
Andy's dissertation research
University of Minnesota
Laura McCullough is currently a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota. She received her M.S. in physics in 1997, with a CPU-related master's project. Laura has been working with Pat Heller and the CPU Project for several years. She has helped develop some CPU curriculum materials, and has helped teach the curriculum several times. Laura is currently working on her doctorate in science education. Her thesis involves adding technology to the introductory calculus-based physics classroom. Visit her home page at http://www.physics.umn.edu/groups/physed/laura.html.
Valerie Otero is a doctoral student in
physics education in the joint doctoral program in
mathematics and science education at UCSD and SDSU. Valerie
played a large role in the development of a portion of the
CPU unit on Motion and Forces and also in the development
and restructuring of parts of the unit on static electricity
and magnetism. Valerie's dissertation research focuses on
the development of prospective elementary teachers'
conceptual models of static electricity. Her research site
is the CPU classroom. She is particularly interested in the
role of the simulator and the "pedagogical model" or hybrid
model that is introduced in this CPU unit in the evolution
of students' conceptual models of static electricity.
Valerie's expected graduation date is May 1999 at which time
she would like to continue her teaching and research. Other
research interests include the relationship between
prospective teachers' success in CPU classes and their
future students carreer choices, studying prospective
teachers as they move from student to teacher and their
ability and willingness to teach science, and the effect of
new approaches to teaching Newtonian mechanics.
Long before his addiction to OpenDoc
programming, Arni taught Physics and Electrical Engineeering
at SDSU and discovered that he loved it. In fact he still
loves everything about the academic life and hopes one day
to be back in the classroom. In the meantime, Arni has
looked diligently for ways to improve science, math and
engineering education through the use of computers. Since
1989 he has encouraged the founding of a software
development company, Minds In Motion Software, as a vehicle
for bringing excellent educational products to this niche
The CPU Project has contracted Physicon Ltd. to develop most of the powerful CPU simulators. Physicon is based in Moscow, Russia. The company develops educational, content and scientific based software in different computer platforms for a variety of international audiences. The Physicon staff is composed of a unique combination of physicists, computer programmers and business managers which allows Physicon to flourish in the software development market.
Other contributors to the CPU Project include: Joe Faletti, Ilana Gold, Gayle Kirwan, Mike McKean, Brook Smith, and Chance Roth.