Michael E. McKean received
his Bachelor's degree in Physics from the University of California
campus in his hometown, Berkeley. Subsequently, Mike pursued his
graduate education at the University of Colorado, Boulder, from
which he received a Ph.D. in Astrophysical, Planetary, and Atmospheric
Science. His thesis addressed wave and particle dynamics in solar
flares and Earth's auroral zone. During the next three years, Mike
worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he studied plasma
dynamics in the boundary region between the solar wind and Earth's
magnetosphere. Following his post-doctoral at LANL, Mike received
an appointment at the University of California, San Diego, where
he joined a high-caliber space physics research group, where he
continued to research space plasma dynamics.
After three years at
UCSD, Mike decided to shift his career focus to the design and development
of educational materials. He returned to graduate school, enrolling
in the College of Education at San Diego State University. In May
1999, Mike received a Master's in Educational Technology from SDSU.
Mike continues to work in the Educational Technology Department,
collaborating with Professors Bob Hoffman and Brock Allen on research
into the usability of educational web sites and software.
During his time as a
student at SDSU, Mike received an internship at CRMSE (Center for
Research in Mathematics and Science Education) working with Dr.
Fred Goldberg and the CPU (Constructing Physics Understanding Project).
After his internship ended, Mike has continued to work with CPU
and now with CIPS. Mike has played an essential role as technical
specialist in designing the interface between the user and the CPU
software. He has helped CPU make the transition from a Mac-only
to a cross-platform capability. Mike helps evaluate both CPU and
CIPS computer simulators. He also writes tutorials and user support
documents for the same computer simulators, and contributes technical
support to the CPU/CIPS team.