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When: February 14, 2013 at 4:00 pm–5:00 pm

Where: US Bank Conference Theater, The Ohio Union

Abstract: Most — if not all — of the important skills in our life are acquired outside the traditional classroom setting. Yet we continue to teach using lectures where students passively take down information. Instead, we should really focus on the assimilation of that information and shift the focus from teaching to helping students learn. Over the past 20 years, instructors world-wide have begun to adopt Peer Instruction to get students to think in class. With the advent of new technology the process can be significantly improved. A new data-analytics driven audience response system does away with multiple choice questions and helps instructors design better questions, manage time and process flow, and optimizes the discussions in the classroom.

Dr. Eric Mazur

Biography: Eric Mazur is the Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University and Area Dean of Applied Physics. An internationally recognized scientist and researcher, he leads a vigorous research program in optical physics and supervises one of the the largest research groups in the Physics Department at Harvard University.

In addition to his work in optical physics, Dr. Mazur is interested in education, science policy, outreach, and the public perception of science. He believes that better science education for all — not just science majors — is vital for continued scientific progress. To this end, Dr. Mazur devotes part of his research group’s effort to education research and finding verifiable ways to improve science education. In 1990 he began developing Peer Instruction a method for teaching large lecture classes interactively. Dr. Mazur’s teaching method has developed a large following, both nationally and internationally, and has been adopted across many science disciplines.

This is the 2013 Swenton-Ouellette Lecture. The goal of the Swenton-Ouellette lecture is to highlight members of the chemistry community who display excellence in not only research but also mentorship, teaching, and outreach. In doing so, we hope to emphasize the interplay between running a successful research lab and being a strong mentor, teacher, and communicator. The speaker is chosen by soliciting nominations from faculty and graduate students.

Sponsored by UCAT, ChemTALKS, and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

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