Thorne Group Research and Education

Department of Physics

Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics

Cornell UniversityIthaca, NY • 14853

ret6@cornell.edu • (607)255-6487

Teaching and Undergraduate Education

Introductory Course Instruction and Curriculum Reform

I am deeply committed to undergraduate education, and specifically to the physics education of majors outside of physics including the life sciences, engineering and earth and atmospheric sciences. Much of my effort has been focused on instruction and "curricular engineering" in our large introductory courses for non-majors.

Essential features of these courses now include:

For my contributions to these courses I have received the Class of 72 Innovation in Teaching Award, a Faculty Appreciation Award from Cornell's Fraternities and Sororities, and a Faculty Innovation in Teaching Award. In 2011 I was named a Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow, Cornell's highest recognition for teaching and advising.

I am now part of a team of Physics faculty that will be working to more fully implement the "deliberate practice" model for instruction in our introductory courses to further increase student learning gains and to further improve the retention and success of under-represented minority, female, and socioeconomically disadvantaged students.

I also regularly participate in events for faculty and future faculty organized by Cornell's Center for Teaching Excellence, and am a mentor of new faculty in Cornell's Faculty Partnership program.

International Education

In 2003 Cornell opened a branch of its Weill Cornell Medical School in Doha, Qatar. WCMC-Q is one of the founding programs of Education City, a visionary effort to bring world-class undergraduate and professional education to the Middle East. I have been involved with the premedical program there since 2003, and from 2004-2012 served as Course Director for Physics . The program draws students from the Middle East, Northwest Africa and the Indian subcontinent. I have lectured and given research and teaching seminars in Doha, provided annual program evaluations, and have hosted students from the program in summer research.