David R. Sokoloff

Professor of Physics

Department of Physics, 1274 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1274

Educational Background:

• B.A. in Physics                                      Queens College of the C.U.N.Y. (1966), Summa                                                                   Cum Laude

• Ph.D. in Experimental AMO Physics    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1972)

                                                                  Ali Javan, Thesis Advisor

Career Highlights:  

David Sokoloff is Professor of Physics at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon.  Prior to coming to Oregon, Prof. Sokoloff held faculty positions at University of Michigan, Dearborn and Western Illinois University.  He has held visiting positions at Tufts University, California State Polytechnic University and University of Naples.  His physics curriculum development work and his extensive dissemination efforts are nationally and internationally recognized.  Since 1986, he has conducted research into students' understandings of physics, and used the results of this research to develop active learning approaches for use in introductory physics courses.  These include the RealTime Physics and Tools for Scientific Thinking active learning laboratory curricula and Interactive Lecture Demonstrations, all of which make heavy use of microcomputer-based laboratory (MBL) tools for collection and analysis of data.  This work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, F.I.P.S.E. and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  These curricula are used extensively at the university, college and high school levels.  His efforts to disseminate activity based learning have been aimed at university, college, high school and middle school faculty through numerous national and local institutes and workshops funded by these agencies.

Awards Relevant to the Proposed Work:

1.     Distinguished Service Citation, American Association of Physics Teachers, January, 1997.

2.     Duane Marshall Award, Oregon Science Teachers' Association, 1992.

Current Funding:

1.     January 1 – December 31, 2002, National Science Foundation grant from Peer-Led Team-Learning:  National Dissemination by the Workshop Project, "CP/PLTL Curriculum Development Project," $13,873 develop collaborative, peer-led tutorials for PLTL workshops.

2.     November 1, 2001 – October 31, 2004, U.S. Department of Education, Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education, “Creating an Learning Environment over the Internet,” $497,148 (with Ronald Thornton).

3.     August 1, 1999 - July 31, 2002, National Science Foundation Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) grant, " Activity-Based Physics Suite," $99,963 to design and test Interactive Lecture Demonstrations in topic areas beyond mechanics.  Co-Principal Investigator with Priscilla Laws and Ronald Thornton.

4.     September, 1999 - August, 2003, National Science Foundation Teacher Enhancement (TE) grant, "Teacher Leader Institutes to Support the Dissemination of Activity-Based Physics Teaching Methods," $982,555 to plan, design and prepare materials, and conduct 8 Summer institutes at the University of Oregon and Dickinson College.  Co-Principal Investigator with Priscilla Laws, Patrick Cooney, Ronald Thornton, John Garrett and Maxine Willis.

Publications Relevant to the Proposed Work:    

1.     "Keynote address:  Active Learning of Physics Concepts—A Brief Overview,” and "Improving Conceptual Learning in Lecture with Interactive Lecture Demonstrations,” Proceedings of the ASPEN Workshop on Physics Demonstrations and Classroom Innovations (ASPEN '99), Hanoi, Vietnam, November 11-14, 1999, Hanoi University of Science, 2001.

2.     Sokoloff, D.R., Laws, P.W. and Thornton, R.K, "RealTime Physics: Module 3:  Electric Circuits (New York, John Wiley and Sons, 2000).

3.     Sokoloff, D.R., Thornton, R.K. and Laws, P.W., "RealTime Physics: Module 1:  Mechanics (New York, John Wiley and Sons, 1998).

4.     Sokoloff, D.R., Thornton, R.K. and Laws, P.W., "RealTime Physics: Module 2:  Heat and Thermodynamics (New York, John Wiley and Sons, 1998).

5.     Thornton, R. K. and Sokoloff, D.R., “Assessing Student Learning of Newton’s Laws: The Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation of Active Learning Laboratory and Lecture Curricula”, Am. J. Phys, 66, pp. 338-352 (1998).

6.     Ronald K. Thornton and David R. Sokoloff, Microcomputer-Based Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ILDs) in Force and Motion with Teachers’ Guide (Portland, Vernier Software, 1997).

7.     Sokoloff, D.R. and Thornton, R.K., "Using Interactive Lecture Demonstrations to Create an Active Learning Environment," The Physics Teacher, Vol. 35, pp.340-346 (1997)

8.     Sokoloff, D.R. "Teaching Electric Circuit Concepts Using Microcomputer-Based Current and Voltage Probes,"  chapter in Microcomputer-Based Labs:  Educational Research and Standards, Robert F. Tinker, ed., Series F, Computer and Systems Sciences,  156 129-146 (Berlin, Heidelberg, Springer Verlag, 1996).

Other Selected Publications:

1.     Contributing author to Karen Cummings, Priscilla Laws, Edward Redish and Patrick Cooney, Understanding Physics, (New York, Wiley, 2002).

2.     Contributing author to Priscilla W. Laws, Workshop Physics Activity Guide, (New York, Wiley, 1997).

3.     Sokoloff, D.R. and Thornton, R.K., "Tools for Scientific Thinking--Motion and Force Curriculum and Teachers' Guide," Second edition, (Portland, Vernier Software, 1992). (First edition, 1990.)

4.     Ronald K. Thornton and David R. Sokoloff, “RealTime Physics:  Active Learning Laboratory,” in The Changing Role of the Physics Department in Modern Universities, Proceedings of the International Conference on Undergraduate Physics Education, 1101-1118 (American Institute of Physics, 1997).