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Physics Colloquium - Dr. Matt Guthrie

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Thursday, September 22, 2022, 4 pm– 5 pm

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This is a past event.

Michigan Tech Alum, Matt Guthrie from the University of Conneticut will be presenting at the next Physics Colloquium. Please join the in-person presentation at 4:00 p.m. Thursday (September 22) in Fisher Hall 139.

My Path to Eduphysics: Flipping Physics Education Research

Abstract:  I graduated from Michigan Tech in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in physics. In the decade since, I have worked in a broad range of research fields, trying to find what most excited me. Eventually, I worked with a small group of researchers at The University of Texas to start a new subfield of research. Eduphysics takes ideas and analysis methods from physics and applies them to educational contexts. Across the country, the education system compares students, schools, and districts to one another in order to form an understanding of performance, on (for example) standardized tests. If the groups assigned for comparison aren't carefully chosen, these comparisons are often not useful or inappropriate. In this talk, I will discuss the Texas Education Agency's current grouping method, and my attempt to improve this method using multidimensional reduction and clustering on demographic variables for students attending each high school in Texas. The resulting comparison groups are then used to identify schools that consistently outperform their peers, and to inform qualitative researchers about where to find exemplary schools.


Bio: I am Matt Guthrie (he/him). After graduating from Michigan Tech, I studied physics at University of Texas, where I earned a PhD and saw a lot of great live music. After graduating from UT, I held the position of preeminent postdoctoral scholar at University of Central Florida. Florida was too hot, so I moved to Connecticut and was an Adjunct professor at some schools in eastern Connecticut. In January of this year I was hired as an assistant professor in residence at University of Connecticut.


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