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The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) will hold a special session at the APS Centennial Meeting in Atlanta to honor Lillian Christie McDermott for her outstanding ongoing contributions to physics education research. The session will be chaired by Leonard Jossem of The Ohio State University and will consist of a series of invited research talks by physicists whose work has been significantly influenced by McDermott.
For more than 20 years, McDermott has been a leader in establishing research as a basis for the systematic improvement of the learning and teaching of physics, and her work, which is continuing, has influenced the development of nationally recognized curricula. She is a Professor of Physics at the University of Washington and director of the Physics Education Group in which students earn a PhD in physics for research in learning and teaching of physics. The program was the first of its kind and has served as a model for others throughout the United States. More than 500 faculty have also benefited from the faculty development workshops given by the group at APS, AAPT and other national meetings and at colleges and universities around the world.
McDermott earned her PhD in experimental nuclear physics from Columbia University in 1959. She served as the first chair of the AAPT Committee on Research in Physics Education, has served on the APS Executive Board and as chair of the APS Committee on Education. She is also a past recipient of the AAPT Millikan Award for "notable and creative contributions to the teaching of physics."
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