Dr. Curtis Bradley
Dr. Curtis Bradley Associate Professor & Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies
Bio
Education
Teaching Areas
Research Interests
Bio

Associate Professor, Department of Physics & Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies

Following the 2017 merger of PI with Khalifa University (KUSTAR), Dr. Curtis Bradley has led his department’s efforts to develop both a Physics BSc and a Medical Physics MSc degree at KU. From February to December 2019, he served as Acting Chairman of the KU Physics Department. During the last few years, he has taught the three core (service) courses currently offered by Department; served as Chairman of the Committee for Continuous Improvement (CCI) in the PI’s College of Arts and Sciences (CAS); served as Chairman of the PI’s University Committee on Learning Environment and Educational Technology (LEET); and served in a leadership role in the CAS “Reading for Science” campaign – whereby he encouraged and participated in interdisciplinary curriculum development and educational research. From 2012 to 2013, he served as Head of the Physics Department at PI and led his Department’s program of transforming their core courses to a “Studio Physics” approach – involving the introduction and development of pedagogies and revised curricula, and the redesign of laboratory spaces to create student-centered environments for active-learning of introductory physics.

He joined the PI in Fall 2005 after working at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, Texas, where he was an Assistant Professor of Physics from 1999. At TCU, he taught a wide range of physics courses, collaborated with colleagues in the TCU College of Education on teacher-training workshops and educational research projects, and supervised several MS and PhD students on atomic and laser physics projects. Prior to TCU, he was an NRC (National Research Council) Postdoctoral Research Associate at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (Gaithersburg, Maryland) from 1997 to 1999.

Starting from his initial choice of a BS degree in Science Education to now, Dr. Curtis has had a strong interest in the improvement of educational experiences for students. After completing his BS degree, he served two years in the US Peace Corps as a high-school teacher in Belize, Central America. While in Belize, he also did educational/training projects such as the development of science teacher training workshops and to help start-up a local Shotokan Karate Dojo. Later, as a graduate student at Rice University, he frequently served as the de-facto advisor for new undergraduate and graduate students in his advisor’s research group, and often did substitute teaching on behalf of his research advisor. At TCU, he did original research on the impacts on student learning via science simulations rather than real, equipment-based experiments. At PI, his educational research started with an investigation related to student performance on the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) and the role of the survey’s language (Arabic or English). This was followed by several studies related to improving student learning through use of online homework services (Quest and WileyPLUS) and then to explore the impact of PI’s adoption of a Studio Physics approach. Most recently, he has been involved in research related to student reading, visualization, and problem-solving skills, particularly in the context of introductory physics coursework. This has included an exploratory project about the enhancing student learning via their development of ePortfolios and some initial classroom use of online text (lexis) simplification tools, in the context of student reading of physics textbooks."

Education
  • 1997 - PhD in Atomic Physics – Rice University (Houston, Texas) Thesis: Bose-Einstein Condensation in Lithium
  • 1992 - MA in Physics – Rice University (Houston, Texas)
  • 1985 – BS in Science Education – Oregon State University (Corvallis, Oregon)
Teaching Areas
  • introductory physics
  • physics teaching
  • optics
  • atomic physics
Research Interests
  • language challenges in the context of STEM learning
  • uses of simulation in physics education
  • collaborative learning
  • studio physics