Eric Mazur Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Eric Mazur        

Physicist & Educator at Harvard; Entrepreneur in Technology Start-Ups for the Educational and Photonics Markets

Eric Mazur is the Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics and Dean of Applied Physics at Harvard University, Member of the Faculty of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and President of the Optical Society.

Mazur is a prominent physicist known for his contributions in nanophotonics, an internationally recognized educational innovator, and a sought after speaker. In education he is widely known for his work on Peer Instruction, an interactive teaching method aimed at engaging students in the classroom and beyond. In 2014 Mazur became the inaugural recipient of the Minerva Prize for Advancements in Higher Education. He has received many awards for his work in physics and in education and has founded several successful companies. Mazur is Chief Academic Advisor for Turning Technologies, a company developing interactive response systems for the education market. Mazur has widely published in peer-reviewed journals and holds numerous patents. He has also written extensively on education and is the author of Peer Instruction: A User's Manual , a book that explains how to teach large lecture classes interactively, and of the Principles and Practice of Physics, a book that presents a groundbreaking new approach to teaching introductory calculus-based physics.

Mazur is a leading speaker on optics and on education. His motivational lectures on interactive teaching, educational technology, and assessment have inspired people around the world to change their approach to teaching.

Speech Topics


Assessment: The silent killer of learning

Why is it that stellar students sometimes fail in the workplace while dropouts succeed? One reason is that most, if not all, of our current assessment practices are inauthentic. Just as the lecture focuses on the delivery of information to students, so does assessment often focus on having students regurgitate that same information back to the instructor. Consequently, assessment fails to focus on the skills that are relevant in life in the 21st century. Assessment has been called the "hidden curriculum" as it is an important driver of students' study habits. Unless we rethink our approach to assessment, it will be very difficult to produce a meaningful change in education.

Educating the Innovators of the 21st Century

Can we teach innovation? Innovation requires whole-brain thinking — right-brain thinking for creativity and imagination, and left-brain thinking for planning and execution. Our current approach to education in science and technology, focuses on the transfer of information, developing mostly right-brain thinking by stressing copying and reproducing existing ideas rather than generating new ones. I will show how shifting the focus in lectures from delivering information to team work and creative thinking greatly improves the learning that takes place in the classroom and promotes independent thinking.

Confessions of a converted lecturer

I thought I was a good teacher until I discovered my students were just memorizing information rather than learning to understand the material. Who was to blame? The students? The material? I will explain how I came to the agonizing conclusion that the culprit was neither of these. It was my teaching that caused students to fail! I will show how I have adjusted my approach to teaching and how it has improved my students' performance significantly

Innovating Education to Educate Innovators OR Teaching One-on-One, All at Once: Turning lectures into learning

Educators want to prepare students for the 21st century, yet our educational approaches have evolved little over hundreds of years of academic teaching. I will demonstrate how active engagement stimulates both higher-order thinking and motivation to learn.

Getting Every Student Ready for Every Class

1-Hour Discussion Sessions Over the past decades there has been a concerted push away from passive lecturing to active engagement in the classroom. A successful implementation of the so-called flipped classroom requires students to come to class prepared, either by reading the textbook or watching a pre-recorded video. A variety approaches have been devised to get students to take responsibility for this information transfer, but none manage to get all students to participate, compromising active-learning in the classroom. I will present a new approach to get every student to prepare for every class using a new social learning platform that uses a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation factors to get every student ready for every class

News


Education Giant Pearson Continues Digital Push, Acquires Flipped ...

Furthermore, co-founder Brian Lukoff accepted a new position at Pearson, while Gary King and Eric Mazur (both currently professors at Harvard), were offered ...

Related Speakers View all


More like Eric