You are here

News and Events 2014

dB-SERC News

December 10, 2014:

Dr. Alexandru Maries, a dB-SERC post-doc gave an invited talk at the Ohio State University PERG seminar.

October 24, 2014:

Dr. Alexandru Maries, a dB-SERC post-doc gave an invited talk at the Fall 2014 Meeting of the APS - Ohio Region Section titled "Role of Multiple Representations in Physics Problem Solving"

October 20, 2014: Innovative SEA-PHAGES program gets $3.25 million to continue

Congratulations to Dr. Graham Hatfull from Biological Sciences for obtaining this grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute!

Link to article in Pitt Chronicle

October 6, 2014: Improving Biology Education at Pitt
Dr. Samuel Donovan from Biological Sciences discusses the Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis (QUBES) project for which he and colleagues at University of Wisconsin-Madison and The College of William and Mary were recently awarded a $2.9 million NSF grant.

September 10, 2014: Pittsburgh Quarterly:

September 4-5, 2014: Global Learning Council Inaugural Meeting and Symposium in Pittsburgh
Dr. Alexandru Maries, a post-doc for dB-SERC, presented a poster titled "Using Clickers (classroom response system) in physics classrooms to enhance student learning" at the GLC inaugural meeting on September 4.

August 18, 2014
dB-SERC sent out a request for proposals for establishment of Faculty Learning Communities (departmental or across departments) for Fall 2014 and Spring 2015.
  • Each faculty learning community should be focused on a particular or several instructional strategies (e.g., Just-in-Time Teaching, collaborative group problem solving, flipped classroom etc.)
  • More information.

May 5, 2014
Chandralekha Singh, Founding Director of dB-SERC, discusses the center in an article in Quanta

April 5, 2014
Alexandru Maries, a postdoc for dB-SERC, gave an invited presentation to the Western PA American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Meeting, in Monessen, PA

April 3, 2014

  • Chandralekha Singh, Founding Director of dB-SERC, gave a talk at  the annual Senate Plenary on using  technology before, during and after  the lecture.
  • The plenary on March 19th, 2014 was focused on using technology in the classroom, and is available here.

Dr. Singh's talk, "Using Technology to Transform Science Teaching in Large Classes Before, During and After the Lecture" can be obtained by emailing her at


February 6, 2014

Article in University Times about dB-SERC's inauguration event (Carl Wieman seminar)

February 4, 2014
Article about the effectiveness of the SEA-PHAGE program implemented at Pitt, led by Dr. Graham Hatfull and 20 other universities published in mBio and discussed in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

January 30, 2014
Carl Wieman gave the inaugural keynote address for dB-SERC. 

His talk, "Taking a Scientific Approach to Science Education" (powerpoint slides and video) are available!

Note: In order to view the seminar you need to have a University of Pittsburgh box account. If you  do not have one, you can create one for free using your pitt username and password, after which you will be able to download  the video.

If you are not affiliated with pitt, you can view Carl giving a very similar seminar talk at CMU's Simon Initiative, which is on youtube here.

January 15, 2014
dB-SERC inauguration in Pitt News

Any Natural Sciences faculty member/graduate student interested in effective teaching and learning is encouraged to attend the weekly meetings to discuss these issues and contribute to the burgeoning Pitt teaching and learning community. For more information on how you can be involved, please contact dB-SERC Postdoctoral Teacher Scholar and Assessment Consultant, Dr. Emily Marshman at


dB-SERC Events

November 24, 2014: dB-SERC pizza lunch

November 13, 2014: Workshop: "Implementing a simple solution to improving science education"

  • Time: 1:30 - 3:30 pm
  • Place: University Club, Gold Room
  • Workshop leader: Dr. Robin Wright, Head of Department of Biology Teaching and Learning, University of Minnesota.
  • Workshop description: Improving science education has become an increasingly compelling national call to action. What are we already doing well and what can we improve? In this workshop, I’ll share a very simple proposition about how science education should be changed to improve student learning. Then, we’ll share ideas and experiences about what implementing that proposition might look like. Participants should leave with ideas about how to strengthen their own classes.​

November 10, 2014: dB-SERC pizza lunch

October 20, 2014: dB-SERC pizza lunch
  • Topic: Implementation of flipped/Just in Time Teaching courses via dB-SERC awards: progress report
  • Discussion leaders: Dr. David Nero and Dr. Hanna Salman, Physics and Astronomy, Pitt.
  • For more information, and a discussion summary visit the What We Do - Journal Club page.

October 16, 2014: Workshop on Formative Assessment organized by dB-SERC/CIDDE
  • Title: Practical In-Class Formative (Ungraded) Assessments
  • Time: 2-4 pm
  • Place: O'Hara Student Center Ballroom
  • Workshop leader: Meiyi Song, Teaching and Learning Consultant, CIDDE
  • Workshop description:
    • This workshop covers a variety of practical in-class formative assessment techniques that help instructors evaluate their teaching and learners’ learning progress. The assessment results will help instructors make informed decisions on their teaching and lesson planning. Participants will practice using the introduced techniques in the workshop.​

October 6, 2014: dB-SERC pizza lunch

September 22, 2014: dB-SERC pizza lunch

September 15, 2014: dB-SERC pizza lunch

September 5, 2014: dB-SERC pizza lunch
  • Topic: Planning and design of two flipped/Just-in-Time Teaching physics courses course via dB-SERC Course Transformation Award.
  • Discussion leaders: Dr. David Nero and Dr. Hanna Salman, Physics and Astronomy, Pitt.
  • For more information, and a discussion summary visit the What We Do - Journal Club page.

August 29, 2014: New TA Workshop organized by dB-SERC

  • Time: 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    • 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm: workshop
    • 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm: reception (free food!)
  • Workshop description: This workshop is focused on discipline-specific issues in the teaching and learning of Natural Sciences. The workshop will be followed by a reception during which complimentary food will be provided. This workshop will be beneficial to graduate students who will serve as new TAs in the Natural Sciences and will build upon CIDDE’s workshop for new TAs offered the preceding week. In this workshop, we will discuss evidence-based strategies for improving the effectiveness of recitations including but not limited to: creating a TA teaching community, fostering collaborative learning, improving student participation, assessing student learning, and improving use of formative student feedback.​

August 19, 2014: New Faculty Workshop organized by dB-SERC: Strategies for improving and assessing student learning

  • Time: 8:45 am - 3:00 pm
    • 8:45 am - 9:00 am: Complimentary light breakfast
    • 9:00 am - 12:00 pm: Morning Workshop
    • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm: Complimentary lunch
    • 1:00 pm - 1:50 pm: Afternoon session 1: Effective time management, class management and diversity issues
    • 1:50 pm - 2:40 pm:Afternoon session 2: Effective use of graduate TAs and UTAs
    • 2:40 pm - 3:00 pm: Closing remarks and workshop feedback survey
  • Description: the workshop is mainly targeted for new faculty, however, any faculty member interested in teaching and learning is welcome to attend. In this workshop we will discuss basic strategies to improve student learning based on cognitive research and practical considerations. In addition, strategies to assess the extent to which course goals have been achieved will also be discussed. A complimentary light breakfast (coffee/tea/juices and bagels) and lunch will be provided.

August 15: dB-SERC pizza lunch

August 11, 2014: dB-SERC pizza lunch

July 25, 2014: dB-SERC pizza lunch

  • Topic: Defining measurable course goals
  • Discussion leader: Dr. Chandralekha Singh, Professor, Physics and Astronomy, Founding Director, dB-SERC, Pitt
  • For more information, and a discussion summary visit the What We Do - Journal Club page.

July 11, 2014: dB-SERC pizza lunch

June 27, 2014: dB-SERC pizza lunch

June 13, 2014: dB-SERC pizza lunch

May 30, 2014: dB-SERC pizza lunch

May 15, 2014: dB-SERC pizza lunch

May 5, 2014: dB-SERC Teaching large classes workshop