The 2017 FFPER was held in from June 18 to June 24, 2017.

Plenary Speakers

In alphabetical order:

    • Eleanor Close
    • Andy diSessa
    • Ben Dreyfus
    • Antje Kohnle
    • Cassandra Paul
    • Geoff Potvin
    • Vasthi Sawtelle
    • Trevor Smith
    • Ben Zwickl


Click here for more

Breakout Sessions

Working Group on Statistics

Leader: Jayson Nissen.

Time and Location: Monday 3:45, Eno/Hamill common room AND Wednesday 10:45, Eno/Hamill common room AND Thursday 4 pm, Eno/Hamill common room

The working group on statistical methods in PER will identify important statistical methods and concepts for physics education researchers, barriers to learning and using these techniques, and solutions to these barriers. One focus of this working group will be graduate education on quantitative methods in PER.

Working Group on Collecting Resources for Newcomers Getting Started in PER

Co-leaders: PER Consortium of Graduate Students (PERCoGS)- Lisa Goodhew, Daryl McPadden, Gina Quan.

Time and Location: Thursday 4pm, Eno/Hamill common room

The PER Consortium of Graduate Students (PERCoGS) is compiling a set of resources (journal articles, book chapters, etc) for new undergraduate and graduate students getting started in PER. These resources should be easy to read and easy to understand, with a focus on helping people get started (ie., not a list of "seminal papers.") We are hoping to compile a list of about 10 papers that represent the breadth of research being conducted in PER.

Working Group: A midcareer "What is going on here?"

Co-leaders: Rosemary Russ and Leslie Atkins.

Time and Location: Monday 5:05, Millard/Dority common room

What have you done with your career? Have you accomplished anything? What next? What are you doing?

Working Group on Accessibility and Inclusion

Co-leaders: Jackie Chini and Jennifer Blue.

Time and Location: Monday 5:05, Eno/Hamill common room AND Wednesday 9.30, Eno/Hamill common room

The working group on accessibility and inclusion will discuss physics education research about the perspectives of students and physicists with disabilities, plus relevant work outside of PER. Possible foci include assembling best practices for curriculum design and instruction and identifying challenges for research, curriculum development and assessment.

Working Group: Explore Your Assessment Data with the PhysPort Data Explorer

Co-leaders: Sam McKagan and Ellie Sayre.

Time and Location: Thursday 4pm, Millard/Dority common room

Do you have piles of data from concept inventories such as the FCI, FMCE, BEMA, CSEM, CLASS, or MPEX, that you haven't gotten around to analyzing yet? Are you curious what kinds of patterns are in your data? Would you like to compare your data to national averages? In this working group, you will upload your students' assessment and demographic data to the PhysPort Data Explorer, get instant analysis and visualization, explore patterns, and discuss these patterns and their implications with other participants. If you want to participate in this working group, please bring a laptop and some data.

Working Group: Mentoring Undergraduate Students in PER

Co-leaders: Jackie Chini, Ben Dreyfus, and Ellie Sayre.

Time and Location: Thursday 5:15, Millard/Dority common room

We are interested in talking about how to become better mentors for student researchers, particularly undergrads. We'll discuss big questions and best practices in mentoring undergrad research in PER. What should students get out of a research experience (including those who aren't planning to go into PER as a career)? How do we help students get started with doing interesting research quickly? What makes a undergraduate research project "good" (and good for whom)? In our roles as mentors, we're curious about how to set up encapsulated projects with high likelihood of success, how to maintain and build students' interest in research, and how our role as mentors changes as we move from large groups to our own groups.

Working Group: Externalizing pedagogical logic for sharing instructional innovations

Co-leaders: Sam McKagan and Joe Redish.

Time and Location: Monday 3:45, Millard/Dority common room

In developing instructional innovations in PER, we are often very good at documenting that the innovation works through empirical measures of student learning outcomes. However, we are less good at externalizing how and why we think the instructional innovation works the way that it does. Being able to talk about this “how and why” of our educational innovations will support practical aims of propagating the innovation as well as support theory building. Participants will map out these “causal explanations” of how education innovations work by answering the following questions:

(1) What are the central guiding assumptions behind how your curriculum/pedagogy is structured?

(2) What about your curricular/pedagogical structures influence how students participate/engage?

(3) What forms of student engagement lead to particular student learning outcomes (in your course/curriculum)?

Working Group: Best Practices for Undergraduate Physics Programs Task Force

Leader: Sam McKagan.

Time and Location: Wednesday 10:45, Millard/Dority common room

The APS and AAPT have convened a task force to put together a guide to support physics departments in conducting self assessment and adopting best practices for all aspects of their programs. In this working group, you will learn about the work of the task force, discuss how the PER community can contribute to the guide as expert authors and reviewers, and discuss the goals that the guide should support physics departments in achieving.

Graduate Symposium


Graduate students will have the opportunity to take part in a new program in which they will write a short paper on part of their PhD research, give a talk, and participate in a peer review process. Students will be assigned to small groups of students, each of which has a faculty mentor. The process is expected to benefit students’ thesis research and possibly result in a publishable paper. Students will also broaden their knowledge of PER, strengthen their communication skills, develop reviewing skills and get to know their peers.


March or April: Students who have registered for FFPER 2017 apply to participate in the Graduate Symposium by submitting a request to Paula Heron.

Some time in May: Participating students submit a short paper (see Paper Submission guidelines below) by email to Paula Heron, who will distribute submissions to peer reviewers.

Later in May: Reviewers deliver reviews (see Reviewer guidelines below) to faculty mentor.

Early June: Faculty mentor delivers reviews and letter to participating students.

Oral Sessions (at FFPER)

Each student group will present their work in a 90-minute breakout session, which will be open to everyone attending. During the session, each student will give a 10-minute talk. A 20-minute structured discussion will follow. First, other student members of the group will have the opportunity to ask questions and make comments. In particular, they will be encouraged to raise issues from their written reviews and comment on how the author responded. The faculty mentor, followed by the general audience, will then be invited to ask questions or make comments.


Paper Submission Guidelines

Papers should follow the format for PERC Proceedings (see here for more information)

Reviewer Guidelines

There is no set format for reviews. Reviewers are expected to provide constructive criticism aimed at improving the paper and the research it describes, not to judge its readiness for publication. For example, reviewers may: ask why a particular method was chosen and/or suggest a different one; suggest additional references; point out threats to the validity of the conclusions; ask how the results relate to broader research themes; suggest improvements to make figures or tables easier to read, etc.

Serving as a faculty mentor

Each mentor will read the papers of the students in their group AND read the reviews before they are forwarded to authors. The mentor will write a "cover letter" to authors that may help interpret and prioritize the feedback contained in the reviews. Mentors will also Chair the oral sessions.


Saalih Allie

Carolina Alvarado

Katie Ansell

Leslie Atkins Elliott

Jennifer Blue

Suzanne Brahmia

John Buncher

Ying Cao

Jackie Chini

Eleanor Close

Hunter Close

Jessica Conn

Karen Cummings

Abigail Daane

Andy diSessa

Benjamin Dreyfus

Paul Emigh

Lisa Goodhew

Michael Greene

Benedikt Harrer

Ryan Hazelton

Deborah Hemingway

Paula Heron

Katie Hinko

Joss Ives

Manher Jariwala

Mashood KK

Antje Kohnle

Mary Bridget Kustusch

Cedric Linder

Lillian McDermott

Sam McKagan

Daryl McPadden

David Meltzer

Jayson Nissen

Tor Odden

Cassandra Paul

Geoff Potvin

Gina Quan

Edward Redish

Idaykis Rodriguez

Adam Rogers

Rosemary Russ

Qing Ryan

Vashti Sawtelle

Ellie Sayre

Rachel Scherr

Peter Shaffer

Trevor Smith

Caleb Speirs

John Stewart

Adrienne Traxler

Ben Van Dusen

Tong Wan

Gary White

Michael Wittmann

Ben Zwickl.