Richard A. McCray
NSF Award Recognition: NSF 2002 Distinguished Teaching Scholars

Research Contributions: Dr. McCray’s research covers a broad range of topics in theoretical astrophysics, generally having to do with the interactions of astrophysical gases and radiation. A notable contribution is the development of a detailed theory to describe the emissions from the Supernova1987A. He received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and the Dannie S. Heinemann prize for Astrophysics from the American Physical Society. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1989.

Educational Contributions: Dr. McCray has transformed the way introductory astronomy courses are taught by writing an on-line hypertext of key materials that is rich with images, animations, interactive Java applets, and a portal for exploring many external resources via the Web. He is currently Chairman of the Committee on Undergraduate Science Education (CUSE) of the National Research Council.

Director's Award Project: Dr. McCray is transforming introductory astronomy courses using web-based information technology to introduce inquiry-based and collaborative learning. He assists other faculty in adapting the methodology of the transformed course to introductory courses in other sciences and mathematics. McCray also works with research faculty and Sun Educational Systems to develop an undergraduate curriculum aimed at recruiting and preparing students for careers in K-12 science and mathematics education.

from NSF Event, 2002 Program