Picture of Robert C. Hilborn

Robert C. Hilborn

Associate Executive Officer

American Association of Physics Teachers

Bob Hilborn is Research Professor of Physics and Science Director for the Center for Science, Mathematics & Computer Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He also serves as Senior Physics Fellow for College and University Programming for the American Association of Physics Teachers. He did his undergraduate work at Lehigh University and his graduate work in physics at Harvard. After a post-doctoral position at Stony Brook, he taught at Oberlin College before moving to Amherst in 1986. In 1996 he was President of the American Association of Physics Teachers. At Amherst he served as Department Chair and Associate Dean of the Faculty. He has served as Chair of the National Task Force on Undergraduate Physics and as a member of NSF’s Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate Advisory Committee. He is currently a writing team leader for the revision of the ninth-grade physics-for-all curriculum Active Physics. His research interests focus on laser spectroscopic tests of fundamental physics principles and applications of nonlinear dynamics to biophysics. His book, Chaos and Nonlinear Dynamics, is now in its second edition with Oxford University Press. He was elected as a Fellow in the American Physical Society in 2003.

A report from the undergraduate physics community
Three national physics societies, with support from the ExxonMobil Foundation, collaborated in identifying how certain undergraduate physics departments are achieving success in increasing the numbers, persistence and success of students. The chair of the project (Strategic Programs for Innovations in Undergraduate Physics: SPINUP), Robert Hilborn of Amherst College, reports on their findings: that what works is a challenging but supportive academic program, strong and sustained departmental leadership, with continuing experimentation and evaluation built into the process of curricular transformation.
Academic Schizophrenia and STEM Leadership
This essay by Robert C. Hilborn, Amanda and Lisa Cross Professor of Physics– Amherst College addresses the issue of why faculty do not become “scholars of teaching,” and use the same approaches to pursuing and renewing their teaching as they use in pursuing and renewing their research.