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Educational Innovation Colloquium


Innovating Education to Educate Innovators

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
2 - 3 p.m.
NDSU Memorial Union // Century Theater
FREE to attend but participants must register.

This event is full. Register for wait list.

Join NDSU as we explore innovation in education. This FREE presentation will feature our guest speaker, Eric Mazur, Ph.D., Harvard Professor. Mazur is an internationally recognized education innovator and developer of the Peer Instruction learning model. Anyone interested in education and teaching is invited to attend this FREE public event. Register early as this presentation is limited to the first 300 registered individuals.

Can we teach innovation? Innovation requires whole-brain thinking — right-brain thinking for creativity and imagination, and left-brain thinking for planning and execution. The prevalent 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. Through this colloquium, Eric Mazur, Ph.D., Harvard Professor and developer of the Peer Instruction learning model, will show how focusing in class on questioning and promoting social interaction leads to deeper learning and independent thinking. Mazur will also present a new approach to get every student to prepare for every class using a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation factors.


About the Presenter

Parking and Transportation

Invitation Only Events

Event Sponsors


Eric Mazur
Photograph by Eliza Grinnell, Harvard University, 2012
Eric Mazur, Ph.D.

Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics
Area Dean of Applied Physics
Harvard University

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. He has also written extensively on education and is the author of Peer Instruction: A User's Manual (Prentice Hall, 1997), a book that explains how to teach large lecture classes interactively, and of the Principles and Practice of Physics (Pearson, 2015), 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.

Read Mazur's full biography.

Information and Articles on Mazur

The Making of a Teaching Evangelist- Read more about Eric Mazur in the Chronicle of Higher Education's article from June 5, 2016.

Eric Mazur - Peer Instruction - Watch a Youtube video of Mazur discussing Peer Instruction. Video is produced by The Brainwaves Video Anthology group.

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This event is full. Register for wait list.

This event is FREE and open to the public. Registration is open to the first 300 people. Due to this limited seating we are requiring individuals to register to guarantee themselves a seat. We anticipate this event will fill quickly.

Register for the Event

If you are unable to register, please contact the Office of Teaching and Learning by email to be put on a waiting list. If you register and you find that you are no longer able to attend call 701-231-7015 or email to release your seat and allow another individual on the waiting list to attend.

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Parking and Transportation


This event will be held in the NDSU Memorial Union on the second floor, 1401 Administration Ave. If you are coming from off campus, walk into the main union entrance on the south side of the building (where the MU parking lot is situated), past the bookstore (on your left), then up either the first or second set of stairs on your right. 

Registration tables will be in the lobby on the second floor outside both entrances to Century Theater.

View campus map.pdf

By Car: If you are getting to campus by car, the most convenient lot for you to park in is either the Memorial Union parking lot, labeled MU on the campus map or the Visitor's lot. Both lots are pay lots so please have cash available when you enter the lot. Look for the parking payment center kiosks.

By Bus: There are several bus routes that stop right in front of the NDSU A. Glenn Hill Center, which is located a few hundred feet from the entrance to the Memorial Union. 

View the NDSU Transit Guide

From the Mat Bus Ground Transportation Center (GTC) you can get on route 13 or route 13U; both routes will drop you off at the A. Glenn Hill Center bus stop.

From downtown Fargo, route 33 will take you to the A. Glenn Hill Center bus stop.


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Invitation Only Events

The following events with our guest speaker, Eric Mazur, Ph.D., are geared toward individuals from specific groups on campus. These events are by invitation only.
Gateways-ND Program Workshops

Assessment: Part 1 - The Silent Killer of Learning // Eric Mazur, Ph.D.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
8:30 a.m.
A. Glenn Hill Center, Room 130 & 132

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.

Assessment: Part 2 - Designing Good Questions // Eric Mazur, Ph.D.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
10 a.m.
A. Glenn Hill Center, Room 130 & 132

In this workshop we will analyze the components of effective ConcepTest implementation and design. Participants will begin to design their own ConcepTests. At the end of the workshop we will pilot a selected set of the newly designed ConcepTests with the participants.

NDSU Physics Department Colloquium

Less is More: Extreme Optics with Zero Refractive Index // Eric Mazur, Ph.D.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
11:30 a.m.
Physics Conference Room

Nanotechnology has enabled the development of nanostructured composite materials (metamaterials) with exotic optical properties not found in nature. In the most extreme case, we can create materials which support light waves that propagate with infinite phase velocity, corresponding to a refractive index of zero. This zero index can only be achieved by simultaneously controlling the electric and magnetic resonances of the nanostructure. We present an in-plane metamaterial design consisting of silicon pillar arrays, embedded within a polymer matrix and sandwiched between gold layers. Using an integrated nano-scale prism constructed of the proposed material, we demonstrate unambiguously a refractive index of zero in the optical regime. This design serves as a novel on-chip platform to explore the exotic physics of zero-index metamaterials, with applications to super-coupling, integrated quantum optics, and phase matching.


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Event Sponsors


NDSU logo

Office of Teaching and Learning
Information Technology Division
Physics Department

Turning Technologies logo

NDSU Foundation and Alumni Association

Gateways-ND and National Science Foundation logo

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. (NSF DOE grant # 1525056)


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Office of Teaching and Learning
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7015
Campus address: Family Life Center (FLC) 314
Mailing address: Dept 2020 PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-2020

Last Updated: Friday, November 3, 2017 9:40:00 AM