Physics Alive

Physics Alive is the podcast where host, Brad Moser, Ph.D., sparks new life into the physics classroom. Each episode supports and shares the many forward-thinking developments that have come from physics education research and inspiring educators. Brad speaks with teachers who employ innovative and active learning styles, researchers on the frontiers of physics education, catalysts for change on important social issues in the STEM community, and students who want the most out of their education.


episode 7: 40 Years of Physics Education Research with Joe Redish

In 2020, Joe Redish retired from a 50-year career as a physics professor at the University of Maryland. During that time he was actively involved in the subject of physics education, from the use of computers, to cognitive modeling of student thinking, to the role of student expectations and epistemologies in their learning, and his more recent focused on the development of a new introductory physics course for life science students. Joe has so much passion and enthusiasm for education, and he is a storyteller extraordinaire. After a long and productive career, he still speaks of the exciting things he is learning with a glisten in his eye and wonder in his words. He bubbles with eager authenticity. And I’m just tickled pink to be talking with him.

For a full set of show notes, go to

Links discussed in the episode

M.U.P.P.E.T. project

  • The M.U.P.P.E.T. Utilities
  • Article: Student programming in the introductory physics course


CUPLE project – Comprehensive Unified Physics Learning Environment

  • CUPLE homepage


What is the psychology that you need in order to teach introductory physics? This is one of his most cited papers.

  • Article: Implications of cognitive studies for teaching physics or at


Survey of student attitudes and beliefs about university physics

  • MPEX – Maryland Physics Expectation Survey


Students have the wrong idea of what they are supposed to be learning in class and what they have to do to learn it. Joe calls this a "problematic epistemological frame." 

  • Article: Knowledge Activation and Organization in Physics Problem Solving  and also available on UMD site


Papers in the Living Physics Portal.

  • Find "Using Math in Physics" in the Living Physics Portal
  • A preprint of an overview of this series of papers is available in the arXiv.


American Public Media audio documentary:

  • Don’t Lecture Me


NEXUS – National Experiment in Undergraduate Science Education.

  • NEXUS Physics
  • Many published articles can be found here on the UMD website.


To teach a physics class for life science majors, you need to learn a lot of biology. 

  • Learning Each Other’s Ropes


“In STEM education, most of the work we do is service courses, we teach each others' students. And we never talk to each other. We really need to open this channel of communication.”


 2020-11-23  1h10m