Research Summary

Over my career, my research has evolved from laser cooling and low-temperature atomic gases, such as Bose-Einstein Condensates, to nanophotonics, such as tip-enhanced fluorescence microscopy, to superresolution hyperspectral imaging, to science education. Most of my current scholarly activities (grants and papers) are related to education-reform projects and education research.


  • BS, Engineering Physics, University of Arizona
  • MS, Physics, Rice University. Project: Laserless Slow Atom Source
  • PhD, Physics, Rice University. Project: Molecular Spectroscopy of Bose-Einstein Condensates


I received my Bachelor’s degree (1994) in Engineering Physics from the University of Arizona and Master’s (1998) and Doctorate (2001) degrees in Physics from Rice University under the direction of Prof. Randall Hulet, where I researched Bose-Einstein condensation in low-temperature lithium gases.  I spent my postdoctoral years at the California Institute of Technology with Prof. Steve Quake (now at Stanford), where I developed a research program in nanophotonics and molecular biophysics.  I have had a number of formative experiences over the years that have stoked my commitment to math and science education and propelled me into leadership roles, including a semester as a visiting instructor at Pomona College, a year as team captain of the swim team at Arizona, and the many interactions with thousands of students at the University of Utah.  Becoming a member of the Cottrell Scholar community in 2007 had a major impact on my career and has continued to provide amazing opportunities to collaborate with colleagues from across the US on numerous efforts and projects, some of which can be found on my Education Projects page.  I am a committed anti-racist and work to help create a more equitable educational system.