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Eric Mazur | Area Dean for Applied Physics, Harvard University

Eric Mazur | Area Dean for Applied Physics, Harvard University

Current Position and Past Experience
Eric Mazur is the Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University, and serves as the University’s Area Dean for Applied Physics. In 1984, Mazur joined Harvard University’s faculty, and earned tenure six years later.

Mazur holds honorary professorships at the Institute of Semiconductor Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and at Beijing Normal University. He has held appointments as Visiting Professor or Distinguished Lecturer at Princeton University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Leuven in Belgium, National Taiwan University in Taiwan, Carnegie Mellon University, and Hong Kong University.

Mazur is currently Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board for SiOnyx, a company he founded in 2006. In 2011 he founded Learning Catalytics, a company that uses data analytics to improve learning in the classroom. Mazur is Chief Academic Advisor for Turning Technologies, a company developing interactive response systems for the education market. He also serves on the Scientific Advisory Panel for Allied Minds, a pre-seed investment company creating partnerships with key universities to fund corporate spin-outs in early stage technology companies, and on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Lifeboat Foundation, a nonprofit nongovernmental organization dedicated to encouraging scientific advancements.

Education, Honors and Achievements
Mazur earned his Bachelor’s degree from Leiden University, and his Master’s Degree equivalent in 1977 from the same institution. He earned his PhD in 1981, also from Leiden University, and pursued his postdoctoral studies at Harvard University.

In 1988 he was awarded a Presidential Young Investigator Award. He is Fellow of the Optical Society of America and Fellow of the American Physical Society, and has been named APS Centennial Lecturer during the Society's centennial year. In 2007 Mazur was appointed Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar. In 2008 Mazur received the Esther Hoffman Beller award from the Optical Society of America and the Millikan Medal from the American Association of Physics Teachers.

Personal Details and Community Involvement
Dr. Mazur has served on numerous committees and councils, including advisory and visiting committees for the National Science Foundation, has chaired and organized national and international scientific conferences, and presented for the Presidential Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. He serves as consultant to industry in the electronics and telecommunications industry.

Mazur is author or co-author of 255 scientific publications and 32 patents. He has also written 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. In 2006 he helped produce the award-winning DVD Interactive Teaching.

You can find Mazur on Twitter @eric_mazur.

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Year in Review 2023