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Melissa Eblen-Zayas

Professor of Physics, Physics and Astronomy

Education & Professional History

Smith College, BA; University of Minnesota, PhD

I am a condensed matter experimental physicist with interests in correlated electron systems. I am also engaged in the scholarship of teaching and learning with interests in teaching with technology and advanced laboratory instruction.

Having served as Director of the Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching from 2016-2020, I am invested in supporting faculty professional development and fostering collegial efforts to implement research-based effective practices in the classroom.

I am committed to collaborating with others to develop approaches to on ramp students for success when they arrive with varied levels of preparation for coursework and varied understanding of how to navigate college expectations and structures. I led the design and development of the hybrid Carleton Undergraduate Bridge Experience (CUBE), which started in 2016, and I taught CUBE until 2019. Currently, I am the PI on an NSF grant to the LACOL consortium that is exploring factors that impact adaptation and adoption of online resources to support student quantitative skill (QS) building and the factors that impact faculty and departmental choices about QS support (QLAB).

At Carleton since 2005.

Highlights & Recent Activity

In my teaching, I want to provide students meaningful opportunities for independent projects in the advanced lab. My work on this topic has led to several publications in recent years:

  • M. Eblen-Zayas, “Development and supervision of independent projects,” In Experimental Physics: Principles and Practice for the Laboratory, edited by Walter Smith, CRC Press, pg 289-298 (2020). 
  • M. Eblen-Zayas and R. C. Terrien, “Lessons learned from five years of student self-directed experimental projects in the advanced lab,” 2018 Conference on Laboratory Instruction Beyond the First Year of College Proceedings [Baltimore, MD, July 25-27, 2018], edited by M. Eblen-Zayas, E. Behringer, M. Dark McNeese, E. Geneston, doi:10.1119/ (2018).
  • M. Eblen-Zayas, “The impact of metacognitive activities on student attitudes towards experimental physics,” 2016 PERC Proceedings, edited by D. L. Jones, L. Ding, and A. Traxler, 104, doi:10.1119/ (2016).

Organizations & Scholarly Affiliations

American Physical Society (DCMP, DMP, FEd)

American Association of Physics Teachers

Council on Undergraduate Research

POD Network

Current Courses

  • Winter 2023
    PHYS 165: Introduction to Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics and Lab
    PHYS 356: Special Project
    PHYS 400: Integrative Exercise
  • Spring 2023
    PHYS 342: Contemporary Experimental Physics and Lab
    PHYS 400: Integrative Exercise
Photo of Melissa Eblen-Zayas



Curriculum Vitae