I am a Professor of Science Education in the Department of Learning & Instruction, Graduate School of Education, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. I obtained my Master’s degree from East China Normal University in 1986 and PhD from University of British Columbia in 1993. Before my current position, I taught high school chemistry in China, was a research associate at the China National Institute for Educational Research (currently Chinese Academy of Education), and a tenured faculty member at St. Francis Xavier University and University of Prince Edward Island, both in Canada. In addition, I have held various administrative positions including department interim chair, associate dean for research, and the inaugural director of the Center for Educational Innovation.
My research interests include measurement and evaluation in STEM education (i.e., applications of Rasch models), student conceptual progression of cross-cutting concepts (i.e., matter and energy), science and the public (i.e., civic scientific literacy), and college science teaching and learning (i.e., student engagement in large-enrolled undergraduate introductory STEM courses). My research approach is quantitative and statistical, guided by cognitive and social-cultural learning theories. I have more than 100 refereed publications including 10 books. I have received funding as PI and co-PI for more than $18 Million from such agencies as the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, the Spencer Foundation, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.