Eric Mazur

  • Harvard University

Eric Mazur is the Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University and Area Dean of Applied Physics. An internationally recognized scientist and researcher, he leads a vigorous research program in optical physics and supervises one of the largest groups in the Physics Department. He founded several companies and plays an active role in industry. He is the Vice President of the Optical Society. He arrived at Harvard in 1982 after obtaining his Ph.D. at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. He has made important contributions to spectroscopy, light scattering, the interaction of ultrashort laser pulses with materials, and nanophotonics. In addition to his work in optical physics, Eric has been very active in education. In 1990 he began developing Peer Instruction, a method for teaching large lecture classes interactively. He is the author of Peer Instruction: A User’s Manual (1997). In 2006 he helped produce the award-winning DVD Interactive Teaching. Eric’s teaching method has developed a large following, both nationally and internationally, and has been adopted across many disciplines. He is author or coauthor of 297 scientific publications, 36 patents, and several books, including Principles and Practice of Physics (2014), a book that presents a groundbreaking new approach to teaching introductory calculus-based physics.