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N. Sanjay Rebello

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Sanjay Rebello
PHYS 228
(765) 494-3207

Professor of Curriculum and Instruction


Brown University, Providence, RI                      Physics                                         Ph. D.,1995

Brown University, Providence, RI                      Physics                                         Sc.M., 1992

Brown University, Providence, RI                      Engineering                                   Sc.M., 1992

Birla Institute of Technology & Science, India      Physics                                         M.Sc., 1989

Birla Institute of Technology & Science, India      Electrical & Electronics Engineering      B.E., 1989

Professional Experience

2015 –           Professor, Deptartment of Physics & Astronomy, Purdue University.

2015 –           Professor, Deptartment of Curriculum & Instruction, Purdue University.

2013 – 2015  Professor, Department of Physics, Kansas State University.

2005 – 2013  Associate Professor, Department of Physics, Kansas State University.

2002 – 2015  Ancillary Graduate Faculty, Curriculum & Instruction, Kansas State University

2001 – 2005  Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, Kansas State University.

1998 – 2001  Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

1995 – 1998  Research Associate, Physics Education Group, Kansas State University.

1993 – 1994  Fellow, Center for the Advancement of College Teaching, Brown University.

1989 – 1995  Teaching Assistant, Department of Physics, Brown University.


Selected Honors :

Ernest K. and Lillian E. Chapin Chair, Department of Physics, Kansas State University, 2014 - 2015.

Outstanding Faculty Honoree of Mortar Board Senior Honor Society, Kansas State University, 2013 Mortar Board recognizes one faculty member from each college every year “based on their dedication to student success and their contributions to the university.”

Coffman Chair for University Distinguished Teaching Scholars, Kansas State University, 2012 – 2013. The Kansas State University website states “A faculty member acknowledged as a leading teaching scholar is appointed to the chair for one academic year. All who are selected to hold the chair retain the title of University Distinguished Teaching Scholar throughout their careers.”

American Assoc. of Physics Teachers Distinguished Service Citation, presented by the American Association of Physics TeachersAugust 2010.

Women in Engineering & Science Program Making a Difference Award, presented by Kansas State University, 2006 and 2009.

Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), 2004. Award given to a total of 57 science professionals in 2004.  The White House Office of Science & Technology Policy press release describes the award as the “nation’s highest honor for professionals at the outset of their careers.”

Schwenk Teaching Award, presented by Kansas State University Physics majors in recognition of teaching in undergraduate physics courses, 2004-2005 and 2011-2012.

Current Research Interests

Research on the use of visual cueing & feedback to facilitate problem solving We investigate the use of visual cueing and feedback to improve problem solving skills in STEM. Visual cueing has been shown to facilitate solving problems in which the visuospatial component is central to the problem.

Facilitating student learning using physical and virtual manipulatives We compare physical and virtual manipulatives, and their combinations and sequencing in terms of the ways in which they facilitate learning of physical concepts and their applications to the engineering design. Investigating the instructional scaffolding necessary for use of each manipulative in learning.

Infusing pedagogical content knowledge into a physics course for future elementary teachers We integrate pedagogical content knowledge into the fabric of the course so that future elementary teachers can recognize the relevance of learning physics concepts and using reform-based pedagogy in their future roles in the classrooms of tomorrow.

Current Research Grants

Science Inquiry Using Physical and Virtual Experiments: Systematic Investigation of Issues and Conditions for Learning, Sadhana Puntambekar (P.I. – University of Wisconsin, Madison), N. Hari Narayanan (P.I. – Auburn University), N. Sanjay Rebello (P.I. – Purdue University), National Science Foundation,  about $152K (Purdue share of the budget), 2016 – 2018.

Research on the Use of Visual Cueing and Feedback to Facilitate Problem Solving, N. Sanjay Rebello (P.I.), Andrew M. Bennett and Lester C. Loschky (Co-P.I.s), National Science Foundation, $1,233,906; 2014 – 2017.  [sub-award transfer to Purdue in progress]

Graduate Students Mentored:


Tianlong Zu, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, Purdue University

Xian Wu,  Dept. of Physics, Kansas State University  (Ph.D., 2016 expected)

Claudia Fracchiolla,  Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction, Kansas State University (Ph.D., 2016 expected)


Elise Agra (Ph.D., Physics, Kansas State University, 2015)  Currently Post-doctoral Research Associate, University of Chicago

Jessica Dwyer (Ph.D., Curriculum & Instruction,  Kansas State University, 2015)  Currently Major in the United States Air Force

Nandana Weliweriya – Liyanage (M.S., Physics, Kansas State University, 2015), Currently Ph.D. Physics student, Kansas State University

Amy Rouinfar (Ph.D., Physics,  Kansas State University, 2014) Currently Science Specialist - Physics, PhET Simulation Group, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

Dehui Hu (Ph.D., Physics,  Kansas State University, 2013), Currently Lecturer, Rochester Institute of Technology

Adrian Madsen nee’ Carmichael (Ph.D., Physics,  Kansas State University, 2012), Last employed -- Post-doctoral Research Associate, American Association of Physics Teachers

Dong-Hai Nguyen (Ph.D., Physics,  Kansas State University, 2011), Currently Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Kansas State University 

Jacquelyn J. Chini nee’ Haynicz (Ph.D., Physics,  Kansas State University, 2010), Currently Assistant Professor of Physics, University of Central Florida

Frances A. Mateycik (Ph.D., Physics,  Kansas State University, 2009), Currently Assistant Professor of Physics, Pennsylvania State University, Altoona

Qi Zhang (M.S., Physics,  Kansas State University, 2009), Currently Ph.D. Student, Department of Physics, University of Central Florida

Todd R. Leif (Ph.D., Curriculum & Instruction,  Kansas State University, 2008), Currently Science Department Head, Cloud County Community College, Concordia, KS.

Lili Cui (Ph.D., Physics, Kansas State University, 2006), Currently Senior Lecturer, Department of Physics, University of Maryland – Baltimore County

Edgar D. Corpuz (Ph.D., Physics, Kansas State University, 2006), Currently Associate Professor of Physics, University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley

Charles B. Mamolo (M.S., Physics,  Kansas State University, 2005), Currently Science Department Co-Chair, Manhattan High School, Manhattan, KS

Darryl J. Ozimek (M.S., Physics,  Kansas State University, 2004), Currently Instructor, Physics Department, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA

Kara E. Gray (M.S., Physics,  Kansas State University, 2004), Currently Assistant Professor, Seattle Pacific University

Undergaduate Students Mentored:


Jonah Polley, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, Purdue University


Drew Johnson (Kansas State University, 2014 – 2015)

Mitchell Burkett (Kansas State University, 2014 – 2015)

Jeffrey Murray (Kansas State University, McNair Scholar, 2012 – 2015)

Nicholas Oderio (Adrian College, REU Summer 2013)

Elizabeth Olson (Union University, REU Summer 2012)

Tanner Stevens (University of Minnesota, REU Summer 2010)

Amy Rouinfar (Florida State University, REU Summer 2009)

Mindy Gratny nee’ Kohler (Kansas State University, 2005 – 2006)

Jacquelyn J. Haynicz (Drew University, Summer 2005)

Jasmin Shrestha (Smith College, Summer 2004)

Kara E. Gray (Kansas State University, 2001 – 2003)

Current Teaching:

PHYS 215 Physics for Elementary Education, Spring 2016

 Selected Recent Publications

  1. "Linking Attentional Processes and Conceptual Problem Solving: Visual Cues Facilitate the Automaticity of Extracting Relevant Information from Diagrams," Amy Rouinfar, Elise Agra, Adam M. Larson, N. Rebello, Lester C. Loschky, Frontiers in Psychology 5:1094, 2014.  doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01094.  [link]
  2. "Distinguishing between Change and Amount Infinitesimals in First-Semester Calculus-based Physics," Joshua Von Korff and N. Sanjay Rebello, American Journal of Physics, 82, 695-705, 2014. [link]
  3. "Shifting College Students’ Epistemological Framing Using Hypothetical Debate Problems," Dehui Hu and N. Sanjay Rebello, Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 10, 010117, 2014. [link]
  4. "Using Conceptual Blending to Describe How Students Use Mathematical Integrals in Physics," Dehui Hu and N. Sanjay Rebello,Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 9, 020118, 2013. [link]
  5. "Understanding Student Use of Differentials in Physics Integration Problems," Dehui Hu and N. Sanjay Rebello, Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research 9, 020108, 2013. [link]
  6. "An Interactive and Intelligent Learning System for Physics Education," Lakshman S. Myneni, N. Hari Narayanan, N. Sanjay Rebello, Amy Rouinfar, and Sadhana Puntambekar, IEEE Transactions on Learning Technology, 6(30), 228-239, 2013. [link
  7. "Role of Mental Representations in Problem Solving: Students’ Approaches to Non-Directed Tasks," Bashirah Ibrahim and N. Sanjay Rebello, Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 9, 020106, 2013. [link]
  8. "Can Short Duration Visual Cues Influence Students’ Reasoning and Eye Movements in Physics Problems?" Adrian Madsen, Amy Rouinfar, Adam M. Larson, Lester C. Loschky and N. Sanjay Rebello, Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research 9, 020104, 2013. [link]
  9. "Representational Task Formats and Problem Solving Strategies in Kinematics and Work," Bashirah Ibrahim and N. Sanjay Rebello ,Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 8, 010126, 2012. [link]
  10. "Differences in visual attention between those who correctly and incorrectly answer physics problems," Adrian Madsen, Adam M. Larson, Lester C. Loschky, and N. Sanjay Rebello, Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 8, 010122, 2012. [link]
Last Updated: May 17, 2016 4:40 PM

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