Dr. Martin Williams received his PhD from Imperial College, University of London in 1993. In 1993, he began a position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Guyana. From 1993 to 1996, he served as Head of the Department of Physics at the University of Guyana. In 1999, Williams received a Commonwealth Post-doctoral Fellowship to pursue work on quantum dot luminescent concentrators for solar cell applications at Imperial College, University of London. From 2001 to 2003, he worked as a Research Fellow with the Solid-State Engineering Group at the University of Nottingham. Williams joined the department of physics at the University of Guelph in 2005 where he is now an Associate Professor.
Dr. Williams’s research is focused on Physics Education Research. Specific areas of focus include:
Modern pedagogy. Williams explores the effectiveness of classroom techniques such as interactive peer response systems (e.g. clickers, interactive computer simulations) and teaching paradigms (e.g. active learning classrooms). He addresses questions such as: how does one quantitatively measure the effectiveness of teaching techniques, given the challenge of setting up target and control groups?
Physics learning environments. Williams is also actively examining teaching as it pertains specifically to the discipline of physics. He seeks to understand how to create a learning environment in undergraduate physics courses that engages and improves student retention, especially among women, minorities and first-generation university students. He is also interested in designing and delivering inquiry-based physics labs to improve undergraduate learning outcomes.
Teaching Assistant training. Williams also seeks to develop effective training for Teaching Assistants to deliver enhanced learning and assessment outcomes.
Major funding, Awards, National or International Recognition, Prestigious affiliations, Memberships on editorial boards or societies
Canadian Association of Physicists Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics, 2017
Distinguished Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Guelph, 2014
Central Student Association’s Teaching Excellence Award, University of Guelph, 2012
Nominated for TV Ontario’s Best Lecturer Award in recognition of his impact on students and passion for teaching, 2009, 2010