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Physics and Astronomy Michael Allen

Michael Allen

Professional interests

  • STEM pedagogy related to backwards design, peer instruction, and assessment-driven learning


  • core coursework in the Physics & Astronomy major
  • history & philosophy of science in the Honors College
  • first-year level breadth requirements for non-majors
  • senior-level science capstone


  • academic advising in Physics & Astronomy, and in General Studies: General Physical Sciences
  • public outreach via the WSU planetarium and observatory, and with the Palouse Astronomical Society
  • curriculum development & assessment committees at the departmental and college level
  • Assistant Editor: Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

Education & Experience

  • Faculty, Washington State University, 2002-present
  • Staff scientist, Dunlap Observatory, 1999-2002
  • PhD Astronomy, University of Toronto, 1999
  • MS Astronomy, University of Toronto, 1993
  • BS Physics, McMaster University, 1992

Selected presentations on physics education research (PER) and other topics

Selected publications

Allen, Michael L., “Moon formation,” National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, (2018): in press

Joyner, H., and Michael L. Allen, “Humans in space: developing a sustainable food supply on Mars,” National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, (2015):

Allen, Michael L., and Diane O. Kelly-Riley, “Promoting undergraduate critical thinking in astro 101 lab exercises,” Astronomy Education Review 4(2) (2005): 10-19. doi: 10.3847/AER2005017

Michael Allen

Senior Instructor of Physics & Astronomy

Office: Webster Physical Sciences 1246
Phone: (509) 335-1279
Fax: (509) 335-7816
E-mail: mlfa at

Areas of expertise:  STEM education, astronomy

Personal webpages: