Ph.D., Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rutgers University, 2013
B.A. with Honors, Physics Major and Mathematics Minor, Swarthmore College, 2007
At CST, Aatish works on bringing science and engineering to a wider audience by co-teaching courses, collaborating with faculty on developing courses, mentoring students, organizing talks and workshops, and collaborating widely to get more people curious and excited about science. Aatish has a Ph.D. in physics, and expertise in physics, science communication, science & engineering education, data analysis, and coding.
Aatish is an award-winning science writer. In addition to his blog Empirical Zeal exploring the math & science of everyday things, he has written for publications & educational outlets including WIRED, Nautilus, io9, TED-Ed, Minute Physics, collaborated on a blog called Noticing with Robert Krulwich, and been a guest and science consultant on Radiolab. In 2012, he was published in print in The Best Online Science Writing 2012 (Scientific American Books), and was awarded first prize in the 3 Quarks Daily Online Science Writing Prize. His science communication articles and videos have been accessed millions of times. You can find a complete list of his writing on his website.
Aatish's research interests include:
- Explorables: Experimenting with the medium of the web for interactive science communication & creating interactive science explainers
- Citizen Science: Building community oriented projects that encourage public engagement with science and nature
- Play With Math: Developing tools, projects, and curriculum for a more joyful, playful, and personally relatable math education
- Tools for Thought: Creating personally relatable, empowering, and fun tools to help us think about abstract ideas in concrete ways
More broadly, he is interested in helping people learn and apply math & science for creative expression, personal empowerment, and community building, and is deeply influenced by the constructionist approach to learning outlined in Mindstorms by Seymour Papert.
Teaching & Research Collaborations
At Princeton, Aatish has ongoing teaching & research collaborations with the following people:
- Dan Trueman, Department of Music, Princeton University
Collaborated on teaching STC209, and on research on exploring mathematical aspects of tuning systems and creating software tools for musical exploration of adaptive tuning systems, such as Spring Tuning, a web-based spring simulations for solving music tuning constraints, and Trueman's BitKlavier.
- Maria Garlock, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Princeton University
Collaborated on teaching STC209, developing active learning exercises for CEE262, and on a multi-year NSF funded Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) research project on the Creative Art of Structural Engineering.
- Sigrid Adrienssens, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Princeton University
Collaborated on teaching STC209, and on research on web-based cloth simulations including Drape and String Machine.
- Jeff Snyder, Department of Music, Princeton University
Collaborated on teaching STC209, on reseach on neuron based models for sound synthesis, and provided input for physics & code based sound installations including Sunspots and Constellations.
- Sharon De La Cruz, Assistant Director, StudioLab Iniatives, Princeton University
Collaborated on teaching STC209, conducting workshops on the Paper Piano & building circuits with everyday things, on StudioLab initiatives, and on research creating hands-on, experiential, culturally relevant pathways into engaging with scientific, mathematical and technological ideas.
- STC/EGR/MUS 209: Transformations in Engineering and the Arts, Instructor, Princeton University, Spring 2019
- STC/MUS 204: Musical Instruments, Sound, Perception, and Creativity, Instructor, Princeton University, Fall 2018
- STC/EGR/MUS 209: Transformations in Engineering and the Arts, Instructor, Princeton University, Spring 2018
- FRS 125: Musical Instruments, Sound, Perception, and Creativity, Lab Facilitator, Princeton University, Fall 2017
- STC/EGR/MUS 209: Transformations in Engineering and the Arts, Instructor, Princeton University, Spring 2017
- STC/EGR/MUS 209: Transformations in Engineering and the Arts, Course Facilitator, Princeton University, Spring 201
- Computer Graphics (COS 426) (Spring 2019)
Contributed code on cloth simulations that was incorporated into the final assignment for the course
- Structures and the Urban Environment (CEE 262) (2013 - 2019)
Worked with Maria Garlock on an NSF funded Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) grant on the Creative Art of Structural Engineering. Incorporated active learning into a large enrollment engineering class, developed a website of shareable teaching materials, published and gave talks on our educational approach at conferences, and helped organized three annual conference workshops to discuss and disseminate teaching materials.
- Introductory Physics (PHY 101) (Fall 2015)
Worked with Katerina Vinsjic on revamping the syllabus, precepts, and course assignments to adopt an active-learning framework based on the Investigative Science Learning Environment. Incorporated video analysis questions in homework assignments using Direct Measurement Videos.
- Mathematics in Engineering (MAE 305) (Fall 2015)
Worked with Howard Stone on incorporating active learning to teach Differential Equations
- Freshman Scholars Institute: Foundations of Engineering (EGR 150) (Summer 2015)
Worked with Claire Gmachl and Andrew Houck to help incorporate active learning exercises into the physics, math, and engineering curriculum of this summer course, worked with students on problem solving sessions, and met with undergraduate and graduate student learning assistants.
- Writing About Science (ENV 249) (Fall 2014, Fall 2016)
Worked with Michael Lemonick on incorporating discussions & activities about science, statistical reasoning, and critically assessesing scientific claims
- Emerging Micro and Nano Engineering Technologies (FRS 129) (Fall 2013)
Worked with Janine Nunes on incorporating blogging assignments and investigative mini-labs, where students used Arduinos and lab equipment to investigate fluid dynamics
- Engineering and the Modern World (CEE 102) (Fall 2013)
Worked with Michael Littman on a large-enrollment introductory engineering course for liberal arts students
- Aircraft Flight Dynamics (MAE 331) (Fall 2013)
Worked with Dr. Robert Stengel on introducing learning goals for each lecture in an advanced course for Mechanical Engineering students