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Caltech Project for Effective Teaching


CPET Certificate of Practice
Students who complete the CPET Certificate of Practice in University Teaching will now receive a transcript notation indicating participation in this program. Students who plan to graduate during the 2015-16 calendar year must provide CPET with their teaching portfolio for review by May 16th, 2016 in order to receive a transcript notation before commencement.

Upcoming Events

The Magic of Inquiry—from high school fundamentals to authentic research projects

Steven G. Sogo, Caltech MS in Chemistry 1989, Laguna Beach High School

Wednesday, February 17, 2016
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Noyes 147

In this talk, Steve Sogo, winner of the NSTA 2013 Frey Scientific Award for Excellence in Inquiry-based Science Teaching, will present his methods for introducing high school students to the joys of scientific inquiry.  After receiving an MS in Chemistry from Caltech in 1989, Sogo has enjoyed a 25-year career teaching chemistry in public and private high schools.  For the past 15-years, he has been teaching at Laguna Beach High School, where he has developed the award-winning Advanced Chemical Research program (ACR).  ACR engages 20-24 students each year in authentic bioorganic research projects using in-house instrumentation, such as UV/Vis spectroscopy, HPLC, and SDS-PAGE, as well as UC Irvine’s NMR and Mass Spectrometry facilities.  This talk will present teaching methods that are effective with students of a wide variety of abilities, from those who are muddled by moles to those who will become PhD chemists.

Other Events of Interest

Bret Victor (BSEE '99), Director of Research at the Communications Design Group, San Francisco 
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Location: Beckman Institute Auditorium

The means by which scientists think about their work and communicate understanding to others is much the same as it has been for centuries -- words, notations, drawings, plots. These are all representations that were designed for the medium of paper. The computer has improved our efficiency in finding and making these representations, but hasn't much affected the static nature of the representations themselves. We are computer users thinking paper thoughts.

This talk will present examples of "papers" that take advantage of the dynamic "show and tell" ability of the computer medium, where the reader develops understanding and trust in the results by actively exploring working models instead of being lectured at. This talk will also present research on tools for authoring and thinking with such dynamic material.

Bret Victor (BSEE '99) is Director of Research at The Communications Design Group in San Francisco, where his group invents "tools for thought" -- computational interfaces for understanding and working with systems in science, engineering, and human affairs.   Previously, he designed experimental UI concepts at Apple, interactive data graphics for Al Gore, and musical instruments at Alesis.  He's responsible for "Inventing on Principle", "Media for Thinking the Unthinkable", and everything else at

Lunch Provided RSVP Here

For more information, please email


Postdoctoral Career Pathways in STEM Education:
a discussion with the University of Michigan REBUILD Postdocs and Caltech CTLO Director

Tuesday, February 16, 2016
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Location: Center for Student Services 360 (Workshop Space)

University STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) teaching has enjoyed greater attention, research, and funding in recent years.

In this discussion, Cassandra Horii, Director of the Caltech CTLO (Center for Teaching, Learning, & Outreach,, will be joined via web conference by a group ofpostdoctoral fellows at the University of Michigan REBUILD (Researching Evidence-Based Undergraduate Instructional and Learning Developments, and staff from CRLT (Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, to talk about careers including a focus on STEM education at universities.

Come join this informal discussion in person at Caltech to find out more and build your network in this area.

RSVP here (space is limited for this small group conversation)

CPET Committee Meetings

Interested in getting involved with CPET? Please sign up for the CPET mailing list here to learn about upcoming seminars, workshops, and other opportunities offered through CPET! You can also participate in CPET Committee Meetings, in which we discuss what types of programing CPET can provide!