Daryl Renae McPadden

Fixed Term Assistant Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy
Location: 4208 Biomed Phys Sci
Profile photo of  Daryl Renae McPadden
Photo of: Daryl Renae McPadden


Daryl is a physics education researcher who develops and studies active learning classrooms in introductory physics, in particular looking at the scientific skills that students are developing and how learning environments influence those skills.

Daryl received her B.S. in Engineering Physics from the Colorado School of Mines in 2013, where she taught as an undergraduate teaching assistant for 3 years in a Studio-Style classroom. She then went to Florida International University for her Ph.D. in Physics, which was received in 2018. At FIU, her research focused on students’ use of representations (equations, diagrams, pictures, etc) in a University Modeling Instruction classroom. While doing her Ph.D., she also worked on curriculum development for an Integrated Science Learning Environment (ISLE) laboratory and for University Modeling Instruction, with a particular focus on introductory electricity and magnetism courses. Daryl then joined the MSU Physics Education Research Lab (PERL) as a postdoc in April 2017, where she has worked on the development of Electricity and Magnetism Projects and Practices in Physics (EMP-Cubed).

In 2019, Daryl joined the MSU faculty as a fixed-term assistant professor, where she has been working on the development of Fabrica Physics Mechanics and E&M courses in collaboration with Dr. Paul Irving. These courses are an integrated lab and discussion course, which focuses on students’ development of scientific practices. Daryl’s interests lie in understanding, evaluating, and improving active learning courses.

# Education:
* 2018: Ph.D., Florida International University
* 2013: B.S., Colorado School of Mines


  • PHY 184: Phys Scientists & Engineers II

Selected Publications

  • McPadden, D., & Brewe, E. (2017). Impact of the second semester University Modeling Instruction course on students’ representation choices. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 13(2), 020129.
  • McPadden, D., Dowd, J., & Brewe, E. (2018). Power boxes: New representation for analyzing dc circuits. The Physics Teacher, 56(6), 362–366.