Cristina Schlesier

Visiting Lecturer in Physics

Experimental particle physics, physics education, education access */

My research interests are in high energy particle physics. During my PhD, I worked on a measurement of the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon with the Muon g-2 collaboration at Fermilab. Muon g-2 is attempting to verify a discrepancy between the Standard Model prediction and experimental measurement. Such a discrepancy would indicate new physics beyond the Standard Model.

I am currently teaching PHYS 102 and PHYS 104, and am interested in working with students who are new or tentative about physics. Knowing that physics has a reputation as a challenging subject, my goal is that students come away from my classroom with a renewed sense of confidence and a revitalized thirst for inquiry, research, and collaboration. In fact, I believe that the physics classroom has unique potential as a place where students acquire crucial skills for success in academic and civic life, regardless of whether they pursue physics as a career. Though my passion is for physics and I hope to pass this enthusiasm on to my students, my primary goal is to guide them towards becoming empowered learners.

Some of the most generative opportunities to empower students in my teaching have come out of my work with the Education Justice Project (EJP), a college-in-prison program operating through the University of Illinois. As incarcerated students generally have more heterogeneous educational backgrounds than their non-incarcerated peers, I’ve been given the opportunity to interrogate the ways physics is typically taught to undergraduates and build new forms of teaching that work better for more students. My experiences have driven me towards questioning the ways education is accessed and practiced in our society and seeking ways to remove barriers to education.

My other interests include dance, gardening, sewing, knitting, biking, and exploring new places with my dog, Donna. I'm enthusiastic about music, mostly as a consumer but occasionally also as an undisciplined player.