Physics 220: General Physics II

About The Professor

Academic background prior to entering doctoral studies:

• BA, Mathematics, UMC; MA, Curriculum & Instruction (Math) UMKC

Degree program / disciplines:

• Coordinating Unit: Curriculum & Instruction

• Co-discipline: Physics

• Co-discipline: Mathematics

Courses Taught:

• Algebra-based Physics I

• Algebra-based Physics II (UMKC)

• College Algebra (UMKC & JCCC)

• Fundamentals of Math (Johnson County Community College)

• Intro to Algebra (JCCC)

• Intermediate Algebra (JCCC)

• Discrete Math (JCCC)

• Calculus I (JCCC)

• Differential Equations

• Secondary Math Methods (JCCC)

• Math for Elementary Teachers I (UMKC)

• Math for Elementary Teachers II (UMKC)

Teaching Interests:

Introductory courses in physics and mathematics using reform

(“Standards”) methods based on current research.

Research Interests:

Using ethnomathematics, methods for improving the educational selfefficacy

of minority and “first generation” college students, and other

Standards of inquiry based instruction (a constructivist approach) to

improve the recruitment, retention, and persistence of minority students

in the math, science, and engineering (SEM) fields.

Career Aspirations:

Remain at UMKC and implement programs, based on my on-going

research that will be effective in recruiting and retaining minority

students. I believe UMKC is uniquely situated to be a leader in

producing quality minority students into the SEM fields. As a by product

of this aspiration, and in conjunction with the IUE in the School of

Education, I see an increase in the quality of math and science

instruction in our local schools as some of our successful graduates

enter the teaching field.

PFF Expectations:

I see the PFF experience as being one where we have the opportunity to

“rub shoulders” with IPHD students in different programs and schools

and learn how all of our research intertwines for the greater good. So

far, his has been the case.

Plans for the 2007-2008 Academic Year

• Visit both cluster institutions listed below.

• Attend the Regional NCTM Conference here in Kansas City

• Attend the International Conference on Mathematics Education

where the focus of the conference will be on culturally

responsive teaching and ethnomathematics.

• Restructure our algebra-based Physics I and II classes to make

them more in line with the “best practices” outlined by Physics

Educational Research.

• Work with my advisor, Dr. Rita Barger on a grant proposal and to

get an journal article ready for publication in math or physics


• Look at academic support for our minority students that currently

reside at UMKC and see how my research can benefit these

programs—and see if we can get a program for our minority

students in a STEM degree path.

Cluster Institution Preferences:

1. Lincoln University

2. Haskell College

3. University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Robert Riggs
Robert Riggs
Name: Robert Riggs
Institution: University of Missouri-Kansas City