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Jason May

Teaching Assistant Professor

Physics Education


Jason earned his B.S. in Physics with a Secondary Education Emphasis and Mathematics Teaching minor from Boise State University in 2017. He then earned his Ph.D. in Physics (Physics Education Research) from the University of Utah in 2022. In addition to his academic experience, Jason is licensed to teach high school physics and math after completing the IDoTeach Program (a replica of the UTeach model) from BSU.


Jason’s current teaching responsibilities in the department include teaching introductory physics lecture courses (such as PHYS 101 and 102). In addition, Jason maintains the introductory instructional lab courses, organizes and develops new lecture demonstrations, and trains and mentors graduate teaching assistants. More broadly, Jason’s academic interests are focused on improving the educational experiences for undergraduate students through integration of research-based pedagogical strategies in the introductory lecture and lab courses.


Jason’s research interests are in physics education research (PER). In his doctoral research, Jason analyzed the efficacy of newly-developed introductory physics for life sciences (IPLS) laboratory courses, focusing on building knowledge of these courses engage students in authentic experimental activity and sensemaking processes. Jason has expertise in qualitative educational research methods, as well as a rich knowledge of lab-based PER literature and the Knowledge-in-Pieces epistemological framework from the Learning Sciences (LS) and PER. At WVU, Jason consults with the Stewart PER group and plans to work closely with the WVUTeach Program and Center for WVU Center for Excellence in STEM Education to enhance the educational opportunities for those at WVU and in West Virginia.


  • May, J., Barth-Cohen, L., Adams, A., Gerton, J., & De Grandi, C. (under review). Student Sensemaking about Inconsistencies in a Reform-Based Introductory Physics Lab. Physical Review Physics Education Research.
  • May, J., De Grandi, C., Gerton, J., Barth-Cohen, L., Beehler, A., & Montoya, B. (2022). Bringing Three-Dimensional Learning to Undergraduate Physics: Insight from an Introductory Physics Laboratory Course. American Journal of Physics 90 (6), 452-461.
  • May, J., Barth-Cohen, L., Adams, A., & Griston, M. (2022). Unpacking Iteration: Exploring Forms of Iterative Practice in Physics Labs. Proceedings of International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2022. Hiroshima, Japan: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
  • May, J., Barth-Cohen, L., & Adams, A. (2021). Students’ productive strategies when generating graphical representations: An undergraduate laboratory case study. Physics Education Research Conference (PERC) Proceedings.
  • May, J. & Barth-Cohen, L. (2021). Students’ Dynamic Framing of Epistemic Agency. In E. de Vries, J. Ahn, & Y. Hod (Eds.), Proceedings of International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2021. Bochum, Germany: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
  • May, J., Barth-Cohen, L., Gerton, J. M. & De Grandi, C. (2020). Students’ dynamic engagement with experimental data in a physics laboratory setting. Physics Education Research Conference (PERC) Proceedings.

For more information about Jason’s work, check out his website: