Katie Ansell

Katie Ansell
Katie Ansell she/her/hers

Primary Research Area

  • Physics Education
Teaching Assistant Professor
(217) 244-9079
303 Loomis Laboratory

For More Information


Professor Ansell received her BS in physics and music from the University of Michigan in 2008, and completed her PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2020. She works at the intersection of implementing new pedagogies in physics labs and evaluating their effects on students. While working on her PhD, she developed a new curriculum for Physics 211 labs that fosters the development of creativity and independent thinking, supported by practical and procedural experimental skills. This new curriculum has grown to include the algebra- and calculus-based Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism courses, as well as leading to the growth of a Learning Assistant program in the Physics department and improved efforts to train Teaching Assistants in pedagogy.

Professor Ansell's work in Physics Education Research focuses on understanding how students take on expertise, how groups learn to work together, and how instructors, near-peers, and students navigate the ecosystem of introductory physics labs. As Teaching Faculty, she also applies principles from cognitive science, instructional design, and education theory to her teaching practices in large introductory courses.

Service on College Committees

  • Core member, Grainger College of Engineering Laboratory and Design Community of Practice

Recent Courses Taught

  • PHYS 101 - College Physics: Mech & Heat
  • PHYS 102 - College Physics: E&M & Modern
  • PHYS 211 - University Physics: Mechanics
  • PHYS 212 - University Physics: Elec & Mag

Semesters Ranked Excellent Teacher by Students

Fall 2022PHYS 212
Fall 2021PHYS 102
Spring 2020PHYS 211
Spring 2019PHYS 101
Fall 2016PHYS 211
Spring 2016PHYS 211
Fall 2015PHYS 211
Spring 2014PHYS 211
Spring 2013PHYS 211
Fall 2012PHYS 211
Spring 2012PHYS 123
Fall 2011PHYS 212
Summer 2011PHYS 102
Spring 2011PHYS 123
Fall 2010PHYS 212
Summer 2010PHYS 212
Spring 2009PHYS 101
Fall 2008PHYS 101