Eric Kuo

Assistant Professor


Eric Kuo

Primary Research Area

  • Physics Education
309 Loomis Laboratory


Eric Kuo received bachelor's degrees in physics and mathematics from Brandeis University in 2008. After a brief stint teaching high school physics, he began his graduate work at the University of Maryland, where he received his Ph.D. in physics in 2013. After working as a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University and as a research associate at the University of Pittsburgh, he joined the physics department at Illinois in 2020.

Professor Kuo takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of teaching and learning, drawing on research in other fields, such as the learning sciences, psychology, and cognitive science, to study the dynamics of learning and to develop models of how physics students think. He applies these models to tackle a broad range of issues related to physics education, with a strong focus on mathematical reasoning, causal reasoning, and problem solving.

I am currently looking to work with graduate and undergraduate students interested in physics education research. Students working with me can expect to gain a background in theories of learning and quantitative/qualitative methodologies for examining physics education. If you would like to discuss possible opportunities or have any questions, please send me an email.

Research Interests

  • Mathematical reasoning in physics
  • Fostering adaptive problem-solving expertise
  • Using Bayesian networks to investigate causal reasoning
  • Student epistemological views on what it means to learn and understand physics
  • The impacts of motivation on physics learning
  • Applying psychological learning theories to physics instruction and assessment

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Conlin, L.D., Kuo, E., & Hallinen, N.R. (2019). How null results can be significant for physics education research. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 15(2), 020104.
  • Kuo, E., Hallinen, N.R., & Conlin, L.D. (2017). When procedures discourage insight: Epistemological consequences of prompting novice physics students to construct force diagrams. International Journal of Science Education, 39(7), 814-839.
  • Kuo, E. & Wieman, C.E. (2016). Toward instructional design principles: inducing Faraday's law with contrasting cases. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 12(1), 010128.
  • Kuo, E. & Wieman, C.E. (2015). Seeking instructional specificity: an example from analogical instruction. Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 11(2), 020133.
  • Redish, E.F. & Kuo, E. (2015). Language of physics, language of math: Disciplinary culture and dynamic epistemology. Science and Education, 24(5-6), 561-590.
  • Hull, M., Kuo, E., Gupta, A., & Elby, A. (2013). Problem-solving rubrics revisited: Attending to the blending of informal conceptual and formal mathematical reasoning. Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 9(1), 010105.
  • Kuo, E., Hull, M.M., Gupta, A., & Elby, A. (2013). How students blend conceptual and formal mathematical reasoning in solving physics problems. Science Education, 97(1), 32-57.

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