The CUbit Quantum Initiative at the University of Colorado Boulder has appointed physics professor Noah Finkelstein to serve as faculty director of education and workforce. Finkelstein will lead CUbit’s establishment of a coordinated educational approach that cultivates leaders of the next-generation quantum workforce.
Finkelstein joins Jun Ye (director), Cindy Regal (associate director for science) and Greg Rieker (associate director for engineering) on CUbit’s leadership team and collaborates closely with Heather Lewandowski (professor of physics, JILA Fellow) to advance CUbit’s education mission.
“We are pleased to add Professor Finkelstein to the CUbit team,” said Ye, a professor of physics and JILA Fellow. “His knowledge, experience, strategic approach and passion for education will help us collaborate meaningfully with partners across the campus to leverage our excellence in physics into the quantum engineering space, enabling us to better educate quantum scientists and train quantum engineers for the future quantum workforce.”
Finkelstein’s immediate aim is to position CUbit and the regional quantum ecosystem as a potential national hub of quantum education by creating a comprehensive, well-defined education strategy founded on widely-recognized areas of strength in science, engineering and education.
“We have an amazing history and breadth of work that contributes to CU Boulder’s leadership in quantum sciences and engineering. In parallel, we have an amazing community leading in educational development and research in quantum. By linking among and between these efforts, and by building community that spans across CU, the region, and the nation, we have tremendous promise to advance and realize the promise of our current quantum revolution.”
As a professor of physics at CU Boulder, Finkelstein conducts research in physics education. He serves as one of the PIs of the Physics Education Research (PER) group in the College of Arts and Sciences and was also a founding co-director of the Center for STEM Learning on campus, which served as one of eight national demonstration sites for the Association of American Universities’ (AAU) STEM Education Initiative. He also serves as Co-Director of the national Network of STEM Education Centers.
Finkelstein’s research focuses on studying the conditions that support students’ interests and abilities in physics—developing models of context. These research projects range from the specifics of students learning particular concepts to the departmental and institutional scales of sustainable educational transformation. His research has resulted in over 150 publications and he is increasingly involved in education policy.