Michael B.  Dennin, PhD

Michael B. Dennin, PhD

University of California, Irvine

Professor of Physics & Astronomy, Dean of Division of Undergraduate Education & Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning

Expertise: Biophysicscondensed matter physics

Professor Dennin earned his A. B. from Princeton University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He held a postdoctoral position at UCLA. He is an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow and a Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar. 

Professor Dennin's main research interest is systems that exhibit emergent properties. These include the behavior of complex fluids, such as foam and sand, as well as the complex dynamics of biological systems. 

Professor Dennin is well-known for popularizing science for the public. He has taught many online courses on the nature of science, including team teaching a MOOC based on the television program, The Walking Dead. He has appeared on a number of television programs, including Spider-man Tech, Batman Tech, Star Wars Tech, and Ancient Aliens. 

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“We’re committed to teaching essentially all our undergraduate courses remotely. We have developed a program for our graduate students, which involves training remote instruction and best practices, as well as working with faculty to go over and prepare all the courses … in case we have to be remote for winter and spring as well.”

- Addressing anxieties: Locals share new business practices to ease patrons’ concerns

“What’s great about a grant like this is that it gives us the tools we need to experiment with ways to get students to be successful,” says Michael Dennin, dean of undergraduate education and vice provost for teaching and learning. “Taking advantage of the full range of resources the university has to offer will give them the most effective education.”

- Life-changing support

“We’re going to be remote in the fall and that’s really aligning with where the state is at the moment and we don’t start October 1st cause we’re on the quarter system, so we still have three weeks to be learning from our fellow campuses out there, how to handle the housing piece because we do have students on campus.”

- Higher Education Reopening During COVID

“Laptops I think are the biggest challenge cause they're the hardest to get in students hands, but one thing we’ve learned is almost all of our students have an initial laptop and financial aid does a good job of covering laptops, for the students who have a laptop break or fail, it's getting them replacements that really is – from my experience a bigger challenge, but there we’ve ramped up our laptop loan program, we’ve made it more visible and we just have more resources available in that space.”

- Higher Education Reopening During COVID

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