Award Winning Physicist and Author, Robert “Bob” C. Hilborn, Picked to Serve as AAPT Associate Executive Officer
“I am very pleased that Bob will be joining AAPT as the next Associate Executive Officer. I have worked with him on a number of projects in the past and appreciated his knowledge of the physics education community, wisdom, and professionalism. I look forward to having his assistance with many projects and programs at AAPT,” said Cunningham.
Dr. Hilborn comes to AAPT from his position at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), where he served as Professor of Physics and Head of the Science/Mathematics Education Department in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. In that role he oversaw the work of the department, managed the budgets of the department and the UTeach Dallas program, and developed the fundraising program through private foundations and grants. He also served as chair of UTD’s Gateways for Excellence in Mathematics and Science (GEMS) Council, a university-wide effort focused on enhancing the retention and success of STEM majors, and led the Department’s efforts to establish a Ph.D. program in Science/Mathematics Education Research.
Regarding his appointment to this new position Hilborn said, “I’m very happy to be joining the AAPT staff and I look forward to working for the organization that has been such a large part of my professional life.”
Hilborn earned his bachelor’s in physics from Lehigh University and his master's degree and Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University. He brings to this position extensive experience as a physics faculty member and college administrator at Oberlin College, Amherst College, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the University of Texas at Dallas. With service in a variety of faculty and administrative positions, complemented by significant experience in leadership positions in undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education at the national level, he has a broad perspective and a track record of teaching, research, and administrative accomplishments.
Hilborn served as AAPT President in 1996-97 and worked with the Associate Executive Officer at that time. Following his tenure as AAPT President, he helped organize a workshop, topical conference, and physics department chairs meeting focusing on undergraduate physics at a time when the number of undergraduate physics degrees awarded each year was declining. In 1999, he co-organized the National Task Force on Undergraduate Physics to focus the physics community’s attention on undergraduate physics and to assist physics departments that wish to enhance their undergraduate physics programs, resulting in the SPIN-UP report, used by many physics departments as a guide for enhancing their undergraduate physics programs.
He is Principal Investigator on AAPT’s Physics and Astronomy New Faculty Workshop grant from the NSF. This program is now serving about 50% of the new hires in physics and astronomy across the country. Hilborn also served on the writing team for Active Physics and helped develop the UTeach Dallas program to encourage STEM majors to go into K-12 teaching.
“I am very pleased to have Bob Hilborn join AAPT as Associate Executive Officer. Bob brings to us many years of exemplary service to the physics education community,” said David Sokoloff, AAPT President, “and I am confident that he will contribute effectively to advancing AAPT's mission from his first day on the job. Welcome, Bob!”