Ortiz, Edgardo

Ph.D. Student, Physics
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Edgardo's journey in science started at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) at Cayey, where he obtained his bachelor's degree in chemistry. Following his mentor's advice, he continued studies in physics and earned a master's degree from UPR at Mayagüez, conducting research in the area of theoretical chemical physics. His desire to further his knowledge on physics led him to UMass, where he is currently working with SRRI's Physics Education Research Group.

His current work involves the use of a conceptual mapping (ConMap) task to acquire information from students in the form of physics terms, and the use of artificial neural networks to predict performance from term-association. The long term goal of this project is to develop an assessment tool that can be easily implemented for a high volume of students.

During his time at UMass, Edgardo has been a fellow of the Northeast Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (NE-AGEP), where he had the opportunity to travel around the country meeting and learning from other science minority students. In addition, NE-AGEP gave him the opportunity to be a mentor of incoming graduate students at UMass. Edgardo also worked with a middle school science teacher for a year, during his fellowship with STEM Connections. The purpose of this fellowship was to help the teacher and her students to develop inquiry-based teaching skills.

Edgardo enjoys teaching, mentoring, and helping students developing their soft skills. In his spare time, he likes to dance Latin music, travel and learn from other cultures, cook, and to play chess and softball. He is also a huge fan of boxing.