Kathryn (Mairin) Hynes

Kathryn (Mairin) Hynes

Teaching Professor in Physics
PhD, Washington University
research interests:
  • Physics Education
  • Pedagogy
  • Space Sciences

contact info:

mailing address:

  • Washington University
    MSC 1105-110-02
    One Brookings Drive
    St. Louis, MO 63130-4899

Mairin Hynes's research focuses on analyzing students' conceptual understanding, problem-solving methods, and attitudes towards physics in order to enhance the Introductory Physics courses and laboratories.

She works to implement and quantitatively evaluate new pedagogical methods, including those from physics education researchers and cognitive psychologists. These data allow her to better understand and improve the way students approach and think about problem-solving.

Selected Recent Publications 

  • "Dissociative conceptual and quantitative problem-solving outcomes across interactive engagement and traditional format introductory physics." McDaniel, Mark A.; Stoen, Siera M.; Frey, Regina F.; et al.  Physical Review Physics Education Research, 12, UNSP 020141
  • "Multiyear, multi-instructor evaluation of a large-class interactive-engagement curriculum. Cahill, Michael J.; Hynes, K. Mairin; Trousil, Rebecca; et al. Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 10, 020101

recent courses

Physics I (Physics 191)

Calculus-based introduction to the concepts, laws, and structure of physics. Topics include kinematics, Newton's laws, energy, linear momentum, angular momentum, the conservation laws, gravitational force, harmonic motion, wave motion and interference, sound, and special relativity.

Physics II (Physics 192)

Continuation of Physics 191. Calculus-based introduction to concepts, laws, and structure of physics. Topics include electromagnetic forces and fields, direct current circuits, capacitance and inductance, electromagnetic radiation, light, physical optics, interference and diffraction, early quantum theory, and nuclear physics.

Physics 597

Teaching is an integral part of your career development as a physicist. Whether you pursue a career in academia, become a researcher, or work in industry, you will need to teach others. This discussion-based course is designed to engage first-year graduate students in reading discussions about science teaching and learning, with a major emphasis on insights and experimental evidence from cognitive psychology. These discussions will be accompanied by a practical teaching experience in Introductory Physics Lab.