Teaching Professor, Physics
EducationPh.D., Carnegie Mellon University
Barry Luokkala is Teaching Professor and Director of Undergraduate Physics Laboratories in the Department of Physics. He also serves as editor of the physics alumni newsletter, INTER*ACTIONS, and as curator of the Victor Bearg Physics Museum.
As a member of the faculty at Carnegie Mellon, Luokkala has done much to shape the introductory experimental physics course into its present form, and has created a new laboratory course for students in the pre-health professions. He also created two courses on the subject of science and science fiction: a mini-course for first-year students in the Mellon College of Science, and a full-semester course open to anyone on campus. He has been invited to speak on several occasions on various aspects of science fiction. He has been instrumental in the design of new undergraduate science laboratories, which were completed at Carnegie Mellon in 2002. His recently published book, Exploring Science Through Science Fiction (Springer 2014), aims to make science accessible to students in the nontechnical disciplines, but with enough scientific detail to be interesting to more technically-oriented students.
Luokkala has been involved in numerous outreach activities to promote science education, several of which are aimed at women and under-represented minorities. In addition, he has done consulting work for such diverse institutions as the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham College, Carnegie Mellon's School of Art and School of Drama, McGraw Hill, Academic Press, Oxford University Press, and the BBC.