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Bennett Goldberg

Professor of Physics and Astronomy; Faculty Director of the Program Evaluation Core

PhD, Brown University, 1987


Bennett B Goldberg (BA'82, MS'84, PhD'87) was born in Boston, MA in 1959, and is a life-long Red Sox fan. He received a B.A. from Harvard College in 1982, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from Brown University in 1984 and 1987. He held a Bantrell Postdoctoral appointment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Francis Bitter National Magnet Lab from 1986-1989 and joined the physics faculty at Boston University in 1989. Goldberg is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a United Methodist Teacher/Scholar of the Year, has been awarded a Sloan Foundation Fellowship, and is a recipient of the Presidential Young Investigators Award.

 Goldberg joined Northwestern University in August 2016 as the Director of the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching, Assistant Provost for Learning and Teaching, and Professor of Physics and Astronomy. Goldberg built the Searle Center into a research-practice partnership center with 23 staff that annually serve 500 faculty, 600 graduate students and postdocs in their development into reflective practitioners of student-centered learning, as well as provide peer-guided academic support for 4000 undergraduates. Under Goldberg the Searle Center supported grants of Northwestern faculty, and with their own grants funded innovation and scholarship in learning and teaching.

 In 2020, Goldberg was reassigned to the Office for Research, as Director of the Office for Research in Higher Education, Training and Evaluation where he developed the new Program Evaluation Core. In 2022, Goldberg returned to Physics & Astronomy to teaching and research, especially around inclusive practice.

 Goldberg has built numerous funded projects that play a leading role in national and international teaching innovation and scholarship. Goldberg has helped build a network of universities preparing future faculty to be excellent researchers and excellent teachers, has co-authored two massive open online courses (MOOCs) for PhDs and postdocs on STEM learning and teaching, co-created the Postdoc Academy, a national initiative to advance strategic and career skills of postdocs, and leads a national training of faculty in inclusive pedagogy for STEM, improving access to and success in STEM for marginalized and minoritized students. 

 In Central and South America, Goldberg has worked with LASPAU from Harvard in Brazil, Chile, and Mexico, delivered a keynote at UANL in January of 2020 following a year of UANL engineering and mathematics faculty developing active learning skills, was awarded Honorius Causa, by UANL in September 2021, and is here today to help launch a project in support of UANL faculty.

 Prior to Northwestern, Goldberg became a Professor of Physics, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Professor of Education, and Professor of Graduate Medical Sciences at Boston University. He was chair of the Physics Department for four years, Director and founder of Boston University's Center for Nanoscience and Nanobiotechnology for ten years, and Director and founder of BU’s nanomedicine program. Goldberg was the inaugural Director of STEM Education Initiatives in the Office of the Provost. 

Goldberg’s research interests are in the areas of nano-optics and spectroscopy of two-dimensional crystals, exploring strain and friction in single-atom-thick layers. He is engaged in projects in near-field and solid immersion imaging, using super-resolution techniques to explore beyond the diffraction limit, and imaging through strongly scattering media like tissue and rock; and active research on novel approaches to subcellular imaging, biosensors, and single-virus imaging.