Timothy McKay, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Physics, Professor of Honors Program and Astronomy, LSA, and Professor of Education, School of Education was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for innovative contributions to diverse fields, including adaptive physics education technology, robotic telescope networks, and weak lensing measurements of clusters of galaxies.

At the Physics Department, Professor McKay is a data scientist with experience drawing inferences from large data sets in astrophysics. He also works on education research to understand and improve classroom outcomes for students in higher education.

Professor McKay said he hopes to increase his involvement in the society going forward.

“I have always looked to the AAAS for leadership in science education, policy, and exchange, and look forward to taking my involvement with the AAAS to a higher level as a new fellow,” he wrote.

Overall, he said academic honors like the AAAS fellowship are an important way to support scholarly work.

“Faculty members often give their ideas away, sharing openly what they learn to advance human knowledge,” McKay said. “The main rewards for this work are impact — we might hope to change the world — and reputation — we all hope to be recognized for what we do. Being selected for fellowship in the AAAS is exactly the kind of reputational reward that keeps scholars working away.”

Election as a fellow, a tradition that began in 1874, is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. AAAS fellows are recognized for their "efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished."

Founded in 1848, the American Association for the Advancement of Science is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal Science.

Excerpts taken from the full article in The Michigan Daily.