Geoffrey Mathews

PhD Astronomy, 2012, U. Hawaii
  • Undergraduate Astro- program
  • Faculty professional development
  • HI STAR (Hawaii Student / Teacher Astronomy Research)
IfA Mānoa, C-101, Watanabe 402
(808) 956-7954(808) 956-7954


Currently, I am teaching in the new undergraduate Astronomy and Astrophysics program, and I help IfA faculty develop new courses in the program.

I am also active in the IfA’s outreach efforts, both as a participant in events and organizer of the summer HI STAR program for high school students.

My research background is in the study of circumstellar disks – the planet-forming material around young stars.  I use radio telescopes like the SMA and ALMA to measure the dust and gas in these disks.


I am developing a curriculum map of the field of Astrophysics for program assessment and course alignment.

Astrophysics curriculum map overview


In my teaching, I focus on developing students’ reasoning skills using active-learning experiences. Active-learning encompasses a wide range of techniques unified by the idea that learning requires practice-with-feedback of key skills. It has been demonstrated in a large number and variety of studies to benefit all students (e.g., Freeman et al., 2014, PNAS 111, 23, p. 8410). Furthermore, one of the chief conclusions of Haak et al. 2011 (Science 332, 6034, p. 1213) is that active- learning reduces the achievement gap for underrepresented minorities (URM); this has made its use particularly important at UHM, which was identified in the Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac (2014) as one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the nation.


  • ASTR 110, Survey of Astronomy
  • ASTR 300L, Observational Astronomy lab


I am active in faculty professional development.  In past years, I have routinely conducted workshops at the IfA and for the UH Manoa Center for Teaching Excellence.  I am currently developing a research mentoring workshop.

I am also the coordinator for the Hawaii Student / Teacher Astronomy Research program, in which ~20 Hawaii high school students per year attend a week-long summer camp to learn astronomy research skills.  These students are then paired with mentors for long-term science fair projects.


  • American Astronomical Society, member



  • Kaimi Kahihikolo (2nd year undergraduate, BS Astrophysics)
  • Jeffrey Kleyner (4th year undergraduate, BS Astrophysics / BS Physics)