Teaching science and communicating science to the general public, or "outreach", are both fields that are extremely important to me and activities I enjoy. My position at Western involves both activities, with my teaching time split between the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Western Integrated Science Program.
My background is in astrophysics, physics and the history of science. I trained as an astrophysicist with Dr Bill Harris, with my PhD on galaxy formation and evolution, and I was very fortunate to gain experience through my first postdoctoral position in the history of science - specifically, ancient Egyptian astronomy with Dr Sarah Symons, with whom I continue to collaborate. My main focus during my second postdoctoral position in the McMaster Institute for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (MIIETL) was to learn how to use and further investigate evidence-based teaching practices to tailor science education for future physicists and astronomers. Throughout both my postdoctoral positions I taught a variety of physics, astronomy and science literacy courses in McMaster's Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Honours Integrated Science Program, and the McCallion Planetarium.
Cockcroft, R., Symons, S. L, Goff, L., Knorr, K., Robinson, S. J., van Wersch, G., Charney, D., & Farquharson, M. “New Interdisciplinary Science Course for First-Year Faculty of Science Students: Overview and Results from the Pilot”, 2016Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, 9, 43.
Cockcroft, R.and Symons, S. L. “Ancient Egyptian Diagonal Star Tables: A New Fragment, and Updates for S16C and S1C”, 2014Journal for the History of Astronomy, 45, 197.
Harris, W. E., Morningstar, W., Gnedin, O. Y., O'Halloran, H., Blakeslee, J. P., Whitmore, B. C., Côté, P., Geisler, D., Peng, E. W., Bailin, J., Rothberg, B., Cockcroft, R., & Barber DeGraff, R. “Globular Cluster Systems in Brightest Cluster Galaxies: A Near-Universal Luminosity Function?”, 2014The Astrophysical Journal, 797, 128.
Cockcroft, R. and Symons, S.L. “Diagonal star tables on coffins A1C and S2Hil: A new triangle decan and a reversed table”, 2013PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology, 10, 1.