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Teaching Demos

Showcasing innovative faculty from a variety of disciplines, our teaching demonstrations will allow conference attendees to observe the practical application of different pedagogical approaches. From the Socratic method to the logistics of a flipped classroom, these demos are designed to provide participants with the "student-eye view" of valuable teaching strategies.


Karim Al-Zand
Associate Professor of Composition and Theory
Shepherd School of Music
Rice University

The music of Canadian-American composer Karim Al-Zand (b.1970) has been called "strong and startlingly lovely" (Boston Globe). His compositions are wide-ranging, from settings of classical Arabic poetry to scores for dance and pieces for young audiences. His works explore connections between music and other arts, and draw inspiration from diverse sources such as 19th century graphic art, fables of the world, folksong and jazz. The themes of some of his pieces speak to his Middle Eastern heritage as well. Al-Zand's music has enjoyed success in the US, Canada and abroad and he is the recipient of several national awards, including the Sackler Composition Prize, the ArtSong Prize, the Louisville Orchestra Competition Prize and the Arts and Letters Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He holds degrees from Harvard (Ph.D., 2000) and McGill (B. Mus., 1993) Universities. Al-Zand is also a founding member of Musiqa, Houston's premier contemporary music group, which presents concerts featuring new and classic repertoire of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.


Derek Bruff
Director, Center for Teaching
Senior Lecturer of Mathematics, Vanderbilt University

Derek Bruff is director of the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching and a senior lecturer in the Vanderbilt Department of Mathematics. As director, he oversees the Center’s programming and offerings for faculty and graduate students, helping them develop foundational teaching skills and explore new ideas in teaching and learning. He also consults regularly with campus leaders about pedagogical issues, seeking to foster a university culture that supports effective teaching. Bruff served on the board of directors of the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network from 2010 to 2013, and currently serves as co-PI on a three-year, $750,000 National Science Foundation grant supporting the creation of two MOOCs (massive open online courses) on evidence-based teaching practices for future STEM faculty.  Bruff’s research interests include educational technology, visual thinking, and social pedagogies. He blogs on these topics at, and his book, Teaching with Classroom Response Systems: Creating Active Learning Environments, was published by Jossey-Bass in 2009.  Bruff has taught at Harvard University and has a PhD in mathematics from Vanderbilt University.


Paul F. Corey
Pearson Education

Paul is the Managing Director for Pearson's global Arts, Science, Business and Engineering learning services group for Higher Education. He and his team develop educational services and solutions that span content, applications, assessment software, personalized learning paths and data analytics whose common goals are to contribute to teacher effectiveness and improved learner outcomes across the globe. Paul is an active member and participant in the Indian Institute of Technology's Global Forum, the World Academy of Arts and Science Global Consortium, the US News & World Report's STEM Connectors Summit and the US Department of Education's working group on accelerating innovation in post secondary education.

Justin Esarey
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Rice University

Dr. Justin Esarey is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Rice University who specializes in political methodology. His areas of expertise include detecting and presenting context-specific relationships, model specification and sensitivity, the analysis of binary data, laboratory social experimentation, and promoting thoughtful inference (and thinking about inference) by using technology to make methodological resources available to the scholarly public.

Dr. Esarey is currently the editor of The Political Methodologist.


J. Dennis Huston
Gladys Louise Fox Professor of English
Rice University

Professor Huston is the author of Shakespeare’s Comedies of Play and co-editor of a collection of Renaissance plays. His teaching has received national recognition: he was named the CASE 1989 Professor of the Year and has recorded video lectures on Shakespeare and detective fiction for The Teaching Company. He teaches courses in Shakespeare, performance, and Renaissance and modern drama.


John S. Hutchinson
Dean of Undergraduates Professor of Chemistry
Rice University

As dean of undergraduates, Dean Hutchinson is responsible for overseeing the undergraduate curriculum, especially those aspects related to general education, as well as all non-curricular components of student life including the residential colleges. Dean Hutchinson came to Rice in 1983, after completing his bachelor and doctoral degrees at the University of Texas at Austin and his postdoctoral studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His research interests are in Theoretical Chemical Physics and Chemical Education. He has taught General Chemistry at Rice since 1988. He is a six time winner of the George R. Brown Awards for teaching and in 2007 received the George R. Brown Certificate of Highest Merit for Teaching Excellence. He and his wife, Paula, served as Wiess College Masters from 1994 to 2001 and as Brown College Masters from 2003 to 2008.

DeLange Conference Home Rice University August 11, 2014