Benjamin Pollard


Most people call me Ben.

I am an Assistant Teaching Professor in Physics at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. I have been on leave from WPI since January 2024 to work in the Department of Physics at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

My research focuses on teaching and learning in physics laboratory courses, and on alternative grading practices. I am also involved in community building and organization to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice in STEM, including as a core organizer in The Access Network.

Before WPI, I was a postdoctoral researcher with Prof. Heather Lewandowski and the Physics Education Research group at the University of Colorado Boulder. I earned my Ph.D. from the University of Colorado Boulder in the field of nano-optics. Before that, I earned my bachelor's degree from Pomona College in physics and computer science. 

You can contact me at

Interested in a 5-minute overview of ungrading in physics? Check out this "lightning talk" I gave in Spring 2023.