iOLab Story

Throughout the years the iOLab device has gone through many alterations, but these upgrades have always been led by the same value for learning that inspired its creation. Hear the story of iOLab and its creators below.

The Inventors

A photograph of Mats Selen smiling at the observer.

Mats Selen

University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana

Mats Selen earned B.Sc.('82) and M.Sc.('83) degrees in physics at the University of Guelph, and M.A.('85) and Ph.D.('89) degrees in particle physics at Princeton University. After a four year post-doc at Cornell he joined the faculty at the University of Illinois Department of Physics in 1993, where he is now the Associate Head of Undergraduate Programs.

After 25 years of studying elementary particles he is shifting his research focus to understanding and improving the way students learn physics. He developed iOLab with his colleagues at the University of Illionis.

A photograph of Tim Stelzer with a wide smile.

Tim Stelzer

University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana

Tim Stelzer is an associate professor of physics, and distinguished teacher-scholar at the University of Illinois. He received a B.S in physics from St. Johns University in 1988 and a Ph.D. in theoretical particle physics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1993.

Tim worked on the award winning transformation of the introductory physics courses at the University of Illinois and is a founding member of their Physics Education Research group. His education research has focused on making appropriate use of technology to improve student learning.

Evolution of the iOLab System

The development of the iOLab system began as a hobby project on a workbench in the home of Professor Mats Selen. Though the current iOLab system bears little resemblance to the first prototypes, the philosophy is the same: encourage experimentation and you enable learning.

The photograph shows different electronic devices along with their circuit boards and U S B drives that are built by i O Lab system.

NSF Grant

Read about the NSF Grant research being done in conjunction with iOLab.

Read the Research