Name: Dr. Byron Coffin Drury
Title: Lecturer
Office: MIT Department of Physics
77 Massachusetts Avenue, 26-331
Cambridge, MA 02139

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Area of Physics

Condensed Matter Theory, Quantum Information Science, Physics Education Research

Research Interests

Dr. Drury’s primary research interest is the factors that influence student learning, sense of belonging, self efficacy, and interest in undergraduate physics courses. He studies the effects of peer mentorship and other novel pedagogical techniques on student behaviors, attitudes and performance. 

Other research areas include the application of machine learning to educational assessment and the quantum behavior of classically chaotic systems.

Biographical Sketch

Byron received a BS in Physics from Haverford College in 2008 and completed a Masters in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University as a Churchill Scholar in 2009. He earned his PhD in Physics from MIT in 2017, studying condensed matter theory. Since then, he has spent his time teaching and performing Physics Education Research as a postdoc and then lecturer at MIT. 

In his spare time, Byron is an avid amateur mycologist and orchardist.

In the News

Selected Publications

  • “Constructive Quantum Shannon Decomposition from Cartan involutions,” BC Drury and PJ Love, J. Phys. A 41 (39), 395305 (2008)
  • “Strong quantum scarring by local impurities,” PJJ Luukko et al., Sci. Rep. 6 (1), 37656 (2016)
  • “Examining the relation of correct knowledge and misconceptions using the nominal response model,” J Stewart et al., PRPER 17 (1), 010122 (2021)
  • “Mining Students Pre-instruction Beliefs for Improved Learning,” Á Pérez-Lemonche et al., Proceedings of the Sixth (2019) ACM Conference on Learning@ Scale, 1-10 (2019)