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Shodor Home > About Shodor > Employees > David A. Joiner

Dr. Joiner is currently performing post-doctoral work as a staff scientist with the Shodor Education Foundation, Inc. He recently completed his thesis in astrophysics in the Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.

As a graduate student at Rensselaer, Dr. Joiner worked extensively with distance education, and was involved in creating a computer lab dedicated to synchronous and asynchronous distance education. He developed and taught an experimental AP Physics course from Rensselaer to a local high school. For his work in distance education, he was awarded the Eppenstein Graduate Teaching award by the department in 1999.

Research interests for Dr. Joiner include radiative transfer, the characterization of the interstellar medium, the outflows of evolved stars, and the astronomical impact on the origin of life on Earth.

Before attending Rensselaer, he was a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio, recieving his B.S. in Physics. While a student at UTSA, he studied dye lasers, and worked as a technical staff assistant.

Astrophysics continues to play an important role in his life, and he is continuing his research on the role of hydrocarbon chemistry in the nucleation and growth of dust in the outflows of evolved stars. Dr. Joiner recently presented his thesis results at the 195th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

Dr. Joiner's work at Shodor involves the continued development of MASTER tools, currently including the creation of a Windows version of GalaxSee with extended force calculation and integration methods, new visualization abilities, and enhanced treatment of dark matter. He is involved in the development of the Computational Science Education Reference Desk, and is working to develop an on-line community centered around the reference desk. Also, he is currently involved in the creation of interative web tools to increase students understanding of vibrations and scientists methods of characterizing vibration.

You can visit Dave's web page, or email him at

You can contact Dave at:

The Shodor Education Foundation, Inc.
300 West Morgan Street, Suite 1150
Durham, NC 27701

(919) 530-1911 (voice/TDD)
(919) 530-1914 (fax)

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