Paul Cottle is the Steve Edwards Professor of Physics at Florida State University, where he joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 1986. He earned his Ph.D. at Yale in the same year. Cottle’s field of research is experimental nuclear structure physics, and he has published one hundred refereed papers. Cottle received the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation in 1987. In 2002, he received the George B. Pegram Award from the Southeastern Section of the APS (SESAPS). The award is given for “excellence in the teaching of physics in the southeast.” Cottle is presently chair of the American Physical Society’s Committee on Education and the society’s Forum on Education.
In 2007-2008, Cottle served as a “framer” on the committee that wrote new science standards for Florida’s public K-12 schools. The standards were adopted by the State Board of Education in February, 2008. (See “Revising Florida’s K-12 Science Standards,” Newsletter of the APS Forum on Education, Spring 2009.) However, during the following year it became clear that the grade 9-12 standards on the physical and geosciences were being neglected in Florida both at the state and district levels. Together with colleagues from several fields and institutions, Cottle helped organize a campaign to reemphasize the physical and geosciences in Florida’s schools.
Cottle is an organizer of FSU’s studio program in introductory physics and supervises the learning assistantships that are part of the university’s undergraduate physics teacher education program.