Melanie L. Good

  • Teaching Assistant Professor
100 H


Research Activities:
My current research endeavors include investigating the impact of mindfulness interventions on students' experience in introductory physics classes, understanding and remedying students epistemically unwarranted beliefs (such as belief in pseudoscience or conspiracy theories), as well as understanding student attitudes and approaches to problem solving in physics and astronomy.  Problem solving attitudes and approaches may influence student development towards expertise, as well as their engagement and perception of physics and astronomy as an academic endeavor. Understanding undergraduate students’ attitudes and approaches may shed light on these formative experiences and what may be done to improve students' learning experiences.  Likewise, introductory physics students often perceive physics class to be a stressful experience, and my collaborators at the LRDC and I are actively investigating whether mindfulness interventions can improve students' experiences in introductory physics.  Finally, I am involved in devising interventions designed for undergraduate students (particularly those who are taking a science credit but are non-science majors) to explicitly address the difference between science and pseudo-science, using active learning interventions and self-reflection activities.

My previous research involved the detection and characterization of exoplanets using aperture photometry.  In 2009, I helped create an exoplanet transit search group, Survey of Transiting Extrasolar Planets at the University of Pittsburgh, or STEPUP for short (, which has conducted follow-up observations of transiting exoplanets, utilizing the Keeler telescope at the Allegheny Observatory.  STEPUP is now an undergraduate-run research group that has collaborated with astronomers around the world to detect and confirm transits of extrasolar planets and planetary candidates.
Current and Former Undergaduate Student Researchers:
Colin Henchy, Class of 2026
Brennon Paik, Class of 2023
Alexi Zukas, Class of 2022

Selected Publications

M. Good, E. Marshman, E. Yerushalmi, and C. Singh, Graduate teaching assistants’ views of broken-into- parts physics problems: Preference for guidance overshadows development of self-reliance in problem solving, Physical Review PER, 16, 010128 (2020).

M. Good, A. Maries and C. Singh, Impact of traditional or evidence-based active-engagement instruction on introductory female and male students’ attitudes and approaches to physics problem solving, Phys. Rev. PER 15, 020129 (2019).

M. Good, A. J. Mason and C. Singh, Comparing introductory physics and astronomy students’ attitudes and approaches to problem solving, Euro. J. Phys. 39, 065702 (2018).

M. Good, E. Marshman, E. Yerushalmi and C. Singh, Graduate teaching assistants’ perceptions of a context- rich introductory physics problem, 2017 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings, 144-147 (2018).

M. Good, E. Marshman, E. Yerushalmi and C. Singh, Physics teaching assistants’ views of different types of introductory problems: Challenge of perceiving the instructional benefits of context-rich and multiple choice problems, Physical Review PER, 14, 020120 (1-17) (2018).

S. Fleming, et al., Very Low-mass Stellar and Substellar Companions to Solar-like Stars from MARVELS II: A Short-period Companion Orbiting an F Star with Evidence of a Stellar Tertiary And Significant Mutual Inclination, The Astrophysical Journal 144, 3, 72 (2012).

M. Good, Survey of Transiting Extrasolar Planets at the University of Pittsburgh, M.S. Thesis, University of Pittsburgh 2011

A. Shporer, et al., Ground-based Multisite Observations of Two Transits of HD 80606b, The Astrophysical Journal, 722, 1, 880 (2010).