Tom Lainis is a Professor of Physics in the Department of Physics and Nuclear Engineering. He served 30 years in the Army beginning in 1971 as a tank platoon leader in Germany, company commander at Fort Hood, Deputy G3, 1st Armored Division, and culminating as Deputy Head of the Department of Physics at West Point. He returned to the Department as a civilian professor in 2008.
Tom earned a BS from West Point in 1971, a MS in Physics from MIT in 1975, a MS in Computer Science from PINY in 1984, a PhD in Physics from MIT in 1991, and a New York State certification in teaching from STAC in 2000.
He has been an active member of the American Association of Physics Teachers since 1991. Working under COL Jim Stith, he became involved in Physics Education Research as a coordinator for the National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored undergraduate curricular development review, Introductory University Physics Program. It was easy for him to expand his interests to STEM Outreach in which he has helped bring the joy of physics to elementary and middle school students.
While he has been an avid supporter of the Center for STEM Education since the Center’s inception, this year he has joined the Center’s Leadership.