Tucker Hiatt

Executive Director, Wonderfest

Tucker Hiatt founded Wonderfest in 1997. With the reincarnation of Wonderfest as an independent nonprofit corporation in 2011, the Wonderfest Board appointed Tucker to the position of Executive Director.

Tucker earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from the University of California with the expressed goal of becoming a science teacher. His thesis research explored a narrow aspect of experimental solid state (condensed matter) physics. Later, Tucker worked with University of California, Berkeley’s Space Astrophysics Group to develop search algorithms that are now at work around the world in the SETI@home software.

Tucker taught physics at University of California, Santa Cruz, Punahou School, San Francisco University High School, and Branson School. At the Exploratorium, he built an exhibit, wrote a guide book, and trained Explainers. Since 2008, Tucker has been a Board member of the Bay Area Skeptics, and (until mid-2014) he held the position of Visiting Scholar in the Stanford Chemistry Department.

Tucker has been a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) since 1978. He has published several articles and cartoons in The Physics Teacher, the AAPT journal. In 2001, Tucker wrote and published the Layers of Scientific Understanding poster. And, in 2006, he earned the Amgen Award for Science Teaching Excellence.


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