Madhu Mahalingam PhD

Madhu Mahalingam PhD

Assistant Chair, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry


BS (University of Delhi)

MS (Indian Institute-New Delhi)

PhD (SUNY Stony Brook)

Research Interests

  • Development and adoption of new methodologies in chemistry instruction that promote a shift from faculty-centered teaching to learner-centered teaching.
  • The effective use of technology to enable learner-centered approaches in large classes
  • Currently conducting collaborative research with Dr. Jouni Valisaari from the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland on the effectiveness of structured pre-lab and post-lab group discussion on student learning in a lab environment.


I am interested in the development and adoption of methodologies in chemistry instruction that enable students to become engaged learners, shifting the focus from faculty instruction to student learning. The goal is to improve students understanding of chemistry, their ability to apply learning to new situations, and enhance their critical thinking and problem solving skills. The methods adopted so far include structured group problem-solving in General Chemistry recitations, use of technology both during class and outside the classroom for formative assessments and the use of group discussion in laboratory instruction. All of these approaches enable students to assess their comprehension and skills relative to their peers, therefore, developing their metacognitive skills.  Assessment of student learning as a result of adoption of these methodologies is also an important component of the research.

Selected Scholarly Activity

Madhu Mahalingam, Jouni Valisaari, John Muccitelli and Pia Polkki, A Comparative Study of the Effect of Cooperative Prelab and Postlab group discussions in General Chemistry Laboratories- Results from USciences in the US and UJyvaskyla in Finland”, podium presentation at the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Allendale, MI, August 2014

Madhu Mahalingam and Elisabeth Morlino, Book Chapter ‘Technology as a Tool to Develop Problem Solving Skills in General Chemistry’ in ‘The Plugged-In Professor”, Editors: S. P. Ferris & H. A. Wilder, Chandos Publishing, 2013

Madhu Mahalingam, Elisabeth Morlino and Elisabetta Fasella, “ An Instructional Strategy to Improve Problem Solving Skills in General Chemistry Recitations”, 75 min workshop, Teaching Professor Conference, Cambridge, MA May, 2010.

Madhu Mahalingam, Fred Schaefer and Elisabeth Morlino, “Group Problem Solving in General Chemistry Recitations to Promote Learning” SoTL-Commons: An international conference for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Southern Georgia University, Statesboro, GA, March 2009.

Madhu Mahalingam, Fred Schaefer and Elisabeth Morlino, Promoting Student Learning Through Group Problem Solving in General Chemistry Recitations”, J. Chem. Educ. 85, 1577 (2008).

Madhu Mahalingam, Fred Schaefer, “Group Problem Solving Sessions in Recitation”, Strategies For Success, No. 41, Spring 2004.

Contact Information

Office location: Griffith Hall Room 147D
Mailing address: Box 48
University of Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495
Office Phone: 215.596.7549

m [dot] mahali [at] usciences [dot] edu