za*po*sa 1. noun.  A placeholder for multiple ideas at once. is the personal domain of Eleanor C Sayre.  "Zaposa" is an easily pronounced short non-word. There are no formal definitions for zaposa because I made it up. Creative readers are encouraged to send me definitions like the one above.  You can reach me by email at  There are more contact details on my curriculum vitae.  My schedule is available here.

I am a physics faculty member at Kansas State University. I study physics, cognition, and physics cognition. My current research projects involve fundamental research into student understanding of physics: What do students know? When do they learn it? What underlying cognitive mechanisms drive physics understanding?  How do students develop as professionals? From this necessary (and heretofore lacking) basic research comes ideas about how to change student ideas and behaviors -- teaching and curriculum with a solid theoretical and experimental basis. On the development side, I also work with PhysPort to develop research-based resources for faculty around classroom and programmatic assessment.  I'm also curious about how the shape of the physics education research community has changed over time.  There are more details of my research at the Sayre Lab.

I graduated from the University of Maine with a PhD in 2007 and a MST in 2005, from Grinnell College with a BA in 2002, and from Falmouth Academy in 1998. For more professional details, my CV is here (or here in PDF with selected papers). 

I occasionally write non-peer-reviewed opinion pieces and advice pages on diverse topics preparing job talks, papers, or posters.  They are posted irregularly.  If you like them, please send me an email! 

In my spare time, I enjoy knitting, gaming, and parenting. I contribute to several blogs, including PER Jobs for job posts in Physics Education Research. If you knit, you may enjoy my knitting patterns found on this domain.  You can also find me on Ravelry.