219 Polk Science 


An-Phong Le, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry

"Learning chemistry requires actually doing chemistry - actively thinking about, working through, and (sometimes) struggling with chemical concepts and their manifestations in class and in lab. I provide students with opportunities to connect chemistry to their own interests and to their own prior knowledge, and I challenge students to develop analytical thinking skills ay applying those concepts to new situations. I help to facilitate this learning, but students are ultimately responsible for their own education."

Dr. Le grew up in Waterloo, Illinois and earned his bachelor's degree in 2004 in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During that time, Dr. Le had summer internships at General Mills and at Procter and Gamble, and he did a summer of undergraduate research. However, his experiences as an undergraduate teaching assistant sparked his desire to teach as a profession and led him to stay at the University of Illinois to pursue graduate studies. In 2011, Le earned his Ph. D. with specializations in analytical chemistry and chemical education, working on projects related to nanostructured surfaces and materials for high performance optical sensing and a project investigating the conceptual changes experienced by chemistry students as they progress through their formal coursework.

Courses Taught



Ph. D., Analytical Chemistry and Chemical Education, University of Urbana-Champaign
B. S., Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Honors and Awards

Honors Committee - 2011 to present

Physics Search Committee 2011/2012

Laboratory Teaching Load Committee - 2012

Organic Chemistry Search Committee - 2012

Recent Publications

F. Abd-El-Khalick, M. Waters, A.-P. Le. Representation of nature of science in high school chemistry textbooks over the past four decades. Journal of Research in Science Teaching. 45 (2008) 835-855. DOI: 10.1002/tea.20226

J. Yao, A.-P. Le, S. K. Gray, J. S. Moore, J. A. Rogers, R. G. Nuzzo. Functional nanostructured plasmonic materials. Advanced Materials. 22(2010) 1102-1110. DOI: 10.1002/ adma. 200904097.