Oregon State University

Chi-Chang (Michael) Liu

Dept. of Mathematics: Science and Mathematics Education
Degree Sought: 
Ph.D. in Science Education
Research Adviser: 
Dr. John Falk, Dept. of Science and Mathematics Education & Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan, College of Veterinary Medicine
Research Topic: 
Serious Fun: Life-Deep Learning of Koi Hobbyists


With a major in Science Education and a minor in Fisheries Science, Chi-Chang (Michael) Liu is interested in studying how people learn about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in an out-of-school, free-choice-learning environment. Currently working with Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan at the Aquatic Animal Health Program under Oregon Sea Grant, Liu studies Koi hobbyists' learning processes and information seeking strategies during hobby activity engagement.

In this particular project, Liu is going to find and explore the ways hobbyists develop the knowledge to keep their hobby at a particular standard, identify which factor(s) will motivate and/or limit their pursuing this hobby, and discover the cognitive changes of the hobbyists during the development of their hobby, focusing particularly on the learning/development of scientific knowledge about their activity. As far as the broader contribution of this study, Liu would like to provide some insight on how hobbyists learn in order to facilitate outreach programs such as the Aquatic Animal Health Program. He would also like to provide a framework for future research on hobbyists' learning and provide an opportunity to review and refine learning theories under a free-choice learning situation.

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