Meet Dr. Isham

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Alma maters and degrees
UCLA—B.S. in Cognitive Science and Applied Mathematics
CSU Northridge—M.S. in Human Factors
Claremont Graduate University—Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology

How long have you been teaching?
4 years

What classes do you teach?
Cognitive Psychology
Sensation and Perception
Consciousness and Cognition
Psychology of Magic

Why is psychology important?
Cognitive psychology focuses on the understanding of the mental operations. These operations include perception, memory, thinking, reasoning and attention. We rely on them every moment to function in the world.

What do you see as the “next big thing” in psychology?
Solving the mysteries of consciousness.

What’s your favorite thing about UC Davis?
UC Davis is renowned in quality education and research, yet the campus is very down to earth.

Why do you teach in the UC Davis Pre-College Program?
College can be a challenging transition. I hope that my pre-college class not only will help students explore the fascinating mysteries of the mind and brain, but that it will also help ease the transition into college.

What’s the single biggest thing you want students to take away from their time in your program?
Explore and question science. Don’t just memorize what is being told to you in class. Question science. It’s the only way to advance science.

What posters were up in your dorm room?
Posters of Disney films during their animation renaissance.

Looking back, what do you wish you had known about college before you started?
College is about exploring a topic in depth. It’s not about rote memory and acing the exam.

What advice about the “college experience” do you have for high school students?
Embrace it, but be mindful of your goals.

What’s an interesting or surprising fact about you?
I love playing hockey!

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