Stephen oversees the instructional resources of the department. This includes all physics laboratory courses, as well as physics demonstrations. Dr. Irons came to Yale in 2001 from Wesleyan University where he was a visiting assistant professor. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary in Virginia(1990), and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis (1996) where he studied high Tc superconductivity in perovskites and doped Carbon 60. Dr. Irons also manages the outreach activities for the department which includes the Yale Physics Olympics, an annual pentathlon for local high school science students.
In addition, Dr. Irons works to design new laboratory experiments for students as well as continually modernizing existing ones. He also researches and designs new demonstrations for use in lecture, lab, and outreach. He is especially interested in making physics accessible and interesting to all people which has involved him in the creation and teaching of three new courses at Yale: Movie Physics, Electronics for the Non-Scientist, and Electronics for the Physicist. He is also an active member of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) , having acted as the president of the Physics Instructional Resource Association (PIRA), and is currently(2020) president of the AAPT Committee on Apparatus.
His other interests include fly fishing, the New York Times crossword puzzle, photography, hiking, gardening and composing bad poetry for special occasions. Dr. Irons also donates his time to the North Haven Fire Department where he serves as a Lieutenant for the West Ridge Volunteer Fire Company 3.