Teaching Interests and Activity


Lecture-Style Classes:

Current teaching interests are in the non-science-major introductory courses. Three courses are most often taught in the area of introductory physics for a general audience: a course with an emphasis for Natural Resource majors, Introduction to Physics (Physics 139; now blended with Physics 100), Conceptual Physics (Physics 100) for a very general audience, Weather and our Atmosphere (Astronomy 105), and Seeing the Light (Physics 125), a course designed for a general audience but with an emphasis on subject matter of interest to Artists, Photographers and others who need an emphasis on light. Other courses taught over the years include undergraduate and graduate Classical Dynamics, Fluid Dynamics, Atmospheric Science, Meterology, Modern Physics, Solid State Physics, Physics for Engineers, Introduction for Health Sciences, Physics for "Poets", Pre-Med Physics, Superfluidity and Superconductivity, and Introductory Astronomy.

Graduate Research:

At present teaching typically includes graduate students in experimental Low Temperature Physics who are engaged in Ph.D. thesis research.

Courses Initiated:

Three courses have been initiated and taught: (1) Introduction to Phyiscs - a one semester introductory course designed for students in Nursing, with more mathematical content than Conceptual Physics; (2) Fluid Dynamics - a one semester course in fluid physics for students at the junior-senior level; and (3) Superfluidity and Superconductivity - a graduate survey course which represents an introduction to these subject areas.

Course Development:

(1) "Visualizing Information: The Population Dilemma", designed to enhance the understanding and ability of students in the area of pictographic literacy and quantitative reasoning was developed in 1996-97. The course was organized into five major components which include an introduction to the population problem, an introduction to computers and the world wide web, mathematical concepts, how to fib with numbers, graphical techniques, maps construction, and the use of color and other artistic attributes. This course was a collaborative development with four colleagues within the Five College (Smith College, Hampshire College, Mt. Holyoke College, Amherst College, and The University of Massachusetts at Amherst) community. The course was first taught as a pilot course in the fall of 1997.

(2) Also developed (along with two other faculty colleagues) was a course, "Seeing the Light", on the fundamental and practical aspects of light, designed for a general introductory audience. The course covers all of the key notions about light from a basic and fundamantal point of view, with significant deviations from the fundamentals to study practical applications such as photography, image construction, etc. This was first taught by a colleague in the fall of 1998.