For me, teaching is a way to share and transmit my enthusiasm for physics – and more generally, my enthusiasm for learning. I strive for the moment when a student understands a concept with which he or she has been struggling. It has now been conclusively shown that students in STEM courses learn substantially more when they engage actively with the material in the classroom as opposed to when class time consists solely of a passive activity, such as listening to a lecture . For this reason, I use a variety of pedagogical techniques to help my students actively engage with course material during class time. The main techniques I use are peer instruction with clicker questions, tutorial worksheets solved in small groups, and a hybrid flipped classroom.
For resources on using active engagement in the science classroom, see my handout on the subject (with lots of useful link).
At Puget Sound I’ve primarily taught the courses listed below.
General College Physics (Physics 111): This is the first semester of a two-semester algebra-based introductory physics sequence. In this first semester, we introduce the fundamentals of mechanics. Besides the lecture portion of this course, I also teach laboratory sections.
Electromagnetic Theory I and II (Physics 351/532): This junior-level course covers electro- and magneto-statics in the first semester and electrodynamics in the second semester.
Biophysics (Physics/Biology 363): This course explores the principles of physics applied to living systems. Topics include diffusion, hydrodynamics and the low Reynolds-number world, importance of entropy and free energy, entropic forces, molecular machines, membranes, and nerve impulses. This course is appropriate for junior or senior undergraduates in the sciences, particularly physics and biology.
To learn more about courses in the University of Puget Sound Physics department, see the course descriptions and curriculum guide on the department’s website.