Category Archives: syllabus creation

In class versus screencast

Something happened in class on Friday that I wanted to get down before I forgot about it. It’s a good follow up to my last post about the value of class time. On Fridays we do a review of the … Continue reading

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Back flip doesn’t help students who miss class

In my Theoretical Mechanics course the other day we were talking about noninertial forces (like centrifugal and coriolis forces) on the surface of the earth. We did all kinds of examples related to weather, cannons, and cars driving. However, we … Continue reading

Posted in sbar, sbg, syllabus creation | 8 Comments

Genetic algorithm for randomizing oral exams

I’ve written before about using genetic algorithms to solve problems, but I wanted to show how flexible they can be by writing here about how they helped me this week. My problem was that I wanted to assign standards to … Continue reading

Posted in mathematica, syllabus creation | 8 Comments

Keep from just plowing through

I spent a good portion of the day trying to figure out what I wanted to do in my Theoretical Mechanics class tomorrow. We’ve recently begun the chapter on central potentials and I wasn’t sure how far to try to … Continue reading

Posted in sbar, sbg, syllabus creation | 2 Comments

Lagrange multipliers revisited

I spent the last few days trying to decide whether to teach Lagrange multipliers in my Theoretical Mechanics course. Ultimately I decided to go ahead and do it and I wanted to get down my thoughts on why and what … Continue reading

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Setting up oral exams

I’m teaching Theoretical Mechanics this term and next week we have the first set of oral exams. Each student will take 9 oral exams, but each will only be five minutes long. With only 13 students in the course, each … Continue reading

Posted in oral exams, syllabus creation | 5 Comments

Making it meaningful

Towards the end of my second semester general physics course last semester, a few students told me (separately) that they liked this semester better than last semester. I did my usual “oh really” face while secretly smiling inside because THEY … Continue reading

Posted in syllabus creation, teaching | 5 Comments