Category Archives: Uncategorized

Maxwell to Snell

Today was a really interesting day in my optics class. We’re doing chapter 9 in our text and I wanted to make sure that I motivated the material well. What’s weird about this text is that it waits until chapter … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Visualizing eigenvectors

When I was in undergrad, I dutifully did all my linear algebra homework, not really understanding why. I figured, “if they want me to find a vector or two for a given matrix that satisfies M.v=lambda v , fine, I’ll do it.” … Continue reading

Posted in math, mathematica, physics, teaching, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Inquiry sound and music

I probably shouldn’t have put that controversial word into the title, but I’m in a rush, so deal with it. I’ve been goosing myself to hurry up and finish up the broad strokes of my sound and music syllabus. You … Continue reading

Posted in syllabus creation, teaching, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

SBG thoughts after AAPT

I was a part of a Standards-Based Grading workshop and an SBG panel at the American Association of Physics Teachers conference recently. My head nearly exploded with some new ideas for my Sound and Music course (see previous thoughts on … Continue reading

Posted in sbar, sbg, syllabus creation, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Brachistochrone approach

Brachistochrone: The shape of the fastest slide between two points. The Brachistochrone problem is one of the first and most important examples of the calculus of variations. It’s nearly required in any Theoretical or Classical Mechanics class for physics majors. … Continue reading

Posted in physics, teaching, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

college academic recruiting

This weekend I finished my share of recruiting phone calls that my department decided to do. We were a little late this year, but we still feel it’s worth it to make a connection with potential physics majors. The whole … Continue reading

Posted in physics, teaching, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

I can be prepared for class

The title of this post is written in the style of standards that I use in Standards-Based Grading. This post, though, will be more about how I teach than about how students demonstrate learning. For a number of years now, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 27 Comments