Complete: 1 Semester

The semester is over. My grades are posted. My students have received their grades. I am 3 forms (paperwork will kill me) from starting my summer. And I plan to play a bit, write a lot, travel too much, and try and remember how to jump horses over itty bitty fences designed to restrain dachunds. w00t

Read More

Engineers are Fun

Engineers are Fun

As I think I’ve mentioned before, this semester I’m teaching good old fashioned physics. More specifically, I’m teaching the second semester (E&M) half of calculas-based physics for scientists and engineers. I somehow ended up with a class of 47 boys. While this course generally is predominantly male, the zero girls is unusual and it has led to an interesting dynamic. The machismo of this group was in full play yesterday when they presented their electronics projects. Their assignment was simple: In groups of up to 5 students, while spending no more than $5 per person (although they were welcome to dumpster dive anything they wanted), build something that had atleast three components. This meant they could do anything from build a simple...

Read More

Soldiers in the Classroom

I think I might have mentioned on this blog a couple of times that one of the classes I  sometimes teach is physics for elementary  education majors. All told, I have probably interacted with 100 different education students across a couple different years. It’s not a lot, but we try and keep the class sizes down.  Working with the students and working with teachers  in general has given me a deep appreciation for how unprepared the average person is for physics and how unprepared they are to teach science. Tonight, when John McCain said we should send soldiers into the classroom, he scared me on many levels. Teaching requires preparation. I have a doctorate degree in astronomy, and preparing for class is still hard,  takes time, and...

Read More

Let it Begin (again)

Let it Begin (again)

Monday is the first day of a new semester. I’ll be teaching just one class this semester (the rest of my time is going to IYA), second semester calculus based physics for Scientists and Engineers. This will be my first time teaching this course, although I’ve taught the algebra-based version several times. At this stage I have my syllabus written and photocopied, I have MasteringPhysics setup and the first homework posted, and all I really have left to do is configure BlackBoard, but since I forgot to request a login until today, that one is going to have to wait. I’m thinking I might also give these students a copy of the final I wrote for the first semester version of this class so they’ll know what I expect them to know. I’m in...

Read More

Summer Days Drift toward Syllabus Time

Last Friday I looked at my calendar and had the terrifying realization that I had 3 days of freedom before I started a long series of trips that would culminate in the first day of classes. Then I realized it was July 18, not July 25, and that I actually had 1 week and 3 days. Let me just say eek. My summer has been fairly productive if I ignore how little I’ve blogged. Plans for the International Year of Astronomy are coming along nicely, I got with the help of some friends colleagues frolleagues a grant written, and I have lost track of how many research projects have had steady progress made on them. Life is good (ignoring the blog). I still have a lot I want to do this summer though: 1 more grant, some website theme dress ups, and some general hard...

Read More
Now live! Expect the Unexpected.
Currently offline.