AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

Featured Speakers
2005 Summer Meeting — Salt Lake City, UT
Aug. 6-10, 2005

AAPT’s 2005 Summer Meeting features an exciting line-up of speakers. Information about award lecturers and plenary speakers is provided below. (Click on name of plenary speaker to visit "Plenary Speakers" page.)



Patrick Callahan, Delaware Valley Regional H.S., Frenchtown, NJ
Patrick CallahanPatrick Callahan obtained a B.S. Ed. degree in Physics/Math Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and M. Ed. degree in Secondary Education (Science) from Lehigh University. He taught physics and physical science for 25 years at Catasauqua (PA) High School and just completed his fifth year of teaching physics and physical science at Delaware Valley Regional High School. He served as class advisor debate team coach and Scholastic Scrimmage coach at Catasauqua High School. Currently, Callahan serves on the AAPT Committee on Physics in Pre-High School, and previously he was a member of the Committee on Physics in High Schools. He has also served in a variety of offices for Southeastern PA section including president, vice president, section representative and member-at-large. Callahan is a recipient of an AAPT Distinguished Service Award in 2003 and Tandy Technology Award in 1997.

Excellence in Pre-College Physics Teaching Award Lecture:
Wednesday, Aug. 10 - 10:30 a.m.

Things I've Learned Along the Road
My approach to teaching physics to high school students has been in a constant state of evolution. I would like to share some of the factors that have been influencing these changes. Ideas developed by other AAPT members, suggestions from colleagues and workshop participants; even observant supervisors and administrators have fostered changes in my classroom. The most important agents in molding my teaching have been my students and family. The classroom I taught in 30 years ago looks very different from my classroom today; not only has the technology changed, so have the students. Physics has taken on a very different role in the high schools that I have had the privilege of serving. Much of this transition process has been a direct result of experiences that I have had through my active participation in AAPT activities.

Gary Gladding, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Gary GladdingGary Gladding, a high energy experimentalist, joined the Department of Physics at the Univ. of Illinois as an assistant professor in 1973, after receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1971. He is currently involved in experiments using the silicon vertex detector (CLEO II) at the Wilson Synchrotron Laboratory at Cornell University to study charmed meson decays. Earlier, he made numerous original contributions to high energy experiments at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, where he was involved in experiments measuring the decay of B mesons produced in the decays of the Z0 boson (SLD collaboration) and the initial detailed studies of particles containing the charmed quark (MARK III collaboration). He also contributed to the first studies of the photoproduction of particles containing the charmed quark at Fermilab.

Although he is best known for his contributions to high energy particle physics, Gladding has led the faculty group responsible for the success of the massive curriculum revision that has transformed the introductory calculus-based physics sequence at Illinois. This effort, spanning six years, improved physics instruction for more than 20,000 science and engineering undergraduate students.

Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Teaching Award Lecture
Wednesday, Aug. 10 - 11:15 a.m.

Reforming Introductory Physics Courses at Research Universities
In 1995, the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois embarked on a program to systematically reform all of the introductory courses in the calculus-based sequence. By the Spring Semester of 2000, all 2600 students taking introductory courses (both calculus-based and algebra-based sequences) were participating in reformed classes. I will describe our experiences as a case study of reform at research universities. In particular, I will discuss the elements of our reform and offer some reflections on the difficulties of establishing and sustaining reform in the research university environment.

Wendy Freedman, Carnegie Observatories
Wendy FreedmanWendy Freedman is a faculty member and astronomer at the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California. She received a Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Toronto in 1984. In 1987, Freedman became the first woman to join Carnegie’s permanent scientific staff. In 2000, Freedman received the John P. McGovern Award, and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

One of her principle research interests is aimed at measuring an accurate value for the rate at which the universe is expanding. Freedman is currently a member of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey Committee of the National Academy of Sciences. She is also a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics, the executive board of the Center for Particle Astrophysics and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s scientific oversight committee planning the Next Generation Space Telescope. Her work is internationally recognized as providing the key observational data accurately defining the age of the universe.

Klopsteg Memorial Award Lecture
Monday, Aug. 8 - 11:30 a.m.

The Accelerating Universe
Recent measurements have led to a new model in cosmology. In this model, the universe is geometrically flat and accelerating, one third of the matter-energy density is matter, most of which is dark matter, and the remaining two thirds is in the form of a mysterious dark energy component. I will discuss the evidence for this current model, its successes and challenges, and the ongoing and future experiments aimed at improving the precision with which cosmological parameters are measured.

John Rigden, Washington University in St. Louis
John RigdenJohn Rigden is currently an Honory Professor of Physics at Washington University in St. Louis. He received his B.S. from Eastern Nazarene College and his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. Upon completion of his graduate work he was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University. He has served on the faculties of Eastern Nazarene College, Middlebury College, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. In 1987 he joined the American Institute of Physics where he served as Director of Physics Programs. His scholarly work has been in the areas of molecular physics and the history of science.

Rigden was editor of the American Journal of Physics from 1975 to 1985. In 1992 he was the Director of Development of the National Science Standards Project at the National Academy of Sciences. In 1995 he was elected chairman of the History of Physics Forum of the American Physical Society. He has served on numerous committees of the American Association of Physics Teachers, the American Physical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Academy of Sciences. He served as an NSF consultant to India in 1968 and 1969. He was the U.S. Representative to the International Science Exhibition in Rangoon Burma in 1970, a Fulbright Fellow to Burma in 1971 and to Uruguay in 1975.

Robert A. Millikan Award Lecture
Tuesday, Aug. 9, 11:00 a.m.

The Mystique of Physics: Relumine the Enlightment
There is a mystique to physics because people are inherently receptive to the qualities that make physics special. It is this receptivity and the resulting mystique that makes Einstein the standard of greatness. However, neither the mystique nor the receptivity can be taken for granted. The near-reverent confidence that people have afforded physics is currently being challenged. What does this suggest for the physics classroom?