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2010 Summer Meeting

2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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FA09:

Teaching Mathematical Physics through Problem-based Learning
  Location: HC 3023 & 3023A
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.3
  Time: 9:20 AM -9:30 AM
  Author: Gintaras Duda, Creighton University
402-280-5730, gkduda@creighton.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Problem-based and project-based learning (PBL) are two pedagogical techniques that have several clear advantages over traditional instructional methods: 1) both techniques are active and student centered, 2) students confront real-world and/or highly complex problems, and 3) such exercises model the way science and engineering are done professionally. This talk will present an experiment in project/problem-based learning in a mathematical physics course and an attempt (still in its infancy) to deliver an upper division physics course completely in the problem/project based format. More specifically, one group project in the course involved modeling a zombie outbreak of the type seen in AMC's ``The Walking Dead.'' Students researched, devised, and solved their mathematical models for the spread of zombie-like infection. Results of student interviews and surveys will be presented as well as an instructor's perspective on using PBL in upper division physics courses.
  Footnotes: None
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