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Wednesday morning
8:30-10:30 a.m. John Risley’s Influence on Physlets and
Open Source Physics
Panel – Wolfgang Christian, Davidson College, Davidson, NC 28035-6926;
Mario Belloni, Davidson College
John Risley was a pioneer of computer-based learning. He actively promot-
ed the use of computers in physics education at North Carolina State where
he organized the first Conference on Computers in Physics Instruction in
1988 and founded both Physics Academic Software and WebAssign. His
influence was especially strong in the North Carolina Section of the AAPT.
In part due to John’s influence, numerous computer-based learning projects
were started in North Carolina. In this talk we will discuss his influence
on two Davidson College curriculum development projects: Physlets and
Open Source Physics. We discuss how our early experiments developing
online curricular material have led to the second edition of Physlet Physics
and Physlet Quantum Physics as stand-alone collections, joining Open
Source Physics on ComPADRE to deliver almost 1,500 interactive exercises
to teachers free of charge. Physlet Physics 2E:
Physlets/ Open Source Physics:
Session FB: Seeking Employment in
Location: STSS 412
Sponsor: Committee on Graduate Education in Physics
Co-Sponsor: Committee on Professional Concerns
Date: Wednesday, July 30
Time: 8:30–10:30 a.m.
Presider: Frances Mateycik
8:30-9 a.m. The Liberal Arts College as a Professional
Invited – Juan Burciaga, Mount Holyoke College, Department of Physics,
South Hadley, MA 01075-1424;
Many applicants applying to physics faculty openings at liberal arts col-
leges may be under the assumption that a liberal arts college is like a small
university. Others make the assumption that research is a lesser priority
among these institutions. Both of these common assumptions are funda-
mentally flawed. Even those who attended liberal arts colleges as students
have only seen selected aspects of the life of a faculty member. How do we
tread a fine balance while applying to these schools? How can we open the
door to the job market of the liberal arts institutions? How do we distin-
guish the faculty application to a liberal arts college to one for a research
university? Should we be applying to liberal arts colleges?
9-9:30 a.m. Discipline Education Research: Need and
Invited – Genaro Zavala, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Garza Sada 2501, Mon-
terrey, NL 64849 Mexico;
In this panel I will discuss some ideas that are connected to employment
in academia. I will talk about the existence of a need for universities to
improve student learning in different disciplines. There could be many
reasons for this need such as having a lower dropout rate, improve assess-
ments of programs by accreditation agencies, the reception of students
with different needs in the digital age, or any other cause. Among the many
actions an institution can take, universities have realized that one way to
achieve better learning is to hire professors who are dedicated to research
in education of the disciplines. This is very positive for our community
since we have seen that there have been, perhaps not the number of calls
for recruitment needed, but there have been indeed such calls. This gap
between supply and demand can be caused by the considerable opposition
to have discipline education research as an area of research of the discipline
itself. Throughout the America (the continent!), I have noticed that the
“establishment” in the departments of sciences is very difficult to change.
Professors of many years oppose that discipline education research belong
to their disciplinary departments. This issue is important and we have
to take action to strengthen the field and help the barriers to discipline
education research disappear. As a community we should take concrete
and measurable actions to make this happen.
9:30-10 a.m. Getting a Physics Position at a Two-Year
Invited – Thomas O’Kuma, Lee College, Baytown, TX 77522-0818;
There are numerous physics positions each year at two-year colleges
around the nation. For these positions, there is a wide variety of candidate
qualifications that these colleges list. In this presentation, I will discuss
some of the qualifications that recent search committees valued, what you
will probably have to do as a candidate being interviewed, and if selected,
what you may experience as a new two-year college faculty member.
10-10:30 a.m. Liberal Arts Department Hiring
Invited – Gordon Ramsey, Loyola University-Chicago, Chicago, IL 60626;
Liberal Arts physics departments have a different focus than that of large
research departments. As a result, the hiring process and subsequent
responsibilities are unique. The balance between teaching and research lies
somewhere between that of two-year colleges and large research universi-
ties. Teaching is the primary emphasis of these departments, but research
is expected, although the expectations are less than that of research-
dominated departments. Many require the inclusion of undergraduates in
research. Therefore, the interview process includes discussion of teaching
styles, research projects and how you would include undergraduates in
these projects. You may be asked to teach a sample class to beginning ma-
jors and a separate presentation on research activities. The opportunity to
work with undergraduates in and out of the classroom is gratifying. I will
discuss what a typical liberal arts physics department looks for in a faculty
member and how to prepare for this rewarding career.
Session FC: Reform Dissemination:
Successful Examples II
Location: Tate Lab 170
Sponsor: AAPT
Date: Wednesday, July 30
Time: 8:30–9:50 a.m.
Presider: Vince Kuo
8:30-9 a.m. Studio at CSM: Intro Physics and Beyond
Invited – Patrick B. Kohl, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401;
Studio and SCALE-UP (developed at RPI and NCSU respectively) have
a long history in PER and at the Colorado School of Mines. CSM has
been using Studio methods continuously since 1997, when the physics
department implemented pilot sections of introductory calculus-based
mechanics. Since then, Studio at CSM has expanded steadily. As of 2014,
all of Physics I & II and Biology I are taught via Studio, along with pilot
sections of Probability & Statistics. There are discussions in place to spread
Studio to several other courses in the near term, including upper-division
physics. In this talk, we’ll briefly review the overall structure of Studio and
some relevant performance data. The remainder will focus on the actual
spread of Studio at CSM, highlighting a number of problems and how they
were overcome, and reporting on the personal experiences of many of the
instructors involved.
9-9:10 a.m. LEAP: A Learner-centered Environment for
Algebra-based Physics*
Contributed – Paula V. Engelhardt, Tennessee Technological University,
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