AAPT Abstract Archive

Abstract Information

  Session: Other Posters
  Paper Type: Poster
  Title: Toward a Balanced Undergraduate Curriculum: Theory, Computation, Experimentation, and Communication
  Meeting: 2014 Summer Meeting: Minneapolis, Minnesota
  Location: N/A
  Time: 8:30PM
  Author: Marty Johnston, University of St. Thomas
6519625214, mejohnston@stthomas.edu
  Co-Author(s): Adam Green, Jeff Jalkio, Marie Lopez del Puerto, Paul Ohmann
  Abstract: The University of St. Thomas Physics Department is engaged in an ambitious, collaborative project to effectively embed computation, experiment, and communication skills throughout the curriculum. Our sophomore-level modern physics sequence provides an introduction to experiment and computation, as well as informal and formal technical writing. We moved our advanced laboratory course forward in the curriculum to give students experimental design and instrumentation skills that they can build on, and so they can get involved in research early. Experimental skills are further developed in optics, with its rigorous laboratory. In many of our lecture-based courses we have added short computational and /or experimental projects that connect the idealized physical systems with real systems. In all courses, written and oral communication skills are improved through laboratory notebooks, papers, poster presentations, or talks. Through continued exposure, our students learn computational techniques, gain confidence in their experimental skills, and polish their communication skills.
  Footnotes: Additional authors: Gerry Ruch (University of St. Thomas), and Elizabeth Wehner (University of St. Thomas)
  Presentation: Johnston-APPT_Sum_2014.pdf

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