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More Flu Measures

The administration are people too. I just want to start off saying that. However, in this case, I just don’t get it. The more I think about it, the less I get it. Here is the plan our administration came up with. Faculty will report class absences for every Tuesday and Wednesday course. Absence reports…

Tales from SPIN-UP

As I said before, I went a SPIN-UP workshop (you can find tons of info and the SPIN-UP report here). The basic idea of the SPIN-UP program is to first look at schools that are successful in their production of undergraduate physics majors. And with an understanding of what makes them successful, help other institutions…

What makes a good physics program

This weekend I am off to a SPIN-UP (Strategic Programs for Innovations in Undergraduate Physics) meeting. The basic idea is for physics departments to meet and discuss how they can be better. Note: if you don’t have a good acronym, you don’t get any funding. In preparation for this meeting, I was thinking – what…

Learning Physics is like a puzzle

Here is a quick story. A faculty member came to me last week disappointed about the introductory physics students’ lack of understanding with regard to electric potential. Let me call the faculty Beta, because I think that would be a cool name. Beta was disturbed that the students didn’t get potential and it was covered…

Convert a dive light into LED

This is not really physics stuff. Well, it could be, but I am not going to take it that way. This is just a post that I consider to possibly add to the usefulness of the internet. When ever I want to do something, I always search online first. Suppose I want to make one…

The Anacapa Society is a professional organization promoting research in all areas of theoretical and computational physics at primarily undergraduate institutions. If you are at such an institution, I would recommend taking a look and perhaps joining. In my views, undergraduate research is one of the best things about an undergraduate institution. What better way…

Chad is posting some very useful stuff at Uncertain Principles. Basically, he has quite a few scientists that are not professors or such answering some questions. This is a great way for students to get a feel for what scientists actually do. If you don’t subscribe to Chad’s blog, you totally should. A great resource…

So, there is this Science Blogging Award from 3 QuarksDaily. Of course I nominated one of my own post – The Physics of Fantastic Contraption. The first stage of the competition lets readers vote for their favorite blog post. This seems sort of like a popularity contest. Then the top votes will be judged and…

Let them have computers

Announcement: There is a ton of extra money for education of teachers. You should submit a grant proposal. Hey, let’s submit a proposal and get laptops for a whole bunch of students. To me, this is like giving morphine to people with the flu. It will make them feel better, but doesn’t really fix the…

Some time ago I was looking for materials to possibly build a foucault pendulum. Of course the first step is google. There was a site that suggested two old issues of Scientific American, and it happens that we have tons of old Scientific Americans in the store room. I found the two that I needed.…