Education

Category archives for Education

Advice to the Past

Over at Scientific American, Amanda Baker has a story about what scientists say they would tell their younger selves. I reached out to eight of my colleagues who are currently in STEM fields and asked them a series of questions about their childhood interests in science, school experiences, and roadblocks that they faced on their…

So, yesterday was my big TEDxAlbany talk. I was the first speaker scheduled, probably because I gave them the title “The Exotic Physics of an Ordinary Morning,” so it seemed appropriate to have me talking while people were still eating breakfast… The abstract I wrote when I did the proposal mentions both quantum physics and…

Rotational Motion of a Bouncing Football

I followed up my ranty-y post about “Sports Science” with an experimental investigation over at Forbes, tossing a football around on the deck out back and then doing video analysis of the bounces. This provided a wealth of data, much of it not really appropriate for over there, but good for a physics post or…

College Science Advice Tetralogy

I got off on a bit of a rant the other day about bad defenses of “the humanities,” but there’s a bright side. It finally got me to write my own, over at Forbes, which is basically the last piece of a tetralogy of advice for students: — Why small colleges are a great place…

Somebody in my social media feeds passed along a link to this interview with Berkeley professor Daniel Boyarin about “the humanities,” at NPR’s science-y blog. This is, of course, relevant to my interests, but sadly, but while it’s a short piece, it contains a lot to hate. For one thing, after the dismissive one-two of…

On Advising Students to Fail

Slate’s been doing a series about college classes everyone should take, and one of the most heavily promoted of these has been a piece by Dan Check urging students to take something they’re terrible at. This is built around an amusing anecdote about an acting class he took back in the day, but as much…

A couple of articles came across my feeds in the last day or two that highlight the truly important cultural divide in academia. Not the gap between sciences and “humanities,” but the much greater divide between faculty and administration. This morning, we have an Inside Higher Ed essay from Kellie Bean on the experience of…

14 Years Before the Class(room)

This past academic year was my 14th as a professor at Union, and my last as department chair. I’m on sabbatical for the 2015-16 academic year, doing my very best to avoid setting foot in an academic building, so it will be September 2016 before I’m teaching a class again. This seems like a good…

I’ve been doing a bunch of conferencing recently, what with DAMOP a few weeks ago and then Convergence last week. This prompted me to write up a couple of posts about conference-related things, which I posted over at Forbes. These were apparently a pretty bad fit for the folks reading over there, as they’ve gotten…

I’ve been pretty quiet about educational matters of late, for the simple reason that I was too busy teaching to say much. The dust having settled a bit, though, I thought I would put some notes here about what I did this past term, and what worked. I had two sections of the introductory Newtonian…