Education

Category archives for Education

On Mentoring

I forget who pointed me to the Tenure She Wrote piece on mentoring, but it’s something I’ve been turning over for a couple of weeks now. Probably because I became aware of it right around the time my two summer students started work last week. It keeps colliding with other conversations as well, though, so…

I spend a lot of time promoting Rhett Allain’s Dot Physics blog, enough that some people probably wonder if I get a cut of his royalties (I don’t). I’m going to take issue with his latest, though, because he’s decided to revive his quixotic campaign against photons, or at least teaching about photons early in…

There was a brief flurry of discussion yesterday kicked off by Matt Yglesias posting People Don’t Major in Science—Because It’s Hard, which more or less says what the title would lead you to believe (either title, since he’s blogging for Slate where they like to give pages titles that don’t match the post titles…). This…

One of the perennial problems of teaching intro physics is getting students to do their homework, so I was very interested to see Andy Rundquist on Twitter post a link to a paper on the arxiv titled “How different incentives affect homework completion in introductory physics courses.” When I shared this with the rest of…

Explaining, Education, and Outreach

A couple of days ago, Alom Shaha posted on the new Physics Focus blog (by the way, there’s a new Physics Focus blog…) about his dissatisfaction with some popular books: I recently read a popular science book on a topic that I felt I needed to learn more about. The book was well written, ideas…

On Talent in Sports and Science

Nobody’s ever going to mistake me for an elite basketball player. I’m taller than average (about 6’6″, a hair under 2m in SI units), but I’m not especially quick, or agile, or all that good a jumper. And I’m carrying at least 40lbs of extra weight above what a really good player my size would…

One of the reasons I held off on commenting on the whole E. O. Wilson math op-ed thing, other than not having time to blog, was that his comments were based on his own experiences. And, you know, who am I to gainsay the personal experiences of a justly famous scientist? At the same time,…

Over at Unqualified Offerings, Thoreau has a bit of a rant about what students perceive as grading on a “curve”: Moreover, many students have only the foggiest idea of what a curve is. Many (though probably not all) of their high schools had fixed grading scales with fixed percentages for each letter grade. The A/A-…

Everybody and their siblings have been linking to this Minute Physics video, an “open letter” to President Obama complaining about the way that most high school and even intro college physics classes don’t teach anything remotely modern: I’m not entirely sure where the date of 1865 comes from, but it’s true, the standard intro physics…

In which I use my double license as a physicist and a science fiction fan to engage in some half-assed futurism spinning off Chris Hayes’s much-discussed book. ————- I don’t read a lot of political books, because I tend to find them frustrating. They’re usually surprisingly ephemeral, trying to spin Deep Meaning out of a…