In my teaching, I confront students’ existing mental models with authentic tasks that require a reassessment of existing beliefs. A lifetime of everyday experiences builds an often-misleading physical intuition. I tell students that we each have an “inner Aristotle” telling us that heavier things fall faster and that a force is needed to maintain motion. I work with my students to replace this voice with correct physical principles by using interactive in-class discussions, exploring computational simulations, and linking physics to students’ existing interests and familiar means of communication on social media.

I am a proponent of incorporating computation throughout the undergraduate physics curriculum, and I am a member of the Partnership for the Integration of Computational Physics into Undergraduate Physics (PICUP). I have designed exercises for introductory mechanics using VPython to explore effects not easily solved with analytical methods, published in the PICUP collection. I have also designed a numerical lab exercise for upper-level electrodynamics, published in the SERC collection.

 

See below for more information on the courses I have taught at Indiana State University, Macalester College, and the University of Minnesota.

I also volunteer to help young students develop an interest in science. Read why I volunteer with the Minnesota Science Bowl. I have also performed science demonstrations with the TennisWorks program alongside Macalester students.