Evidence-based undergraduate science education: About the Science Education Initiative.

April 20, 2010

How do we transform undergraduate education?  That, of course, is the question of the century. We know there are problems with how undergraduate institutions are churning out students (and not cheaply, I might add) who can’t explain why we have seasons, or how to light a lightbulb. Or, perhaps worse, think that science is a […]

Read the full article →

Taking tests helps you learn (maybe)

April 9, 2010

photo by Patrick Hannigan (click for Wikimedia link) I’ve written before on some interesting psychology studies on the benefits of retrieval for learning and memory.  I recently heard a talk on the subject (by Sean Kang of UCSD) that spurred me to think about it again, and also generated some interesting discussion with a thoughtful […]

Read the full article →

Preparing Undergraduates for Graduate School (Blogging from the AAPT)

July 27, 2009

This session is about how we prepare our undergraduates for graduate school — what to consider, and how we’re doing. One thing to consider, in thinking about the goals of our undergraduate majors, is that we actually don’t want to prepare all of our undergraduates for graduate school.  Physics is a liberal arts degree, allowing […]

Read the full article →

The importance of feeling stupid

May 14, 2009

I was just pointed to this wonderful essay about the importance of stupidity in scientific research (Martin Schwartz, Journal of Cell Science).  It’s a short and wonderful little essay, and points out what it is that is so satisfying about scientific research — and what makes it so hard.  And how so many students are […]

Read the full article →

Gender bias in teacher evaluations

May 2, 2009

I’m at the American Physical Society conference in Denver this weekend (a nice way to spend a rainy weekend) and heard a very interesting talk this morning by Zahra Hazari, from Clemson University on gender bias in how students evaluate their teachers.  It was a very nice study, iwth very interesting results.  She asked male […]

Read the full article →

Learning depends on what you already know

April 15, 2009

Firstly, I just have to say how beautiful the view is outside the airplane window right now.  It’s been an extraordinarily bumpy ride on my trip from San Francisco back to Denver, and I’m a real nail-biter when it comes to turbulence.  But now we are above the clouds and the sky is white with […]

Read the full article →

On Being a Scientist

April 14, 2009

The National Academies has released another one of their stellar reports – On Being a Scientist. The report is a thoughtful look at the challenges facing scientists — ethics, personal, and professional issues. These reports are always so well-written, and serve as great guides for years to come. Here are some excerpts: Scientific research offers […]

Read the full article →

What happened in physics this year?

December 21, 2008

Yup, it’s time for those “top 10” lists for 2008.  I don’t generally post other peoples’ lists here, but heck, this is one area where I know that I haven’t been paying close enough attention to know what’s important.  So here is an edited version of the Physics Findings for 2008 from Physics News.  Phil […]

Read the full article →

Exchange of scientific ideas

December 17, 2008

I just read this lovely discussion of how a more open scientific culture (think open-access science) could improve the collective memory of science. This was on the Back Page of APS News (subscribers only) and here is the author Michael Nielsen’s blog post about the topic too, with some additional information. His basic premise is […]

Read the full article →

For teachers: Summaries of research for your classroom

September 30, 2008

This just in from another blog (Discovering Biology in a Digital World): Researchblogging is a great resource for the classroom. She writes: How does this work? Bloggers who write about scientific literature use a special icon to identify those posts. They also register at the Researchblogging web site with their credentials and favorite topics. When […]

Read the full article →

Science 2.0

June 12, 2008

I’ve been hearing a little about Science 2.0… The idea being that it’s time to spawn a second-generation of science (like the second generation of the web…. web 2.0). This is part of the Open Access and Open Data science movement, like Public Library of Science (publishing freely available scientific works) and Science Commons (making […]

Read the full article →