Recent courses taught:
Spring 2017: Phys 140 — Physics for Future Leaders (with laboratory)
In this course, we study physics (and science more broadly) and its connections to our lives. We learn a number of concepts covered in introductory physics classes, though we will in fact cover a number of topics not typically covered. The driving force will be the context of current, real-world issues. These include topics such as alternative energy, nonlinear dynamics/complexity, climate change, and space travel. We approach these topics through methods common in introductory science classes, including labs and quantitative calculations, but we also discuss issues around policy and society as critical context for the science at hand.
Fall 2016: Phys 221 — Classical Mechanics (with laboratory)
PHYS 221 is for students interested in majoring or minoring in physics, engineers, and scientists who want to learn about mechanics in more depth than provided in the introductory course, PHYS 211-212, as well as anyone else who would like to “get under the hood” and study in-depth the physics behind some fascinating phenomena that most people take for granted. The course is taught in an interactive manner, with electronic reading journals on Moodle and in-class problem solving. Lectures aim to complement rather than repeat what is in the texts by focusing on the more challenging aspects as well as putting the material into practice. While the basis of the course is the familiar set of Newton’s laws, the real world offers plenty of challenges in knowing when and how to apply them. We continue with an analysis of rotations, orbital motion of objects in central force fields, and the properties of oscillating systems (including those with damping and forcing). The approach involves significantly more calculus than in PHYS 211 and significant computational work with Mathematica.