Top Three MOOC questions

Here are the top three questions I get when colleagues find out I am teaching a MOOC. #3. Why?! Rice is a research intensive university where there is endless debate over the balance between research and teaching. While good teaching…

Physgif

Bfield

If you can’t beat them, join them.  Last year in freshman physics, I used a web service called Poll Everywhere (www.polleverywhere.com) during class. It is an audience response system that allowed the students to use their cell phones to answer…

Grading MOOCs

One of the final decisions to make for my upcoming freshman physics MOOC is how to grade it. As you probably know, remember, or have chosen to forget, grades can be relative or absolute. When grades are absolute, the student’s…

Take my MOOC, please.

Dangerously close (for the camera).

This summer I am turning PHYS 102 ELECTRICITY & MAGNETISM, a class I teach at Rice, into a MOOC. That stands for “Massively Open Online Course” (it grows on you). The MOOC is a new phenomenon in which universities put…

“Unwoven Light”

dichroic

The Rice Gallery is a unique museum located on the campus at Rice University that is dedicated to site-specific installation art. Their current exhibit, Unwoven Light, was created by Soo Sunny Park. It consists of chain link fence welded into…

String Theory

Closeup of an anitnode of the 13th normal mode.

When you pluck a stretched string it vibrates. If your eyes were fast enough, you could see that the vibrations are actually waves travelling back and forth along the string. Of all the world’s waves, the ones that wiggle strings…

The Artful Sky

morning

This summer Rice became home to the Twilight Epiphany Skyspace, an installation by artist James Turrell. A skyspace is a room with an opening in the ceiling that allows you to observe a section of the sky. Rice’s skyspace is…

Lazy Profs

My course web site for PHYS 201 WAVES AND OPTICS has all of the notes available online in powerpoint and pdf format. I do this for the students, but I leave the notes up all year in case anyone out…

My first and last meme, I promise

24986527

In honor of the new semester! (link)

Searching For Things That Don’t Exist

Wednesday, July 4, 2012 was quite a day in physics! The two big experimental groups at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) announced that they are pretty sure they have found the Higgs boson, the final missing piece of the Standard Model…

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