The Fall Joint Meeting of the NCS-AAPT, SACS-AAPT, and the SPS
November 18-19, 2011.
Our featured speaker will be David Cassidy who has agreed to speak on Friday night at the banquet with a popular talk, "A Short History of Physics in the American Century" and on Saturday morning he will present a more research-oriented talk entitled, "The Discovery of Black Holes: A Historical Approach." The first talk is also the title of his new book, which was just published in October. The book contains some physics, but the emphasis is on the course of the profession, somewhat like the book by Kevles (The Physicists: The History of a Scientific Community in Modern America, Revised Edition [Paperback]).
David Cassidy has been Professor of Natural Science at Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, since 1990. He has a Ph.D. from Purdue and a BA and MS from Rutgers. He has also been Assistant Professor at the University of Regensburg in Germany and Associate Editor of the first two of the enormous Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, published by the Princeton University Press.
Specialties: History of physical science, esp. in U.S. and Germany, History of Meteorology, Science and culture in the United States, German studies, Computer history, and Science education for non-scientists.
Awards: Pfizer Award of the History of Science Society, Science Writing Award of the American Institute of Physics for Uncertainty: The Life and Science of Werner Heisenberg.
David also updated the Project Physics text to be used for a first year college text, Understanding Physics. The original project combined a thorough grounding in contemporary physics while placing the subject into its social and historical context. While based largely on the highly respected Project Physics Course, it also integrates the results of recent pedagogical research. The text thus teaches the basic phenomena in the physical world and the concepts developed to explain them; shows that science is a rational human endeavour with a long and continuing tradition, involving many different cultures and people; develops facility in critical thinking, reasoned argumentation, evaluation of evidence, mathematical modeling, and ethical values. The treatment emphasizes not only what we know but also how we know it, why we believe it, and what effects this knowledge has.
For further information on Professor Cassidy, go to http://www.dcassidybooks.com/.
Currently abstracts are being sent to John Hubisz at email@example.com) and Chuck Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org. Duplication is important. Follow the form that has been used for years; the official call is here.
(Send a separate note to me to register for a workshop to help us with planning. Hubisz@mindspring.com.)
#1: Martin Kamela, Physics Department, Elon University http://www.elon.edu/mkamela
SPS/Physics Club Leadership Development Workshop. This workshop is aimed at both SPS/Physics Club advisors and student leaders, and is based on the premise that supporting a community for physics students is a valuable contribution to their educational experience. As part of the workshop participants will explore programmatic ideas for their clubs, discuss best practices for communication within the club, explore avenues for support for club activities, and discuss the missions of SPS chapters within their institutions.
#2: Aaron Titus, High Point University
Video Analysis with Tracker. Tracker is free, open-source video analysis software that is well-suited for both introductory and advanced physics. Participants will be given a step-by-step, introductory physics experiment that can be adapted to a college or high school physics class. Participants will analyze a video with Tracker and will perform the same measurements and calculations expected of students. Additional complete experiments for topics ranging from mechanics to E&M to optics will be provided.
#3: William Junkin, Professor of Physics and Director of Instructional Technology, Eckerd College, (727) 864-8239, email@example.com, Physics Professor Anne Cox.
IPAL -- In-class Polling for All Learners
Workshop leaders: Bill Junkin (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Anne Cox (email@example.com)
This project provides a free, open-source program for in-class polling so that students can use a combination of web-enabled devices (smart phones, iPads, laptops) and/or clickers to respond to questions. Teachers view the responses using a browser on their computers. Teachers can create their own questions but the project also provides ready-to-use peer reviewed questions. The current database provides over 200 ConcepTest questions for the Intro physics course. (These questions come from the collection prepared by Eric Mazur's group at Harvard to support Peer Instruction.) This project is supported as one of the NGLC (Next Generation Learning Challenge) grants funded by the Bil Gates Foundation and the Hewlett Foundation and the grant provides a small stipend (max. 2 per school) to higher ed professors who try out the program and provide feedback. So, bring your laptop, smart phone, or just yourself and experience/try out IPAL and see if in-class polling is for you.
#4: Anthony Crider, Physics Department, Elon University, Elon, NC
The Pluto Debate: Learning Astronomy Content and Process through Role-playing. The Reacting to the Past pedagogy, pioneered by Barnard College, consists of elaborate role-playing games set in the past and informed by great texts. Reacting to the Past is commonly used in writing-intensive, first-year seminars where students collaborate in factions to debate a big question.
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