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Board 45: Physics Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE) Introduced into the First-year Physics Course

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

7

DOI

10.18260/1-2--32352

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32352

Download Count

116

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Paper Authors

biography

Randall S. Jones Loyola University Maryland

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Randall Jones is an associate professor in the Department of Physics at Loyola University Maryland. He obtained his PhD degree in theoretical condensed matter physics from Cornell University in 1983 and joined the faculty at Loyola University in 1991.

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biography

Ann M. Ernst Loyola University Maryland Physics

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I am an Undergraduate Research Assistant studying Materials and Mechanical Engineering at Loyola Maryland.

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biography

Bahram Roughani Loyola University Maryland

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Bahram Roughani is professor of physics and Associate Dean for the Natural and Applied Sciences at Loyola University Maryland. He is the PI on an NSF supported collaborative project, "The PIPLINE Project", aiming at enhancing Physics Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE) education. He also is leading the "Pathways to Innovation" initiative at Loyola University Maryland. His expertise is on experimental condensed matter physicist with emphasis on optical spectroscopy and Electron Microscopy of electronics and advanced materials. He established the very first ABET accredited Applied Physics program in the country while serving as department head the full co-op physics program at Kettering University prior to 2013.

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Abstract

The J-TUPP, Phys21 report reminds us that most physics bachelor graduates are employed outside academia and that important skills for these students include a creative ability to apply physics knowledge to real-world settings. We are introducing students to the ideas of innovation and entrepreneurship as a way to enhance their entrepreneurial mindset and to encourage them to think about applying their physics knowledge throughout their 4-year physics program. In this presentation we report on how we introduce these ideas into a typical first-year course, taken by all physics, computer science, and engineering majors, without sacrificing a large proportion of course time. We have used the Hyperloop, a high-speed transport system proposed by a joint team from Tesla and SpaceX, to have students investigate technical feasibility and human desirability questions that can be addressed throughout their first semester course. With each new physics topic we are able to present a design question related to the Hyperloop that requires students to apply their just-acquired knowledge to the question and then to brainstorm implications and possible solutions guided by design thinking principles. As a first example, we ask what maximum acceleration would be acceptable to passengers on a train and investigate how much time is added to a trip from Boston to Washington, DC if the Hyperloop is to make several stops along the way. Since the Hyperloop is expected to reach a maximum speed of 760 mph, a significant amount of time must be spent speeding up and slowing down and, in fact, if the Hyperloop were to make 6 stops, it would probably not even be able to reach its maximum speed. This leads students to discuss novel ideas for getting passengers on and off the train without requiring it to slow down and ideas for keeping passengers comfortable with higher accelerations.

Acknowledgement: Support for this work is provided by the National Science Foundation's IUSE program under Award No. 1624882

Jones, R. S., & Ernst, A. M., & Roughani, B. (2019, June), Board 45: Physics Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE) Introduced into the First-year Physics Course Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32352

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