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Embedding computation with experimentation in the sophomore and upper-level Physics curriculum

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Conference

2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Innovations in Teaching and Research in Physics or Engineering Physics II

Tagged Division

Engineering Physics & Physics

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

23.477.1 - 23.477.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/19491

Download Count

25

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Paper Authors

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Marie Lopez del Puerto University of St. Thomas

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Marie Lopez del Puerto completed her B.S. in physics at Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, in Puebla, Mexico, and her Ph.D. in physics at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, in Minneapolis, MN. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Physics Department at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. Her research interests include the structural, optical and electronic properties of nanoscale systems, computational physics, and physics and engineering education.

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Adam S Green University of St. Thomas

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Adam Green is an Associate Professor of Physics. He received his PhD in atomic, molecular, and optical physics from the University of Nebraska and his BA in physics from Gustavus Adolphus College. His current student-led research involves optical polarimetry with an emphasis on biological and environmental applications.

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Jeffrey A. Jalkio University of St. Thomas

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Jeff Jalkio is currently a physics professor at the University of St. Thomas. Jeff worked for thirteen years in industry in the fields of optical sensor design and process control. In 1984, he co-founded CyberOptics Corporation, where he led engineering efforts as Vice President of Research. In 1997 he returned to academia, joining the engineering faculty of the University of St. Thomas and has taught courses in electronics, digital system design, mathematics, physics, circuit theory, electromagnetics, statistical process control, computing, mechatronics, control theory, metrology and design.

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Marty Johnston University of St. Thomas

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Marty Johnston received his B.S. from Walla Walla College and his M.S. and Ph.D. in physics from the University of California – Riverside. He is currently an Associate Professor of Physics at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN where he teaches a variety of physics courses. His research focuses on nonlinear dynamics. Working alongside undergraduate students he studies invariant properties in chaotic systems.

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Paul R Ohmann University of St. Thomas (MN)

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Dr. Paul R. Ohmann received a B.A. from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He is currently an Associate Professor and Chair of the Physics Department at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. His current interests involve computational physics and complex systems as well as physics and engineering education.

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Abstract

Embedding computation with experimentation in the sophomore and upper-level Physics curriculum At the University of XXXX Physics Department, we have begun an ambitious, collaborativeproject to effectively embed computation and experimentation in five required Physics coursesthat span our sophomore and upper-level offerings: Applications of Modern Physics, Electricityand Magnetism, Theoretical Mechanics, Optics, and Quantum Mechanics. The laboratory for ourApplications of Modern Physics course, which is a required course for all Physics and ElectricalEngineering majors, is being redeveloped to serve as an introduction to computer simulation.This means that all of our students are now expected to be proficient in a common computationallanguage (MATLAB), which can then be used as a tool in upper-level courses. The goals of ourPhysics department’s curriculum development efforts in the coming years are: (1) to take advantage of that common tool by embedding MATLAB in large and small ways throughout the curriculum, from simple tasks such as plotting functions, to sophisticated tasks such as simulating the dynamics of a complex system, and (2) to connect the theory and idealized physical systems presented in lecture with real systems through the use of computer simulation and validation experiments. It is our hope that through continued exposure, our students will embrace computation withMATLAB as a particularly useful tool in their arsenal. In this paper, we will describe our project, which involves five faculty members from thePhysics department who are working collaboratively in the development of curricula, and anadvisor from the School of Engineering with expertise in Education.

Lopez del Puerto, M., & Green, A. S., & Jalkio, J. A., & Johnston, M., & Ohmann, P. R. (2013, June), Embedding computation with experimentation in the sophomore and upper-level Physics curriculum Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19491

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