I maintain this page mostly for students who might wonder what on earth I am trying to do in class. But also in memory of my years as a grad student and post-doc, when I was trying to learn about teaching agendas -- research agendas being so much easier to find out about ..
I work on my teaching by searching for and reading journals and books on the subject, prowling the web for thoughts on education, subscribing to teaching listservs and journals (The Physics Teacher, American Journal of Physics), paying attention to successful ideas from others, attending teaching conferences, workshops, seminars, talking to students, etc. The Carleton Physics Department is a pretty phenomenal place to learn about teaching -- I have learned to argue ideas with colleagues, am always tinkering with course content and structure, trying to elicit and use constructive feedback, etc. .
A particularly excellent resource for teaching ideas, especially in the physical sciences, are the articles written by Rich Felder of NCSU. I am slowly trying to build a collection of useful digital teaching resources.
Philosophy(A snap-shot of an amorphous set of ideas)
Fall: First year Intro Physics (113-02), and Growing up Cross-Cultural CCST 100 -- with Sigi Leonhard
Winter: Quantum Mechanics I and II (336/337), and
Spring: Revolutions in Physics (120) and Computational Modeling (IDSC 217) -- with Bill Titus.
as listed in the online catalog. Plus labs, special projects, and comps.
Student research: Students find nonlinear dynamics and quantum mechanics interesting and compelling. Aspects of my research emphasize visual and geometric approaches to problems and also carry a significant computational component. As such, I have been able to involve advanced undergraduate students in my research with little bit of effort. There are always some students working with me on my projects (more information on my research page). I get a kick out of these collaborations with students -- I am forced to explain things at a very fundamental level and their questions are remarkably deep. They are pretty enthusiastic and engaged researchers as well and most of them have continued on this path in graduate school.
Here is a summary of past work at Rice.
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© Arjendu K. Pattanayak 1999-2001