My philosophy in teaching is simple – convey the excitement I feel for physics to students and help students develop the ability to articulate their thoughts and formulate questions. My teaching techniques continue to evolve. To evaluate the effectiveness of these techniques, I use student feedback, invite faculty members from both inside and outside the department to observe my classes and provide feedback and make my own observations of student performance.
I use a combination of the “flipped-classroom” technique, peer instruction, and group learning activities to facilitate student learning. Students in my class can expect to watch lecture videos, take reading quizzes on key concepts and vocabulary, and work problems outside of class. In class, we work on applying concepts to conceptual and numeric problems in both individual and group situations. Individual attention is available for small group from myself and the learning assistants during in class “work periods”.
Courses Previously Taught
At SMU I have taught a variety of undergraduate courses at the introductory and intermediate scale. In addition I have taught an elective specialty course in astrophysics and cosmology. In addition to traditional courses at SMU, I have taught a variety of “summer school” courses on dark matter. These summer schools consist of topical pedigogical lectures are intended for graduate schools and postdocs and are often attached to conferences or workshops. I have also co-taught a course on the Manhattan Project at the SMU Taos Cultural Institute to SMU Alumni and Friends.
PHY1010: Honors Physics
This is a supplementary course to the introductory sequence and can be taken concurrently with PHYS 1303, 1304, 1307 or 1308 to enhance the learning experience through engagement in a semester long grand challenge problem.
PHY1303: Introductory Mechanics
This is the first semester of a calculus based introductory physics course designed for scientists and engineers.
PHY1304: Introduction to Electricity and Magnetism
This is the second semester of a calculus based introductory physics course designed for scientists and engineers.
PHY1308: General Physics II
This is the second semester of a calculus based introductory physics course designed for life science majors.
PHYS1311: Introduction to Astronomy
This algebra based course is a descriptive survey of Astronomy from the Sun and planets to the outer galaxies and includes an associated laboratory.
PHY3305: Modern Physics
This is the “gateway” to the physics major or minor, where students learn about relativity and quantum physics, with applications in atomic, nuclear, and particle physics.
PHY3368: Principles of Astrophysics and Cosmology
This is an elective course for a physics major or minor where students learn about the standard model of cosmology, the cosmic microwave background, formation of nuclei and structure, dark matter, and dark energy.
This course is designed to draw on a wide range of expertise at SMU, and potentially beyond the university, to allow students to engage in specific areas of “Astro-X” while nonetheless gaining insight to the greater context of these subjects. Here, “Astro-X” refers to a range of disciplines regarding the study of the universe beyond Earth’s atmosphere. These include, but are not limited to, cosmology, astrochemistry (cosmochemistry), exo-moon and exoplanetary geoscience, astronomy, astrophysical modeling, and astroparticle physics. I taught a unit on dark matter including associated laboratory exercises.
PHYS4382: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
This is the first course in a two course sequence. It introduces the Schrodinger equation and solutions for one–dimensional problems, the Dirac formalism, angular momentum and quantum mechanics in three dimensions, the central potential, spin, and additions of spins.
PHYS 6361: Special Topics in Physics
This graduate level course focuses on topics in emergent area. The topic I taught was dark matter, including evidence for particle dark matter, dark matter candidates including WIMPs, Axions and ALPs and sterile neutrinos, principles of and techniques for dark matter detection.