Research and Teaching Interests
Computational Physics: I use Python for all my computing needs, as well as for teaching Physics 261: Computational Physics. I have been working on a text for the course, but my work is morphing into creating a set of useful projects to be used as assignments.
Torsion Pendulum Magnetometer: My former student (Cody Goolsby; now a Ph.D. candidate at UMass Amherst) and I have designed a torsion pendulum that will be used to measure fluctuations in the horizontal component of the earth's magnetic field. This apparatus is under construction. Lot's of good physics in this experiment!
Granular Physics: A while ago, I spent time studying the stick-slip dynamics of a two dimensional array of cylinders. We looked at the statistics of stick-slip events as well as rotational motion within the array.
Physics Education: My main inspiration for physics education came from reading the works of Carl R. Rogers (Freedom to Learn and it's revisions). I have been incorporating authentic assessment and conceptual questioning into my introductory physics classes. In addition, I am integrating modern computer-based data acquisition into the advanced physics labs and have developed a way to measure Boltzmann's constant by using video microscopy of Brownian motion.
Curriculum Vitae: Click CurriculumVitae2011.pdf to download in PDF format. The file includes as an attachment, the original LaTeX source which you can feel free to extract (you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or Acrobat Pro 8.0 or later) and use as a LaTeX CV template. (updated 06-April-2011)