Teaching

My approach to teaching is to focus first on the Learning Goals for my students and the activities and ways they will learn that material. As a result, my courses tend to be highly interactive and require students to actively participate in learning the material. Check out this spotlight on my teaching.

A central feature of many of my courses is that students watch videos and read material before class, so that they come to class prepared to apply what they have learned. Many of the videos I use are available on my YouTube Channel - a selection of these videos can be found below.

Physics 125/126: College Physics I & II

Past Syllabus

Physics 401: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics

Past Syllabus

Physics 354/356: Mathematical Physics I & II

Past Syllabus

Physics 331: Electricity and Magnetism

Past Syllabus


McGill University

In addition to my teaching at PLU, I also taught a few courses while a postdoctoral researcher at McGill University:
  Physics 743: Physics of the Very Early Universe (Fall 2010)
  Physics 362: Statistical Mechanics (Winter 2011)


Lesson Study

Shusaku Horibe and I, with the support and guidance of a team of instructors including Drs. Susan Nossal, Larry Watson and Profs. Peter Timbie and Mike Winokur, recieved a grant from the UW-La Crosse Lesson Study Project to develop a physics lesson for an introductory physics course.
 
Many introductory physics students feel that their studies in the physics classroom have nothing to do with their experiences of the "real world". Our two-year long study resulted in a lesson which introduces students to connecting physics to the "real world" through the process of model-building. See the online Lesson Study write-up here.
 
The materials used in the lesson are below:
 
Prelab, Student Worksheet, TA Guide, Grading Rubric
 
Our paper on this project has been accepted to the international journal Physics Education. See the official paper at this link.


Young Scholars Program

While at The Ohio State University, I taught a two-week long introductory physics summer program for minority high school students from throughout Ohio as part of the Young Scholars Program. The curriculum emphasis was on constructing mathematical and graphical representations of motion through lab exercises. (I am indebted to Professor Andrew Heckler for his help on this project.)


Undergraduate Teaching Fellow, NSF GK-12 program:

While completing my undergraduate degree at The Ohio State University, I was made an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow of the NSF GK-12 Program. The goal of the program is to provide training for graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields to improve communication and teaching skills while enriching STEM content and instruction for their K-12 partners. As a Fellow, I worked with interdisciplinary team of fellows, elementary school teachers, and faculty to develop and teach active learning science lessons in inner-city schools.
 
Throughout the two years that I was a Fellow, I created approximately 25 original inquiry-based lessons and developed novel assessment tools that test students' science reasoning by having them actively demonstrate an experiment. In particular, I developed a series of "Prove Me Wrong" lessons, where students are shown a demonstration, told a hypothesis based on the observations, and then asked to test the hypothesis (by "Proving Me Wrong") by designing and performing an experiment using materials provided. In addition, I developed an informal test for Simple Machines which, when used together with a formal test, helped reveal the type of knowledge gained through inquiry-based teaching.
 
Many of these lessons can be browsed online at the OSU GK-12 Resource Page. Be sure to check out my lessons on:
 
Wheel & Axle, Levers, Screws, Motion, Friction, Pulleys, Measurement, Standardized Measurement, Weather Maps, Evaporation, and others...

Research

My research interests are in the intersection of theoretical high energy physics and cosmology, particularly topics in the very early universe such as inflation. Check out this article on my research with an undergraduate student at PLU.
 
See my current list of publications.
 
In the past, my research has focused on the following topics:

Experience

Pacific Lutheran University

Associate Professor of Physics

 

2017-present
2011-2017

Pacific Lutheran University

Assistant Professor of Physics 

McGill University

Postdoctoral Researcher


 
2008-2011
2003-2008

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ph.D. Theoretical Physics (2008)

M.A. Physics (2005)

Ohio State University

B.S. Physics

magna cum laude

with distinction

1999-2003