The Interactive Learning Toolkit, at Physics Colloquium, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) (Worchester, MA), Monday, September 8, 2003:
Research into new approaches to undergraduate science education has led to significant changes in our understanding of how large classes should be taught. Instructors who have implemented these new research based techniques have experienced dramatic improvements in student understanding. We have taken two proven pedagogical methods, 'Just in Time Teaching' (JiTT) and 'Peer Instruction' (PI) and implemented them in our 'Interactive Learning Toolkit' (ILT). In developing ILT, our focus has been to save the instructor time and use technology to bring interaction in the classroom.
Memorization or understanding: Are we teaching the right thing?, at Physics Colloquium, Université de Lausanne (Lausanne, Switzerland), Monday, June 23, 2003:
Education is more than just transfer of information, yet that is what is mostly done in large introductory courses -- instructors present material (even though this material might be readily available in printed form) and for students the main purpose of lectures is to take down as many notes as they can. Few students have the ability, motivation, and discipline to synthesize all the information delivered to them. Yet synthesis is perhaps the most important -- and most elusive -- aspect of education. Students get frustrated because they are unable to grasp simple concepts. Instructors get... Read more about Memorization or understanding: Are we teaching the right thing?
Peer Instruction: Methods and Techniques, at Physics Colloquium, Ohio University (Athens, OH), Friday, June 6, 2003:
There is a crisis confronting undergraduate Physics education today. Studies indicate that most large undergraduate classes fail to convey the concepts or the context of Physics to the students. It has been suggested the lack of interaction in the classes is fundamentally to blame for this problem. We offer a way of redesigning the classroom so interaction is introduced at every level. This pedagogocal method, called Peer Instruction has been shown to be effective when used by different instructors in many different environments. We also describe some technological tools that we have... Read more about Peer Instruction: Methods and Techniques
Ultrafast Phase Transitions in Solids, at International School of Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy (Erice, Sicily, Italy), Saturday, May 24, 2003:
In this talk we present the coherent excitation and coherent control of the A1 phonon mode in Te. First, the underlying theory about the excitation of the A1 phonon mode, and only this, in a certain class of materials is discussed. The theory, called Displacive Excitation of Coherent Phonons (DECP), predicts the excitation of the A1 phonon mode as a result of electronic excitation following absorption of an ultrashort laser pulse by the material. Since there is no symmetry breaking mechanism in the electronic excitation through absorption the effect can only take place in materials which... Read more about Ultrafast Phase Transitions in Solids