2004

Active learning and interactive lectures Part II: Discussion and brains-on demonstration, at CERTI Faculty Workshop, University of Missouri-Rolla (Rolla, MO), Friday, October 22, 2004:
The basic goals of Peer Instruction are to encourage and make use of student interaction during lectures, while focusing students' attention on underlying concepts and techniques. The method has been assessed in many studies using standardized, diagnostic tests and shown to be considerably more effective than the conventional lecture approach to teaching. Peer Instruction is now used in a wide range of science and math courses at the college and secondary level. In this workshop, participants will learn about Peer Instruction, serve as the “class” in which Peer Instruction is demonstrated,... Read more about Active learning and interactive lectures Part II: Discussion and brains-on demonstration
Wrapping light around a hair, at Physics Colloquium, University of Missouri-Rolla (Rolla, MO), Thursday, October 21, 2004:
Can light be guided by a fiber whose diameter is much smaller than the wavelength of the light? Can we mold the flow of light on the micrometer scale so it wraps, say, around a hair? Until recently the answer to these questions was ‘no’. We developed a technique for drawing long, free-standing silica wires with diameters down to 50 nm that have a surface smoothness at the atomic level and a high uniformity of diameter. Light can be launched into these silica nanowires by optical evanescent coupling and the wires allow low-loss single-mode operation. They can be bent sharply, making it... Read more about Wrapping light around a hair
Visualizations and visual illusions: how the mind tricks us, at 2004 National Assembly of PKAL's Faculty for the 21st Century (Dallas, TX), Friday, October 15, 2004:
Neurobiology and cognitive psychology have made great progress in understanding how the mind processes information – in particular visual information. The knowledge we can gain from these fields has important implications for the presentation of visual information and student learning.
Femtosecond laser-assisted microstructuring of silicon surfaces for novel detector, sensing, and display technologies, at 41st Annual Technical Meeting of the Society of Engineering Science, University of Nebraska, Lincoln (Lincoln, NE), Monday, October 11, 2004:
Irridiating silicon surfaces with trains of ultrashort laser pulses in the presence of a sulfur containing gas drastically changes the structure and properties of silicon. The normally smooth and highly reflective surface develops a forest of sharp microscopic spikes. The microstructured surface is highly absorbing even at wavelengths beyond the bandgap of silicon and has many interesting novel applications.
Wrapping light around a hair, at InternationalConference on Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics 2004 (San Francisco, CA), Monday, October 4, 2004:
Can light be guided by a fiber whose diameter is much smaller than the wavelength of the light? Can we mold the flow of light on the micrometer scale so it wraps, say, around a hair? Until recently the answer to these questions was ‘no’. We developed a technique for drawing long, free-standing silica wires with diameters down to 50 nm that have a surface smoothness at the atomic level and a very uniform diameter. Light can be launched into these silica nanowires by optical evanescent coupling and the wires allow low-loss single-mode operation. They can be bent sharply, making it possible to... Read more about Wrapping light around a hair
Wrapping light around a hair, at Physics Colloquium, University of Massachusetts Lowell (Lowell, MA), Wednesday, September 22, 2004:
Can light be guided by a fiber whose diameter is much smaller than the wavelength of the light? Can we mold the flow of light on the micrometer scale so it wraps, say, around a hair? Until recently the answer to these questions was ‘no’. We developed a technique for drawing long, free-standing silica wires with diameters down to 50 nm that have a surface smoothness at the atomic level and a very uniform diameter. Light can be launched into these silica nanowires by optical evanescent coupling and the wires allow low-loss single-mode operation. They can be bent sharply, making it possible to... Read more about Wrapping light around a hair
Wrapping light around a hair, at IInd Mexican Meeting on Mathematical and Experimental Physics, Colegio Nacional (Mexico City, Mexico), Friday, September 10, 2004:
Can light be guided by a fiber whose diameter is much smaller than the wavelength of the light? Can we mold the flow of light on the micrometer scale so it wraps, say, round a hair? Until recently the answer to these questions was ’no’. We developed a technique for drawing long, free-standing silica wires with diameters down to 50 nm that have a surface smoothness at the atomic level and a very uniform diameter. Light can be launched into these silica nanowires by optical evanescent coupling and the wires allow low-loss single-mode operation. They can be bent sharply, making it possible to... Read more about Wrapping light around a hair
Memorization or understanding: Are we teaching the right thing?, at CETP-PA Summer Conference, Clarion University (Clarion, PA), Thursday, August 19, 2004:
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. I will show how shifting the focus in lectures from delivering information to synthesizing... Read more about Memorization or understanding: Are we teaching the right thing?
Visualizations and visual illusions: how the mind tricks us, at Collaborative for Excellence in Teacher Preparation Conference, Clarion University (Clarion, PA), Wednesday, August 18, 2004:
Neurobiology and cognitive psychology have made great progress in understanding how the mind processes information – in particular visual information. The knowledge we can gain from these fields has important implications for the presentation of visual information and student learning.

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