2004

Wrapping light around a hair, at REU/RET Seminar, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), Wednesday, June 30, 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
High sensitivity silicon-based VIS/NIR photodetectors, at CLEO 2004 (San Francisco, CA), Thursday, May 20, 2004:
We fabricate silicon-based photodiodes using a simple femtosecond-laser microstructuring technique. The detectors are ten times more sensitive than commercial silicon PIN photodiodes at visible wavelengths and can be used at wavelengths up to 1650 nm.
Wrapping light around a hair, at Condensed Matter and Applied Physics Colloquium, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), Friday, May 7, 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
Visualizations and visual illusions: how the mind tricks us, at University of Colorado (Boulder, CO), Friday, April 23, 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.
Using technology to facilitate learning in large lecture classes, at University of Colorado (Boulder, CO), Thursday, April 22, 2004:
It has been suggested the lack of interaction in large lecture courses is to blame for the many problems facing these courses: declining enrollments, low attendance, poor evaluations, and disappointing retention. We offer a way of redesigning the classroom so interaction is introduced in many aspects of the course. This approach has shown to be effective by many instructors in a broad variety of environments. I will demonstrate some of the tools we have developed to foster this interaction.
The scientific approach to teaching: research as a basis for course design, at ATLAS/GTP Roundtable Discussion, University of Colorado (Boulder, CO), Thursday, April 22, 2004
Discussions of teaching -- even some publications -- abound with anecdotal evidence. Our intuition often supplants a systematic, scientific approach to finding out what works and what doesn't. Yet, research is increasingly demonstrating that our gut feelings about teaching are often wrong. In this talk I will discuss some research my group has done on gender issues in science courses and on the effectiveness of classroom demonstrations.

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