2004

Peer Instruction for Science and Math Teachers, at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), Monday, March 1, 2004:
The Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center at Harvard University, in conjunction with the Cambridge-Harvard GK12 Program, announce a workshop for middle and high school science and math instructors on Peer Instruction by Professor Eric Mazur. 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 twice as effective... Read more about Peer Instruction for Science and Math Teachers
Black silicon: changing structure and properties with light, at Physics Colloquium, Haverford College (Haverford, PA), Monday, March 1, 2004:
Shining intense, ultrashort laser pulses on the surface of a crystalline silicon wafer changes its structure and properties dramatically: the formerly smooth, highly reflective surface becomes covered with a forest of sharp microspikes. This microstructured surface is highly absorbing even at wavelengths to which the original wafer is transparent. This talk will describe the properties of this microstructured surface and discuss why the microspikes form and what is responsible for the change in optical properties.
How the Mind Tricks Us: Visualizations and Visual Illusions, at Teaching Renewal Conference, University of Missouri-Columbia (Columbia, MO), Friday, February 27, 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.
Confessions of a converted lecturer, at Teaching Renewal Conference, University of Missouri-Columbia (Columbia, MO), Friday, February 27, 2004:
I thought I was a good teacher until I discovered my students were just memorizing information rather than learning to understand the material. So, now instead of merely transferring information to them, I engage the students in assimilating information – perhaps the most important part of education.
Manipulating matter with light, at Physics Colloquium, University of Missouri-Columbia (Columbia, MO), Thursday, February 26, 2004:
When femtosecond laser pulses are focused tightly into a transparent material, the intensity in the focal volume can become high enough to cause nonlinear absorption of laser energy. The absorption, in turn, can lead to permanent structural or chemical changes. Such changes can be used for micromachining bulk transparent materials. Applications include data storage and the writing of waveguides and waveguide splitters in bulk glass, fabrication of micromechanical devices in polymers, and subcellular photodisruption inside single cells. In this talk we will review recent results obtained in... Read more about Manipulating matter with light

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