SAIL Recap 2017

Last week we had another successful run of our Physics & Human Physiology “SAIL” outreach day camp for high school students. I just realized that this is the 10th year I’ve co-run a SAIL camp, which means I should probably offer some grand assessment of it. Instead, I’ll just jot a few notes, post a … Continue reading SAIL Recap 2017

A pound of flesh — a puzzle about estimates, energy, and life

In my “Physics of Energy and the Environment” class [1], we try to construct estimates of how much energy is required by various aspects of modern civilization. Transportation is the main focus — it’s important, energetically costly, and the physics underlying it can be grasped by non-science-major undergrads in a few weeks [2]. Teaching this … Continue reading A pound of flesh — a puzzle about estimates, energy, and life

You smell fine

A few weeks ago, I came across a fascinating review article in Science with the instantly compelling title, Poor human olfaction is a 19th-century myth [1]. Like most people, I’ve been told that compared to many other animals, humans aren’t very good at smelling. Apparently this isn’t true, and stems more from 19th century notions of … Continue reading You smell fine

How to annoy your grant reviewer, in 5 easy steps!

I wrote this piece on grant proposals about 6 months ago, which I remembered since I’m on a National Science Foundation review panel today! The panel lunch break is a good time to finally post it… There’s abundant advice out there about writing scientific grant proposals. Reading and reviewing a lot of proposals, however, I realize that … Continue reading How to annoy your grant reviewer, in 5 easy steps!