On Teaching Evaluations (with a bonus guest essay…)

A long post with some thoughts on student evaluations of teaching, and a guest essay on similar themes. Part 1: I suggest that such evaluations should be done a year after a course, rather than immediately at its end. Part 2: (Guest post) On the difference between “good” and “effective” teaching, and our failure to differentiate … Continue reading On Teaching Evaluations (with a bonus guest essay…)

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