Title: Teaching Undergraduate Physics using he new Textbook University Physics by Bauer and Westfall
Speaker: Gary D. Westfall
From: Michigan State University
Abstract: I will summarize our experience of teaching first year, calculus-based physics to engineering and science students for the past seven years in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State University. Wolfgang Bauer and I have recently published a textbook “University Physics with Modern Physics” with McGraw-Hill that contains many of the techniques we have developed and used. These techniques includean approach to physics emphasizing contemporary physics results that are accessible to the first year student. An example of a contemporary result is the calculation of the mass of the massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy using Kepler’s Laws. We emphasize the concepts of energy in the book, which students find relevant andinteresting. We introduce a seven-step method for problem solving. To involve the students, we use in-class clicker exercises to reinforce the concepts and allow the students to participate actively. Electronic aids such as personalized homework and ebooks will also be discussed.