Committee on Physics in Undergraduate Education
Chair's Report 2003
Physics in Undergraduate Education Committee Report
The Committee on Physics in Undergraduate Education has identified the
following crucial topics we are addressing. We are focusing on
contributing to improving undergraduate physics education by identifying
best practices and facilitating their dissemination through our web site,
AAPT publications, and workshops and sessions at National Meetings.
- Spurred by conclusions from the SPIN-UP Task Force, and in
collaboration with the Committee on Professional Concerns, we are updating
the AAPT brochure, “Guide to Undergraduate Programs” including SPIN-UP
- We are sponsoring sessions to share other aspects of the SPIN-UP the
may prove valuable to improving undergraduate physics programs.
- In an effort to increase the physics content of AAPT meetings, we have
sponsored several “hot topics” sessions to help colleagues keep abreast of
current physics research. We are pleased to have had several other area
committees join with us in this effort.
- We have planned a session discussing matching the GRE, MCAT, and
undergraduate curricula to needs of post-graduate work or study.
- We are organizing industrial forums for the Sacramento meeting (in
conjunction with the Committee on Professional Concerns) on employment
opportunities for BS students and on helping students preparing and find
- We have organized a session on involving undergraduates in research.
- We are organizing sessions on improving teaching of “difficult topics”
in undergraduate physics such as optics, electricity and magnetism,
computational physics, and general relativity.
Some of the topics we will be addressing in the upcoming year include:
- Improving TA training (along with the Graduate Committee).
- First year issues for physics students.
- Effectively teaching large classes.
- How physics departments are responding to the new ABET Guidelines
(along with the Committee on Professional Concerns).
Steve Turley, Chair
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Last updated 02/12/2004