Sample Syllabi from Teaching at Saint Martin's Univeristy
A few sample syllabi from Saint Martin's. The first four are from my last year teaching there, the last two are from my first semester. There's some evolution in how I approach things, I think.
- General Physics I (Fall 2015) and General Physics II (Spring 2016)
- Our algebra-based physics course, mainly for biology majors. This is the last time I taught it (see the first syllabus from two year prior, below) and this class generally went really, really well, I thought. Partly, I attribute that to having a bunch of quite good, interested students in the class, but I think the structual changes I made and how I sold them to the students helped.
- Classical and Computational Mechanics (Spring 2016)
- Our second course for minors and the last "core" class that everyone has to take. Based heavilty on the same course(s) at Carleton, the goal of this class is to revisit core mechanics concepts, build on them, but espeically to become comfortable tackling messy problems where approximations are necessary.
- Introduction to Astronomy (Fall 2015)
- A GenEd course taken mostly by non-science-majors, it was a fun way to explore science and it's role in society while also exploring the solar system (and beyond). The hardest part of this course is to limit the scope of the material to just a chunk of the universe, but it's necessary if we're to really drill-down into seeing how our understanding of different parts of the universe are related and built on a chain of logic and evidence. Note that this class had a regular day lab time as well as a floating night lab. (No one had to make every night lab, just a subset of them.)
- General Physics I (Fall 2013)
- The first time I taught General Physics (see above). By the end of the year, there was a decent rapport with the students, but it was slow in developping and never great overall. I ended up making a lot of changes over the next two years.
- The Physics of the World Around Us (Fall 2103)
- GenEd physics course for non-science-majors. The title is intetionall exceptionally vague to let us teach almost anything. I chose to teach the history of physics, from the Greeks through the early twentieth century. It was a chance to really explore how science is made, the role of individuals and the experiences that they bring to the table, the role of culture, and how science in turn alters culture. Overall, it was fairly fun for me and them, although I think I would definitely tweak things now, knowing the students better as I do.