Gordon Research Conferences
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Conference Program
 
Physics Research & Education
Computation and Computer-Based Instruction
June 8-13, 2008
Bryant University
Smithfield, RI

The 2008 Gordon Research Conference on Physics Research and Education, the fifth in this series of conferences, will focus on the expanding and deepening role of computers in physics research and instruction, with particular emphasis on undergraduate education. The purpose of this conference is to survey how computational physics is currently being used, to identify problems where computation helps students understand key physics concepts, and to assess the effectiveness of computational-physics instruction. The conference will highlight current efforts to incorporate computational physics and other computer-based methods (such as simulations and visualizations) into the physics classroom. The format of the conference - which includes invited sessions, contributed poster presentations, and generous amounts of unscheduled time for informal discussions - is specially designed to promote dialogue and cross-fertilization of ideas between educators and researchers at the forefront of their fields, including researchers in physics education. College and university faculty, research associates (postdocs), computational-physics textbook authors, curriculum and educational software developers, and graduate and undergraduate students will participate.

The generosity of the contributors listed below has allowed us to provide partial support for junior faculty and students attending the 2008 Physics Research and Education GRC.


Contributors

SUNDAY
2:00 pm - 11:00 pmArrival and Check-in
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 7:35 pmWelcome / Introductory Comments by GRC Site Staff
7:35 pm - 9:30 pm KEYNOTE SESSION: THE FUTURE IN COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS EDUCATION
Discussion Leader: Norman Chonacky (Yale University)
7:35 pm - 8:15 pmRubin Landau (Oregon State University)
"Incorporating Computational Research Developments into the Physics Curriculum"
8:15 pm - 8:30 pm Discussion
8:30 pm - 9:10 pmThom Dunning (NCSA, University of Illinois)
"Impact of Petascale Computing on Computational Science and Engineering"
9:10 pm - 9:30 pm Discussion
MONDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
8:30 amGroup Photo
9:00 am - 12:30 pm PERSPECTIVES ON COMPUTERS IN PHYSICS EDUCATION
Discussion Leader: David Cook (Lawrence University)
9:00 am - 9:40 amRobert Fuller (University of Nebraska)
"Challenges from Alfred Bork: What Has Happened to Computers in Physics Education"
9:40 am - 10:00 am Discussion
10:00 am Coffee Break
10:30 am - 11:10 amE. F. Redish and Tom Bing (University of Maryland)
"Do External Mathematical Tools Affect How Students Think about Physics?"
11:10 am - 11:30 am Discussion
11:30 am - 12:10 pmHarvey Gould (Clark University)
"What Should Be the Role of Computers in the Physics Curriculum after Everybody Now Over 40 Retires?"
12:10 pm - 12:30 pm Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm MODELING DYNAMICAL SYSTEMS
Discussion Leader: John Mallinckrodt (California State Polytechnic University Pomona)
7:30 pm - 8:10 pmBruce Boghosian (Tufts University)
"Unstable Periodic Orbits as a Pedagogical Tool for Introducing Dynamical Systems in the Undergraduate Curriculum"
8:10 pm - 8:30 pm Discussion
8:30 pm - 9:10 pmSergej Flach (Max-Planck Institute)
"Periodic Orbits, Localization in Normal Mode Space, and the Fermi-Pasta-Ulam Problem"
9:10 pm - 9:30 pm Discussion
TUESDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pm ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS
Discussion Leader: Mario Belloni (Davidson College)
9:00 am - 9:40 amAdam Frank (University of Rochester)
"Computational Astrophysics: From Virtual Stars to Virtual Classrooms"
9:40 am - 10:00 am Discussion
10:00 am Coffee Break
10:30 am - 11:10 amThomas Müller (University of Stuttgart)
"A Trip to the End of the Universe"
11:10 am - 11:30 am Discussion
11:30 am - 12:10 pmCraig Savage (Australian National University)
"Real Time Relativity: Exploration Learning of Special Relativity"
12:10 pm - 12:30 pm Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm VISUALIZATIONS
Discussion Leader: Enrique Galvez (Colgate University)
7:30 pm - 8:10 pmMichael Trott (Wolfram Research)
"Visualizations in Physics Using Computer Algebra - for Insight and Fun"
8:10 pm - 8:30 pm Discussion
8:30 pm - 9:10 pmRoberto Salgado (Syracuse University)
"VPython for Teaching Physics: Visualizations for Mechanics, Electromagnetism, and Relativity"
9:10 pm - 9:30 pm Discussion
WEDNESDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pm COMPUTATION IN PHYSICS EDUCATION RESEARCH
Discussion Leader: Peter Shaffer (University of Washington)
9:00 am - 9:40 amChandralekha Singh (University of Pittsburgh)
"Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorials"
9:40 am - 10:00 am Discussion
10:00 am Coffee Break
10:30 am - 11:10 amWendy Adams (University of Colorado)
"Study of Educational Simulations - Interface Design for Engagement and Learning"
11:10 am - 11:30 am Discussion
11:30 am - 12:10 pmZacharias C Zacharia (University of Cyprus)
"The Added Value of Combining Physical with Virtual Inquiry-Based Experimentation in Enhancing Students' Conceptual Understanding in Physics"
12:10 pm - 12:30 pm Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmBusiness Meeting
(Nominations for the next Vice Chair; Fill out Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss future Site & Scheduling preferences; Election of the next Vice Chair)
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm INTERNET TECHNOLOGIES
Discussion Leader: Bruce Mason (University of Oklahoma)
7:30 pm - 8:00 pmAnne Cox (Eckerd College)
"Pulling it Together: Computation, Curriculum, and Collections"
8:00 pm - 8:30 pmFrank Wattenberg (United States Military Academy Westpoint)
"Modeling and Simulation as a Focus for Mathematics and Science Education"
8:30 pm - 9:00 pmDavid Yaron (Carnegie Mellon University)
"Digital Libraries to Support Problem Solving and Conceptual Learning in Introductory Chemistry"
9:00 pm - 9:30 pm Discussion
THURSDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 am - 12:30 pm INTEGRATING COMPUTATION INTO THE PHYSICS CURRICULUM
Discussion Leader: Ruth Chabay (North Carolina State University)
9:00 am - 9:40 amDavid McIntyre (Oregon State University)
"Integrating Computational Activities into the Paradigms in Physics Curriculum"
9:40 am - 10:00 am Discussion
10:00 am Coffee Break
10:30 am - 11:10 amMark Haugan (Purdue University)
"Computational Modeling in the ‘Standard’ Physics Curriculum-Introductory Physics, Classical Mechanics and Beyond"
11:10 am - 11:30 am Discussion
11:30 am - 12:10 pmShan-Ho Tsai (University of Georgia)
"Simulating Static and Dynamic Properties of Simple Spin Models in Statistical Physics"
12:10 pm - 12:30 pm Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm NEW APPLICATIONS AND ALGORITHMS
Discussion Leader: Francisco Esquembre (University of Murcia)
7:30 pm - 8:10 pmDennis Rapaport (Bar-Ilan University)
"Enhancing Molecular Dynamics Simulation with Interactive Visualization"
8:10 pm - 8:30 pm Discussion
8:30 pm - 9:10 pmAlexander Hartmann (University of Oldenburg)
"Combinatorial Optimization in Physics Research and Teaching: Interesting Problems and Useful Algorithms"
9:10 pm - 9:30 pm Discussion
FRIDAY
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 amDeparture

 
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