Wright State University Physics Department Seminar
Sponsored by the department’s Teaching Innovation Grant
Thursday, February 13, 2014
2:00pm in 103 Biological Sciences
"Reinventing Introductory Physics for Life Scientists (IPLS)"
By Edward F. Redish, University of Maryland
A multi-disciplinary team of scientists centered at the University of Maryland (UMd) has been reinventing the IPLS course as part of the “National Experiment in Undergraduate Science Education (NEXUS).”  Since life science students have an immense diversity of potential careers, we focus on the common elements of biology curricula: molecular and cellular biology together with building general scientific competencies accessible in introductory physics, such as mathematical modeling, reasoning from core principles, and multi-representation translation. The class is positioned as a second-year class with prerequisites that include calculus, chemistry, and biology. This lets us discuss atomic and molecular examples from the first and include lessons with authentic biological value. In addition to building the basic ideas of the Newtonian framework, electric currents, and optics, NEXUS/Physics  makes a significant effort on atomic interactions and chemical bonding, random motion and diffusion, thermodynamics (including entropy and free energy), and spectroscopy. An important aspect of our development is a strong collaboration between the Physics Education Research and Biophysics Research groups at UMd, permitting a combination of cutting-edge biophysics research with front-line pedagogy. Preliminary versions of the course material are being made available online. 
 NEXUS/Physics: An interdisciplinary repurposing of physics for biologists, E.F. Redish, et al., submitted for publication (2013). [http://arxiv.org/abs/1308.4947]
Light refreshments will be available.