How to learn to think like a good physicist and how to teach it

Prof. Carl Wieman, Stanford University

9 Maggio 2024, ore 15.00 – Aula Rostagni, Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia

For many years, my group has been studying what makes up high level performance (“expertise”) in Science and Engineering, and how that expertise is best learned and taught. Being a good physicist primarily involves being able to solve novel authentic physics related problems. I will discuss how the combination of research on the development of expertise and our recent studies of the nature of Science and Engineering problem solving provides guidance for how to best learn that skill. This learning requires practicing calling on relevant knowledge to make a specific set of decisions that frame the problem-solving process of experts. I will explain how to carry out this practice in the context of physics research and courses and discuss the research behind this approach. The talk will be relevant to undergraduates, physics graduate students, and physics teachers.

Il relatore

Carl Wieman

Carl Wieman holds a joint appointment as Professor of Physics and of the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. Among his many distinctions, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001 for the first realization of a Bose-Einstein condensate (with Eric Cornell and Wolfgang Ketterle). In 2007, he joined the University of British Columbia as the Director of the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative. His current intellectual focus is on undergraduate physics and science education. He has pioneered the use of experimental techniques to evaluate the effectiveness of various teaching strategies for physics and other sciences. The results of his research are presented in his book “Improving How Universities Teach Science” (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 2017).