Quantum Physics in Spring 2020

I’m thrilled to be teaching Quantum Mechanics (PHY361) to a class of 10 students. This is my third time teaching the course – it is on an every-other-year schedule. It is one of our “advanced” courses, requiring students to have previously taken Modern Physics. In addition to using more mathematical rigor than other courses, it also has a substantial writing project that students engage in throughout the semester.

I’m making a number of changes this year that I hope will improve the course. First, as a campus we are switching from Moodle to Canvas. This is my first Canvas course! I am using electronic homework submission (which I typically do not like), which has a big advantage in this course: homework corrections. Once students submit their homework, they then have access to the solutions to correct their work, which they then re-submit. While I used homework corrections the last time I taught this course, collecting and returning the initial attempt was a big bottleneck.

Another big change is that I am recording videos for this course! This is the only class that I’ve taught over the past few years that had a substantial “lecture” component. I found that many students struggled to understand the mathematical approaches from the book on their own, and I needed to show examples in lecture. Since we have slightly less than 3 hours of seat time per week, this felt like a bad use of our limited class time. By creating videos (focused on calculation and mathematical techniques), we can use more classtime for problem solving and team-based activities.