Type: 
Colloquium
Date-Time: 
Monday, March 5, 2012 - 16:00 to 17:00
Location: 
Weniger 153
Event Speaker: 
Dr. Elizabeth Gire, University of Memphis
Local Contact: 
Corinne Manogue
Abstract: 

One of the primary goals of undergraduate physics programs is to help physics majors become physicists. This development occurs on many fronts - knowledge of the main laws, principles, and concepts of physics; quantitative and qualitative problem-solving skills; views about the nature of physics and physics knowledge; and the ability to apply physics ideas to real-world contexts. My research interests are centered on questions about how undergraduate students learn to think like physicists, particularly with regard to "sense-making". I will discuss my work in studying the views of physics majors across the undergraduate physic curriculum and sense-making strategies students use to solve physics problems. I will also touch on ideas from the research literature that may help guide physics departments in thinking holistically about helping physics majors become physicists.