Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 4:51pm
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I walked into the lab, finished with my classes for the day and ready to get some data. I had been wrestling with the lab equipment for weeks. The computer kept crashing, turning entire days into wasted time. Luckily, it was put down to its final resting place. We now had a brand-new computer and I was ready to finally get some results. As I was setting up, I realized that the laser was not lasing at all. To fix this kind of problem, you have to adjust small mirrors and align the inside of the laser cavity. I had done this before, but I had help. This time, I was on my own.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 4:59pm
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In preparation for writing my previous column,  “A 21st Century Science Course,” I interviewed Yuri Popov, a lecturer for two sections of Physics 140. Originally, I had planned to talk to Popov about changes that he has seen throughout the years while teaching introductory mechanics. However, we ended up discussing how U.S. high school students compare with other students around the world in math and science.

Monday, February 19, 2018 - 6:33pm
Robert Dalka

I work as a learning assistant for Physics 140, the introduction to mechanics course, and I often encounter students who feel that the subject is too difficult and uninviting. While it is true that the concepts in physics are challenging and can be hard to understand the first time, students shouldn’t feel that they are not able to learn and build their understanding. In my opinion, everyone at the University of Michigan should feel they are able and qualified to take introductory physics.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 4:58pm

When Carl Sagan died in 1996, we lost one of the world’s greatest science communicators, leaving a vacancy that has yet to be filled by any modern scientist. He wrote essays to advocate for science education, published books and created one of the most popular science television programs, “Cosmos.” When I was a kid, my grandmother would record television programs so I would have something to do when my family visited.

Monday, January 22, 2018 - 4:32pm
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My first class of the winter semester was an 8:30 a.m. physics class. I sat in the middle row — toward the right side — and sipped my coffee, hoping that the caffeine would kick in soon so I could make it through that first day. After the lecture ended, I started packing my notebook away and took stock of the room. There were only about 15 people in the class, all of whom were men, which was strange to me. There usually is not a high representation of women in most of the physics classes I have taken, but this is the first time that I had a class exclusively with men.