Hope College Department of Physics and Engineering
Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Summer 2005
Project Summary


Project Title:

Revisions to College Physics Course Materials

Student Name: Erica Oosting (with Elizabeth Carlson)
Student's Home Institution: Hope College
Research Advisor: Dr. Catherine Mader
Source of Support: NSF (CCLI-0311152) and Hope College

We would like to help students recognize the relevance of physics to their major field of study by incorporating interdisciplinary examples and applications. This summer our focus was on human vision. In addition, we revised the textbook based on feedback from the students in the course and created an instructor resource that includes suggested reading questions and applets/physlets that keyed to the text to help students visualize more complicated concepts and applications.

In particular, we hope to incorporate topics relating to vision in all of the units. For example in Unit N, we could discus the muscular structure of the eye and how it allows us to view objects at different distances. We can also discuss the photochemical processes which take place in the rods and cones in unit Q. We hope to tie all of this together in a final chapter of Unit O with an open-ended study of various aspects of vision that are of interest to the students.

With the revised texts, the instructors' resource and new applications, the course should be easier for students to understand and apply to their future studies.

We express our gratitude for the National Science Foundation (CCLI-0311152) and Hope College.