A major part of my job is teaching, and I view it as a tremendous opportunity to influence the way that the scientific community goes about its work. Between my PhD and my postdoc I spent three months as a Christine Mirzayan Fellow at the National Academics with the Board on Science Education. During this time I became convinced of the value of “active learning”. A nice introduction to the topic was written by Carl Wieman and Kathy Perkins. I believe that the evidence is overwhelming that students learn more if they are actively wrestling with the material as compared to passively watching a lecture; if you want to become a better tennis player you should mostly play tennis instead of watching professionals play. I explored these issues in a blog post.
Classes that I am currently teaching:
- 8.241: Introduction to Biological Physics I started this course for undergraduate physicists in the Spring 2016 and taught it again in 2017.
- 8.591J: Systems Biology I have taught this class each Fall since 2010, and in 2014 the lectures were filmed and the class was put on OCW. I am currently working to put my lecture notes together as a small textbook. Wish me luck!