Phys 500: Introduction to Physics Teaching

Meets Mon. 5–5:50 PM in MHA 2623 Fall quarter, 2016

The Goal

This seminar is mandatory for UCSD Physics graduate students who have teaching responsibilities. Beyond the burning-priority topics covered in the TA training before Fall quarter, this course explores various aspects of effective teaching at a more leisurely pace (with pizza!). We will cover not only philosophy and techniques, but also sharpen our knowledge of tools (like TED, LaTeX, Excel) useful for TAs. Guest speakers and panels will flesh out topics in being an effective Lab TA, problem solving strategies, etc. Toward the end of the quarter, students will each present a selected problem as if to students of a Physics 2 class for constructive feedback from other students (and self).



The assignment load is light, but still constitutes a basis for establishing a course grade. Consult the table below for tasks and deadlines.

Due DateAssignmentForm of Submission
Oct. 3Paragraph or two on most impressionable take-away(s) from
Lecture 1: Take time to reflect and submit a considered response
Hand in paper
TBDExcel spreadsheet exercisee-mail to tmurphy
TBDProblem solving in class settingLive performance
TBDLaTeX solution to problem used in performancee-mail PDF and TeX source to tmurphy


Lecture 1: Introduction and Pitfalls (PPT | PDF)