When: All plenary talks are scheduled on Saturday (October 25, 2014) morning.
Where: The School of Sciences and Mathematics Building (SSMB) Auditorium at 202 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29401.
Format: Each talk should be 10-12 minutes long with 3-5 additional minutes reserved for questions for a total of 15 minutes per each talk.

Plenary talk abstracts

  1. Sawaiz Syed, Dr. Brian Thoms, and Dr. Xiaochun He, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303
    (click here to download the presentation)
    Becoming a Scientist: Development of Research Skills through Senior Research Projects
    This presentation will highlight the learning experiences and the research skill development of a physics major. It is critically important to prepare students through well-planned advanced physics lab in order to make real contributions to research projects under faculty mentorship. The advancement of technology makes students complacent to not learn about how the devices they use work at a fundamental level. The advanced physics lab at Georgia State University is designed to train students with skills in programming with LabView, computer interface with sensors and data acquisition, Monte Carlo simulation, technical writing, etc. A very successful outcome from the training in the advanced physics lab is well demonstrated through my senior research project at Georgia State University in developing a low-cost and robust radiation sensor network. Each sensor node has a modular deign which consists of a Geiger tube and its power supply, microcontroller, and wireless transceiver. The server is currently implemented with a credit-card size minicomputer (Raspberry Pi). One of the important applications of this project is to provide low-cost real-time monitoring of any radiation safety environment. It also has potential application in homeland security to gather data for early detection of radiological weapons.
  2. Sorinel Oprisan and Ana Oprisan, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC
    (click here to download the presentation)
    Acoustic method for the coefficient of restitution measurement
    During the impact of a spherical ball with a hard surface part of the kinetic energy is lost to sphere deformation and sound generation. The restitution coefficient measures the fraction of the ball's speed after impact with respect to its initial speed. We used an acoustic method to estimate the coefficient of restitution for spherical balls made of different materials.
  3. Frank Lock, Georgia State University, Gainesville, GA
    (click here to download the presentation)
    PhysTEC at Georgia State, and Middle School Science in the Atlanta Region
    The Georgia State University Physics and Astronomy department is in its second year of a three year PhysTEC grant. Information about the program will be presented. The presenter is the 2014 - 2015 Phystec Teacher In Residence at GSU. Information gleaned from observations of five Teaching Candidates (student teachers) in middle school classrooms will also be presented.
  4. Gardner Marshall(1) and Dean Spyropoulos(2), (1)College of Charleston, Charleston, SC 29401; (2)Charleston County School of the Arts
    (click here to download the presentation)
    Exploring Nuclear Physics at an Introductory Level
    Introducing high school and freshman college students to theoretical research can be difficult due to the high entry barrier and prerequisite knowledge. In this talk I present an interesting example of a project in nuclear physics that captures the feel and flavor of theoretical work while remaining accessible to talented students with only calculus level background. The project consists of exploring the consequences of a stronger Coulomb force law. I will present the results of a talented high school student I am working with now on this project.
  5. J.B. Sharma, University of North Georgia
    Atomic Force Microscopy for Student Projects
    The advent of desktop Atomic Force Microscopes (AFM's) have opened up a novel possibilities of exploring material surfaces and structure at the nanometer scale. The UNG physics department has just acquired a desktop AFM and is working to integrate it into K12 outreach, teaching and research. The possibilities for joint projects with chemistry and biology is also being explored. This talk will explain the principles of AFM operation, examples of images obtained and the methodology by which they are analyzed.
  6. Lee Lindner, College of Charleston, Charleston SC 29424
    (click here to download the presentation)
    Teaching Lab via Distance Education; Enabling Student Teams
    Distance Education is taking root on many campuses across South Carolina. Perhaps the most challenging course to teach online is science lab. A meteorology lab class was taught this past summer at the College of Charleston, and the experience will be conveyed as well as the difficulties encountered. Most challenging is getting students to organize into groups and then to effectively use technology to work on labs together. Discussion boards were mostly effective in allowing students to get familiar with one another and team up, as well as to ask questions much as one would do in a regular class. Most students were able to effectively use video conferencing to work together and see their work develop as they did it. Faculty must be accessible to each team while they are working on their exercise. Having a well thought out timeline for students to follow, but allowing for students to turn in a few assignments late, resulted in completion of the course by all who started. Additionally, sample labs will be presented (particularly those that involve physics), course structure will be discussed, and challenges with lecture and communication will be addressed.
  7. Al Walters, University of North Georgia, Gainesville Campus, GA 30566
    (click here to download the presentation)
    Flipping a Lab
    For the first lab in a second semester, Trig-Based Physics course, I decided to have the students design a lab involving a spring and harmonic motion. It was a small class, consisting of 6 lab groups and I was interested in the various approaches the groups would develop. The lab was conducted over two class periods (Thursday and the following Tuesday, allowing time for research). I will discuss the different approaches proposed initially and the final iteration that was finally conducted.
  8. Larry Engelhardt, Francis Marion University, Florence, SC 29505
    (click here to download the presentation)
    The Magic of IPython Notebooks
    We will demonstrate the utility of "IPython Notebooks" which provide a FREE Mathematica-like interface that allows you and your students to write nicely formatted reports, do symbolic computations, and carry out numerical simulations, all within a single document.
  9. Laura Kiepura and Joshua Von Korff, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30319
    (click here to download the presentation)
    Encouraging Active Student Engagement during Tutorial Sessions
    This year, Georgia State University (GSU) introduced a new structure for the lab section of the calculus-based Introductory Physics class. Students now spend the first hour of lab class working through a tutorial group activity from the Tutorials in Introductory Physics activity book by the University of Washington PER Group before completing a more traditional lab. The tutorial session is meant to help students deepen their conceptual understanding of physics by engaging them in extensive discussion and argumentation. One obstacle to effective administration of the tutorials is convincing the students to embrace the intensive social demands of this discussion and argumentation. As a current undergraduate Learning Assistant responsible for guiding students through the tutorials, I will present the methods I have used to encourage and support active student engagement during the tutorial session of lab class.
  10. Rob Spencer, T.L. Hanna High School, Anderson, SC 29621
    (click here to download the presentation)
    More from Less
    Most traditional problems have specific questions following the description of the problem. Goal-less problems just have the description. Students working goal-less problems solve more per problem and develop a keener sense of what physical models and representations to use. Goal-less problems will be discussed and shown to be a vehicle to get more from less.
  11. Mikhail M. Agrest, TTC and The Citadel, Charleston, SC
    (click here to download the presentation)
    Desert Island Survival Physics 101
    "Give me a fulcrum and I will move the world" - shouted Archimedes, finding a perfect solution. Which is the best? A solution implemented with a perfect tool, or the Desert Island Survival Solution - one, executed with bare hands? A student stuck at a Desert Island on her way back from the Spring Break. Being inspired by her teacher's solving problems via reasoning from the conceptual principles all the way to the answer; she did come up with a result without the unavailable Internet, but had an error that led to an incorrect answer. Another student based his answer on the information acquired from the Internet. Just a few steps led to the absolutely correct solution. Which work you would assign a higher grade? The author will share some examples of providing unnecessary information as well as examples of how to find solutions from limited, but sufficient conceptual information [1,2].
    1. M. Agrest. Lectures on Introductory Physics I and II. 249 pp. and 252 pp. with illustrations Thomson Learning. ISBN 1426625596, 2007, ISBN 0-759-39304-4, 2006
    2. M. Agrest. Lectures on General Physics I and II. 257 pp. and 237 pp. with illustrations. Thomson Learning. ISBN 0-759-35047-7, ISBN 0-759-36060-X, 2005
  12. Long Pham, University of North Georgia, Gainesville, GA 30566
    (click here to download the presentation)
    Motion capture and modeling
    Tracker is a free video analysis program developed by Douglas Brown at Cabrillo College that allows for frame-by-frame tracking of objects on a video. In addition to the traditional motion capture and analysis, this program also includes dynamic model simulation. Here, the user inputs theoretical force parameters and Tracker plays the theoretical model motion superimposed on the real-world motion. I will discuss a few activities that we do in our honors physics 1 course that use Tracker.
  13. Alexis Nduwimana, Georgia Perimeter College
    (click here to download the presentation)
    How to deal with large course withdraw
    Physics is a discipline that is hard for many students. Some students persist for month and initiate course withdraw. Schools want instructors to improve retention without compromising quality. I will discuss ways I have tried to improve course retention, with challenges and successes.
  14. Milind Kunchur, Deptartment of Physics and Astronomy, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208
    Transient signals and the time-frequency relationship
    (click here to download the presentation)
    Frequency response and time-domain performance are often assumed to have a reciprocal relationship. While the reciprocal relationship indeed holds for simple linear systems, such as an RC low-pass filter, for complex systems such as human auditory pathways, the limits of the two can be less correlated. This is one of the misunderstood issues in high-fidelity sound reproduction. In this talk I will discuss some of the elements affecting musical timbre and the related requirements for accurate music playback and the role of frequency and time-domain performance of components.
  15. Edward Forringer, Georgia Gwinnett College
    (click here to download the presentation)
    Assessment Focused Flipped Classroom
    In an attempt to combine the benefits of both traditional lecture and "flipped classroom" teaching, I have developed a classroom structure which I would like to share with my fellow teachers. I'll share preliminary data on effectiveness and student reactions. I'll also discuss the benefits and challenges of trying to "flip the classroom" with students at the open access institution where I teach.