Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Welcome to the PER blog!

Welcome to a new blog, devoted to Physics Education Research, or PER for shorthand. I am recently retired after teaching physics at Mount Allison University for more than 30 years.  I have taught courses in introductory physics, electricity and magnetism, classical mechanics, relativity, digital and analog electronics, image processing, astronomy, astrophysics, and energy. I am on the author team for a calculus based university physics textbook from Nelson Education.  In the past I have served on the executive of the Canadian Association of Physicists Division of Physics Education and as one of the authors of the Canadian Physics Curriculum Revitalization Project.

My particular educational physics interests are in studio style collaborative learning, experiential (both service learning and more broadly), reflective writing exercises, the role of intensive research experiences in student learning, multimedia (especially student authored multimedia), outreach, and learners as teachers. That should give a pretty wide scope for the blog, and I am sure that at times I will wander into other topics too.

My teaching has been recognized by various awards including the CAP Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Eduction, APICS Science Atlantic Science Teacher and Science Communication Awards, and a 3M STLHE National Teaching Fellowship, as well as the Paré Medal and the Tucker Award at Mount Allison.

In addition to this blog I maintain several others that may be of interest. For in depth reviews of iOS apps for science check out  It covers a number of apps of interest to those learning and teaching high school or university physics. I also blog about the Bay of Fundy region including educational and science aspects at

As well as my research interests in physics education, I have had a long research career in solar system astrophysics and planetary science.  My particular research interests are electro-optical meteor detection, meteor ablation, structure and origin of meteoroids, lab based studies and in particular laser ablation, and interactions of comets and asteroids with meteoroids. The majority of my astrophysics research publications show up on this link from NASA ADS system.

 I welcome your suggestions and comments, so please don't hesitate to email me suggestions at I am active on Twitter @PhysHelp.