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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Letter from the Chair: Part 2-Educational Updates Summer 2021

Posted on: July 14, 2021

Educational Updates: In addition to the pandemic-related updates, there were a few additional updates to our educational mission this year that I think you might enjoy reading about. Specifically, the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Jay Hubisz, has initiated some new curriculum updates for the physics majors. First among the improvements is a new course at the sophomore level on math methods. This course will be taught in physics with an eye to ensuring the math that we need in the upper-level courses is delivered. This course will be required for the Bachelor of Science degree and puts Syracuse Physics in line with most other physics programs around the country. Next, we want to give our majors more hands-on experiences starting very early. In that vein, there is a team of faculty working on creating a series of courses for physics majors to take their first two years (four semesters) called Experiencing Physics. The team, consisting of Jay Hubisz, Walter Freeman, Denver Whittington, Simon Catterall, and Britton Plourde are working to incorporate experimental basics, problem solving proficiencies, and computational skills into a class that is engaging with physics material in a different way than they get in their classes.

Denver teaching a class in a tent.
Prof. Denver Whittington teaching PHY312 to a group of students under the tent in front of the physics building in Fall 2020.

The class of 2021 finished with a bang. Several helped us to publicize the department, and are featured in this new video: https://thecollege.syr.edu/physics/undergraduate-overview/ We celebrated at the end of the spring semester in person for the first time in over a year with an outdoor party. Students decorated graduation caps to remember their time at Syracuse Physics.

To read more about the outstanding work of our physics students, see the student highlight stories.

Class of 2021 Physics Graduates __, Michael Glass, Laurel White, Carter Gustin, and Nick Otero.

Class of 2021 Physics Graduates __, Michael Glass, Laurel White, Carter Gustin, and Nick Otero.