About PICUP

Our Vision

Computation is an integral part of the education of every undergraduate physics student.

Our Mission

Create a vibrant community of educators, a forum for open discussion, a collection of educational resources, and a set of strategies and tactics that support the development and improvement of undergraduate physics education through integration of computation across its curriculum.

Our Approach

Our approach to this mission is to increase the organic use of computation in all individual courses. We realize that computation, in addition to analytic theory and experiment, is essential for the physicist of the twenty-first century. Computational tools are also used by the legions of other scientists and engineers who receive physics as a foundational part of their education. Thus computing must play a vital role in physics education. We aim to increase the use of computation in physics courses through the development of computational packages that are closely tied to the subject matter of popular physics texts, and through lowering the barriers to the adoption, and more importantly, adaptation, of educational materials so that the integration of computation into physics courses is effectively facilitated for all physics faculty.

Our Organization

PICUP is an informal organization created by two retired physicists – Norman Chonacky and David Winch – having broad experience in undergraduate education, applied physics research, and engineering development. We have conducted research into the integration of computational physics in undergraduate environments, and recruited to the partnership a collection of physics instructors representative of the national diversity of institutional types and departmental environments, all bound by interest in and commitment to the integration of computation into undergraduate courses as a third method of modeling, investigating, and understanding the physical world.

People

Founders

Leadership Council

Editorial Board

2016 Development Team

Publications

American Journal of Physics

  • Ernest Behringer and Larry Engelhardt, AAPT Recommendations for computational physics in the undergraduate physics curriculum, and the Partnership for Integrating Computation into Undergraduate Physics, American Journal of Physics vol. 85, 2017, pp. 325-326.
  • Norman Chonacky and David Winch, Integrating computation into the undergraduate curriculum: A vision and guidelines for future developments, American Journal of Physics vol. 76, 2008, pp. 327-333.

CISE Special Issue on Computation in Physics Courses

  • Norman Chonacky, Has Computing Changed Physics Courses?, Computing in Science and Engineering vol. 8, 2006, pp. 4-5.
  • David Winch, Computation in Physics Courses, Computing in Science and Engineering vol. 8, 2006, pp. 11-15.
  • Robert G. Fuller, Numerical Computations in US Undergraduate Physics Courses, Computing in Science and Engineering vol. 8, 2006, pp. 16-21.
  • Rubin Landau, Computational Physics: A Better Model for Physics Education?, Computing in Science and Engineering vol. 8, 2006, pp. 22-30.
  • Marty Johnston, Implementing Curricular Change, Computing in Science and Engineering vol. 8, 2006, pp. 32-37.
  • Jaime R. Taylor and B. Alex King III, Using Computational Methods to Reinvigorate an Undergraduate Physics Curriculum, Computing in Science and Engineering vol. 8, 2006, pp. 38-43.
  • Kelly R. Roos, An Incremental Approach to Computational Physics Education, Computing in Science and Engineering vol. 8, 2006, pp. 44-50.