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Science SPORE Prize
November 2011

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The Open Source Physics Project is supported by NSF DUE-0442581.

About OSP

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Computers and computer-based instruction pervade our educational institutions, and much of experimental and theoretical physics cannot be done without the aid of computers. Despite these advances in teaching and research, computational physics remains absent from the typical undergraduate physics program. Students are bombarded with simulated reality by instructors, textbook publishers, and Hollywood directors, but few students are prepared to critically assess these simulations. The absence of computation and modeling is one of the most striking examples of our failure to update the curriculum. The OSP Collection seeks to address this failure.

Our premise is that when students are not actively involved in computation and modeling they lose out on much of what can be learned from computer simulations. Although the modeling method can be used without computers, the use of computers allows students to study problems that are difficult and time consuming, to visualize their results, and to communicate their results with others. Computational physics and computer modeling engaging students in the design of physical models to describe, explain, and predict phenomena. We believe that the combination of computational physics and computer modeling with theory and experiment can achieve insight and understanding that cannot be achieved with only one approach.

OSP Contacts

Managing Editor:
Wolfgang Christian - Davidson College
wochristian@davidson.edu
Editors and Curriculum Authors:
Mario Belloni - Davidson College
mabelloni@davidson.edu
Doug Brown - Cabrillo College
dobrown@cabrillo.edu
Anne Cox - Eckerd College
coxaj@eckerd.edu
Francisco Esquembre - Universidad de Murcia
fem@um.es
Harvey Gould - Clark University
hgould@clarku.edu
Aaron Titus - High Point University
titus@mailaps.org
Jan Tobochnik - Kalamazoo College
jant@kzoo.edu
Tracker and OSP Tools Developer:
Doug Brown - Cabrillo College
dobrown@cabrillo.edu
Easy Java Simulations Developer:
Francisco Esquembre - Universidad de Murcia
fem@um.es
OSP Java Library Editor:
Wolfgang Christian - Davidson College
wochristian@davidson.edu
BQLearning Database Administrator:
Bill Junkin - Eckerd College

You can contact the OSP staff using either the feedback form or through the email osp@compadre.org.

The OSP Network:
Open Source Physics - Tracker - EJS Modeling
Physlet Physics
Physlet Quantum Physics