2018 PICUP Summer Faculty Development Workshop at UW River Falls Workshop

Important Information for Participants


Monday, July 16 through Friday, July 20, 2018; Participants should plan to arrive in the early afternoon on Sunday, July 15

Participants who plan to attend the optional "Computational Basics" tutorials on Sunday, July 15 should plan to arrive on Saturday, July 14.


  • Lydecker Living and Learning Center on the campus of the University of Wisconsin at River Falls.

  • Address: 840 Wild Rose Avenue, River Falls, Wisconsin 54022
  • Coordinates: 44°51'03.8"N 92°36'52.1"W; 44.851062, -92.614473
  • Nearest Airport: Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP)


The purpose of this workshop is to inspire participants to integrate computational activities into their undergraduate physics courses, and to assist the participants in developing and implementing a viable plan for the upcoming academic term.

The participants will be guided in their development of computational physics materials, using or modifying materials from the PICUP repository or other sources, to be used in their classes. The goal is for each participant, at the end of the workshop, to have a concrete, personalized plan for integrating computation into their upcoming course(s), as well as a complete set of computational exercises for their students.

The workshop coordinators will facilitate this work through a combination of presentations, group work, panels, and community discussion. Furthermore, the workshop is designed to be flexible to accommodate the interests and experiences of the participants.


The Table below illustrates the prototypical agenda and schedule for the 5-day workshop. Because the program is driven by the goals of the participants, it is flexible and can vary from the prototype displayed.

Faculty Ownership and Community

The PICUP workshops stress faculty ownership. Faculty participants will be assisted in adopting, adapting, and/or creating their own computational materials that are amenable to their specific personal, and institutional situations. The workshop coordinators also support and encourage the use of computing environments and programming languages which are preferred by the individual faculty participants, and have expertise in a wide range of the popular computing platforms.

PICUP workshops also stress community development. Thus, a unique aspect of the PICUP workshops is the commitment, on the part of the workshop coordinators, to maintain contact with the workshop participants, and provide long-term support in the participants’ continuing computational physics educational endeavors. Participants are also invited and encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to be part of the larger PICUP organization.

Workshop Registration and Acceptance

        • Who may apply: All physics faculty, especially those who have not yet attempted to integrate computation into their undergraduate physics courses.
        • Applications are especially encouraged from faculty at Minority Serving Institutions, including but not limited to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities.
        • Teams of faculty from within an institution, or from a formal or informal consortium of institutions, are especially encouraged.
        • Participants will be contacted in the Spring of 2018, regarding their acceptance to the workshop.
        • The workshop will run as scheduled from Monday, July 16 through Friday, July 20.  Participants should plan to arrive in the afternoon on Sunday, July 15, and depart in the afternoon or evening of Friday, July 20. NOTE: Participants who consider themselves inexperienced with using a computer to solve physics problems, or those who would like a rudimentary refresher on "Computational Basics", should take advantage of the tutorials that will be offered during the day of Sunday, July 15, and should, accordingly, make every effort to arrive in the afternoon of Saturday, July 14.
        • Applicants will be added to the PICUP database of prospective participants. This database is used to manage the assessment activities by the PICUP evaluation team, and to allow participants to update contact information and to view their acceptance status. No information will be shared with external parties.
        • In the event that an applicant is not accepted for the 2018 workshop, the applicant will be apprised of other opportunities for participating in PICUP-sanctioned computational education activities.

Expectations of Participants

        • Once accepted to attend the workshop, participants will be asked to formally register for the workshop.
        • As part of registering, participants must agree to assist in assessment of the workshops by filling out and submitting, in a timely manner, pre- and post-workshop surveys, as well as daily surveys during the workshop in River Falls.
        • Some participants may be contacted for additional information by the PICUP evaluation team.
        • Participants agree to attend every session of the workshop, except under special extenuating circumstances, and to put forth their best effort in developing their plan for integrating computation into their course(s) for ensuing academic term(s).
        • Participants agree to implement their developed plan for integrating computation into their course(s) in the immediately upcoming academic term(s), and to submitting, in a timely manner, periodic surveys and progress reports.

Costs and Scholarships

        • Housing (single occupancy) for 5 (or 6, if attending the Computational Basics (CB) tutorials on Sunday, July 15) nights will be provided for all participants.
        • All meals from dinner on Sunday, July 15 (Saturday, July 14 for CB attendees) through lunch on Friday, July 20 will be provided for all participants.
        • A limited number of travel scholarships may also be available to faculty interested in attending the workshop. The scholarships will provide partial or full reimbursement of travel costs to and from the workshops. Preference will be given to faculty who demonstrably have no, or only limited, access to institutional travel support. Those interested in a travel scholarship should complete a scholarship application, to be sent to prospective participants upon receipt of the workshop application.
        • All other incidental expenses will be paid by the participants.

Withdrawing from the Workshop

        • If any registered participants choose to withdraw, they are requested to notify PICUP IMMEDIATELY by emailing the workshop coordinators, so that their seat can be made available to another person.
        • In order to enable others to attend the workshop we ask that you please make your final decision about whether you will attend the workshop, and notify PICUP if you decide to withdraw, prior to May 15, 2018.

Apply Now

A limited number of participants can be accepted to participate in this workshop, and it is expected that there will be more applicant interest than available positions; thus, interested applicants are encouraged to apply at their earliest convenience. Applicants will be notified in the Spring of 2018 if they have been accepted to participate. To apply, follow the link below.

If you have any questions, or would like more information, please contact the Workshop Coordinators

ALERT: We are no longer accepting applications for the summer 2018 workshop.  To express interest in participating in the 2019 summer PICUP workshop follow this link: https://goo.gl/forms/2pd04Y4tj3LxWEKI3 .