2019 ALPhA/PICUP Immersion at UW River Falls

Energize Your ALPhA Immersion Experience with Computation!

The Advanced Laboratory Physics Association (ALPhA) and the Partnership for Integrating Computation into Undergraduate Physics (PICUP) have teamed up offer a "Hybrid" Immersion experience for the summer of 2019, wherein participants will undergo the regular experimental training involved in their chosen immersion activity, but will also participate in the front end of the annual PICUP Summer Faculty Development Workshop to gain experience and confidence in building a computational model tied directly to the immersion experiment. This hybrid workshop will provide the ultimate learning experience for immersion participants, and ultimately their students!  At the end of the workshop, you will be prepared to teach an educational activity that involves the three basic tools of physics learning: analytical theory, experimentation, and computational modeling.

There are three different experiments offered this summer at UW River Falls in this special Hybrid mode:

Workshop Goals

The goal of this workshop is to assist faculty participants in the development of computational activities, using their preferred programming environment/language, to accompany the experiment which they will be learning during the ALPhA immersion. The immersion participants will be guided in their development of computational physics materials, using or modifying materials from the PICUP repository or other sources.

Dates and Program

  • The ALPhA/PICUP Immersion will  run from the morning of Tuesday, July 9 through Sunday, July 14. To take full advantage of the workshop program, immersion participants are urged to arrive in River Falls by the early afternoon of Monday, July 8.

The Table below illustrates a sample agenda and schedule for the hybrid ALPhA/PICUP immersion. Note that the focus for immersion participants for the first half (July 9-11) will be on developing computational activities to accompany the experiment, and for the second half (July 12-14) the focus will be on the experiment. Immersion participants are encouraged to be present for the optional sessions on July 9 to take advantage of computational basic training, or if already proficient in modeling, to get a head start on the advanced computational approach to modeling the immersion experiment. 

The blue and pink colors represent specific workshops or learning sessions that are part of the PICUP Faculty Development Workshop. Because the program is driven by the goals of the participants, it is flexible and can vary from that displayed-the actual detailed schedule will be mapped out in consultation with the immersion participants upon arrival at River Falls. The participant presentations in the evenings of July 12 and 13 (gray-colored boxes) provide the opportunity for workshop participants to briefly share their plan for integrating computational activities into their upcoming course(s); the immersion participants are encouraged to share the details of the immersion experiment and their planned computational model and activities.

Arrival and Departure Logistics

Dates: July 8-14, 2019
Check-In Location: Lydecker Living and Learning Center on the campus of the University of Wisconsin at River Falls. The nearest airport is Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP). For participants arriving at MSP, a shuttle will be provided for the round trip transfer from MSP to River Falls. To take advantage of a shuttle back to the airport (MSP) on Sunday, July 14, participants should plan to depart in the late afternoon at the latest (the last shuttle will depart River Falls around 3:00pm).
Housing Location: Jesse H. Ames Suites, a comfortable, modern dormitory located adjacent to Lydecker Center.

  • 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)

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.

ALPhA/PICUP Immersion Registration

    • Who may apply: All physics faculty.
    • To participate in the ALPhA/PICUP Immersion, applicants must also register for one of the Special ALPhA/PICUP experiments offered at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls through the ALPhA Immersions website: https://advlab.org/immersions.html/ .
    • After registering on the ALPhA Immersions website, prospective participants should fill out the PICUP workshop application form. Applicants will be contacted very soon after submission of the PICUP workshop application (see below for application link), with details on how to formally register for the workshop.
    • The workshop will run as scheduled from Wednesday, July 10 through Sunday, July 14.  Participants should plan to arrive in the afternoon on Tuesday, July 9. 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 Tuesday, July 9, and should, accordingly, make every effort to arrive in the afternoon of Monday, July 8. It is strongly advised that immersion participants, even if considered proficient in computational modeling, plan to arrive on Monday, July 8.
    • 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.

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.

Registration Fee

    • Accepted participants must register formally for the workshop and pay the registration fee according to the following schedule:

Early Bird Rate
(Deadline: April 1, 2019)


Deadline: May 1, 2019

Standard Rate
(Deadline: May 1, 2019)


Deadline: June 1, 2019

$100 for AAPT Members $150 for AAPT Members
$150 for non-AAPT Members $200 for non-AAPT Members
    • Housing (single occupancy) for 5 nights (or 6 nights, if attending the Computational Basics (CB) tutorials on Tuesday, July 9) will be provided for all registered participants.
    • All meals from dinner on Tuesday, July 9 (Monday, July 8 for CB attendees) through lunch on Sunday, July 14 will be provided for all registered participants.
    • All other incidental expenses will be paid by the participants.

Questions/Need Help?

If you have any questions, or would like more information, please contact Kelly Roos or Lowell McCann, or both!

Application and Registration Procedure

Prospective participants, who have already registered for the ALPhA Immersion experiment on the ALPhA Immersions website,  are encouraged to apply at their earliest convenience. Click on the big green button below to fill out and submit a short application. You will be contacted very soon after submitting your application, and directed to the workshop registration form. Please note the early bird and standard registration deadlines of May 1, 2019, and June 1, 2019, respectively.

Apply Now