PICUP Capstone Report

posted July 11, 2022 and revised August 23, 2022
by Marcos D. Caballero, Larry Engelhardt, Alexis V. Knaub, Michelle Kuchera, Marie Lopez del Puerto, Brandon Lunk, Kelly Roos, Todd Zimmerman, Editor: Bob Hilborn

Link to the PICUP Capstone Conference Report.


In the fall of 2021, deep into the COVID-19 pandemic, the PICUP Capstone Conference was held online.  Members of the PICUP community met over three days for workshops, talks, and informal discussion, to reflect on the successes and the hurdles still facing PICUP.

Information about the conference can be found here.

The capstone report was a direct product of this conference and the report sought to:

• Provide a record of the efforts of a large, disciplinary-specific, community-driven effort to integrate
computation into science courses,
• Summarize important ideas and lessons from the PICUP community for the broader physics educator
community, and
• Collect the many efforts to introduce computation into physics coursework (as of the writing of this
report) in one document.

The conference report provides a history of PICUP as well an an overview of the challenges of integrating computation into undergraduate physics.  Three themes emerged from the conference:

  1. How to Create an Effective Computational Learning Environment for Students
  2. How to Support Faculty Looking to Integrate Computation
  3. Considerations for Integrating Computation Across the Curriculum

Attendees completed a survey and the results of this survey explain some of the experiences instructors have had in integrating computation.  Future directions for the PICUP community are laid out.

The report contains a very useful appendix with resources that would be helpful to future adopters of computation.