Recent Compadre Portal Releases
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The latest Compadre Portal features, resource additions, and announcements.en-USCopyright 2024, ComPADRE.orgwebmaster@compadre.org (Managing Editor)Wed, 12 Jun 2024 10:35:32 ESThttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rsshttps://www.compadre.org/portal/services/images/LogoSmallPortal.gifCompadre Portal
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12535Birth-Decaay Process ModelA collection of N cells placed at the vertices of a 2d lattice, is considered. Each individual cell can contain no more than one particle. Every particle can emerge from an infinite reservoir of particles or get eliminated into it. At any given moment t, every cell is possible to exist in one of two distinct states A (unoccupied ) or B (occupied). If at time t a cell is in A, the probability of transitioning to B within the infinitesimal interval [t,t+Dt) equals wABDt. Conversely, if at time t it is in B, then the probability of transitioning back to state A equals wBADt. <br /><br />In this work, the following topics are studied: <br />1) A master equation that describes the evolution of each cell is derived and the limiting behaviour of its solution is obtained.<br />2) A Lyapunov function that corresponds to the master equation is constructed.<br /><br />It is demonstrated and confirmed experimentally that, regardless of its initial state, the system converges towards its equilibrium state. It is confirmed that the stationary state of the system is described by a Poisson distribution.
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Tue, 11 Jun 2024 18:49:31 ESTGrand-Isobaric Ensemble Monte Carlo JS ModelThis JavaScript model executes Monte Carlo simulations at constant chemical potential, pressure and Ray energy. The Description of the model (Introduction, References, Guide and Activities) is accessible by the pdf button. It is suggested to read the Description while running the program.The user can test the model against experimental data of argon and the simulation results of Desgranges et al.<br /><br />This is a computationally intensive model that takes a few minutes to reach convergent averages. Its performance can be controlled through the number of frames per second (fps) and the number of steps between frames (spd). The computation time in minutes is displayed in the t field. The sm field indicates the period of the simulation (equilibration or production) or eventual problems with the initial conditions. The standard errors are only estimated in the production runs. The default values in the input fields are set for Activity 1 as described in the PDF Description document.
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Tue, 04 Jun 2024 20:05:58 ESTInvestigating and Improving Student Understanding of Quantum Mechanics Using Research-Validated Clicker Question Sequences and TutorialsQuantum mechanics is notoriously challenging, and research has found that students struggle with many common difficulties when learning it. It is also proving to be a critical piece of many exciting fields that are all but assured to see great development and expansion in the coming years; the Second Quantum Revolution is upon us. Quantum information science and engineering is a rapidly unfolding field, requiring talent from many disciplines, that aims to leverage the potential of quantum systems for many practical applications. To prepare students for the opportunities afforded by these advances, a strong foundation in quantum mechanics is essential. The work that I present in this dissertation is focused on helping students achieve this understanding. By investigating the common difficulties that students have in key concepts related to quantum mechanics and quantum computing, a guiding framework can be established and followed to develop research-validated, active-engagement instructional tools. These tools include Clicker Question Sequences (CQSs) on (1) the basics of two-state quantum systems, and changing basis in two-state systems; (2) time-development of two-state systems; (3) quantum measurement of two-state systems, and (4) measurement uncertainty in two-state systems. In addition to these, I have developed and validated Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorials (QuILTs) consisting of guided-inquiry teaching-learning sequences for (1) the Bloch sphere and (2) the basics of quantum computing. In each case, cognitive task analysis from both expert and student perspectives was either carried out directly or built upon from prior results. I discuss the results of implementations of these learning tools in authentic classroom environments, which involves both online and in-person administrations and multiple instructors. In each case, student performance after engaging with the learning tools increased noticeably, and dramatically for some difficult concepts.Tue, 21 May 2024 15:34:23 ESTKinematics with Video AnalysisThe 2024 PTRA Summer Institute will feature a half-day video analysis workshop where teachers can gain hands-on experience in using video to teach kinematics to high school students. The workshop will make use of the free Tracker video analysis and modeling tool to explore existing video experiments and to create and analyze teachers' own videos. The sample lesson plan and video examples presented in this OSP item will be utilized during the workshop.
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Tue, 14 May 2024 22:21:30 ESTBeyond normalized gain: Improved comparison of physics educational outcomesThis study proposes methods of reporting results of physics conceptual evaluations that more fully characterize the range of outcomes experienced by students with differing levels of prior preparation, allowing for more meaningful comparison of the outcomes of educational interventions within and across institutions. Factors leading to variation in post-test scores on the Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation (FMCE) across different instructors, semesters, and course models in a sample collected in introductory calculus-based mechanics at a large, eastern land-grant university were examined. The sample was collected over nine years and contains a total of N=4409 matched pretest and post-test records. The data showed a systematic semester-by-semester variation in both pretest scores and ACT or SAT mathematics percentile scores. Neither the normalized gain nor Cohen's d removed the semester-to-semester variation observed in post-test scores. The local average curve plotting post-test scores against pretest scores, which we call a conceptual growth curve, allowed for the characterization of outcomes for students with different pretest scores. Regression models were used to produce an approximation to this curve. By using either the full curve or a mathematical approximation developed through linear regression, post-test scores can be predicted for given levels of prior preparation measured by pretest scores. The predicted score can be used to calculate the predicted normalized gain if desired. These methods rely on using the natural variation of incoming student preparation at one institution to predict performance with a different prior preparation. The study presents an example of converting the outcomes a weakly prepared student population; converting the outcomes for a different student population dramatically changed the interpretation of how the class studied was functioning.Sun, 12 May 2024 06:22:02 ESTChanging person-environment fit among underrepresented undergraduate physics students: Successes from a small departmentFemale students, Latinx students, first-generation students, and transfer students often feel uncomfortable in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) environments. However, some departments have been making progress in changing that. Guided by double consciousness and person-environment fit theory, we investigated the lived experiences of historically marginalized undergraduate and masters-level physics students at a large state university to understand how this particular department provides an environment encouraging all students they fit in physics. Graduated students and faculty were interviewed from California State University, Long Beach. Through the interviews, we gained an understanding of significant student experiences and their perceptions of fit in this physics environment. Department community members perceived the department environment to be open, which contributed to broadening fit and supporting diverse students to thrive. The importance of faculty agency in creating a welcoming and supportive physics environment is highlighted. Finally, we found students in this department take with them an approach to physics that they see applicable to other areas of study and their lives. We called this a physics state of mind. We include suggestions for other STEM departments based on the findings and previous research.Sun, 12 May 2024 06:06:25 EST“It’s Fundamental”: Quantum Dot Blinking Experiment to Teach Critical ThinkingAnalysis of stochastic processes can be used to engender critical thinking. Quantum dots have a reversible, stochastic transition between luminescent and nonluminescent states. The luminescence intermittency is known as blinking and is not evident from ensemble measurements. In order to stimulate critical thinking, students design, perform, and analyze a semiconductor quantum dot blinking laboratory experiment. The design of the experiment and stochastic nature of the data collected require students to make judgements throughout the course of the single-particle measurement and analysis. Some of the decisions do not have uniquely correct answers, challenging the students to engage in critical thinking. We propose that students' self-examined decision making develops a constructivist view of science. The experiment is visually striking, is interdisciplinary, and develops higher order thinking.Sun, 12 May 2024 05:57:10 EST2024 PRPER Evaluation SummaryThis summary by the Physical Review Physics Education Research (PRPER) Evaluation Committee shares the methods used in its 2023-2024 evaluation of PRPER, the report's conclusions, and its recommendations to the American Physical Society Committee on Scientific Publications (CSP).<br /><br />The PRPER evaluation was commissioned by the CSP in June 2023 as part of its continued efforts to improve its journal publications. PRPER's last review had been conducted in 2005. The CSP appointed the following members for the committee: Edmund Bertschinger, Eugenia Etkina, Katemari Rosa, and Stamatis Vokos. Their charge was to produce an evaluation report with recommendations on possible ways to improve the journal. The full report was submitted to the CSP and the attached public version of the report was published in May 2024.Thu, 09 May 2024 16:25:55 ESTEpistemic agency as a critical mediator of physics learningEpistemic agency is a conceptual tool for creating effective teaching methods that involve students taking accountability for their own learning and aligns with the broader emphasis on agency in modern education. However, there is a challenge in balancing this approach with the need to cover traditional physics content within the limited timeframe of the academic year. To ensure success, carefully designed courses are needed and the potential of digital technologies holds promise in this regard. This Perspective discusses the importance of fostering epistemic agency among Generation Z students -- digital natives -- in the context of physics education. It explores innovative teaching approaches that empower students to take initiative in their learning. These approaches leverage digital technologies to handle complex data and address authentic (real life, complex) problems, ultimately enhancing students' epistemic agency.Wed, 17 Apr 2024 12:38:03 ESTTowards meaningful diversity, equity and inclusion in physics learning environmentsPhysics is one of the least diverse of all science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines with damaging stereotypes about who belongs and who can excel in it. Physics learning environments are generally not inclusive or equitable, with students from historically marginalized groups often reporting an unwelcoming climate. In general, the culture of physics is competitive with a dearth of humanity in interpersonal interactions and communications. Here we provide a narrative review of the research on diversity, equity and inclusion in undergraduate physics learning environments, focusing on women and ethnic and racial minority students, and make recommendations for how to improve this dire current situation.Wed, 17 Apr 2024 12:26:07 ESTHabitable Zones of PlanetsThis guided inquiry tutorial for upper-division physics and/or astronomy introduces students to various factors that influence the average surface temperature of a planet. First, students consider principles of blackbody radiation, using a crude model to deduce the relationship of equilibrium surface temperature of a planet and the intensity of solar radiation from its host star. The effects of albedo and greenhouse gases are then introduced into the conceptual model. Finally, students consider the "faint young sun paradox" -- how could liquid water have been present on an early Earthwhile the luminosity of the sun was significantly less than it is currently? Mathematics is integrated into each step of the tutorial. The tutorial also introduces the Proton-Proton chain through detailed illustrations to enhance understanding of energy conversion within the core of Earth's sun.
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Fri, 12 Apr 2024 19:24:18 EST