Teaching Philosophy & Practice
My general teaching philosophy is based on the recognition of a “growth learning mindset“, that is I strongly emphasize the role of “rigor” and “hard work” in learning concepts, developing mathematical skills, and in general in scientific success, and consciously avoid praising “effortless brilliance”. I discourage a “fixed mindset” approach that may deter students and might make them believe that “they just aren’t good at math or good enough to be in science” and nothing can be done about it. In doing so, I also find it very helpful to repeatedly remind myself to think from students’ perspectives. Another approach I use to make physics more accessible is giving students examples from my own research and research at the forefront of particle physics more broadly. For instance, I show them how basic physics concepts that they are learning are used to build the world’s biggest particle accelerators, telescopes, etc. and pave the way for groundbreaking scientific research.
I use i-Clicker as an interactive feedback tool as well as to keep students active and engaged during classes. In order to train the students to approach a problem in a systematic way, I often give students a problem as well as the rubric that I use to assess the exercise. The rubric is structured in a way that points them to approaching the problem following the scientific procedure. I consciously try to maintain an inclusive atmosphere where everyone feels included and get an opportunity to learn. I make sure that nobody in class – especially the traditionally underrepresented groups in physics – feels left out, while encouraging all students to learn and actively participate in the courses.
General Physics (Phys-2206): In spring 2019, I taught full-time big-auditorium (~180 students) General Physics Course to Life Science students at Virginia Tech, Virginia, USA. This included preparing and delivering lectures, recitations, homeworks, grading, assessment design, etc.
Foundations of Physics (Phys-2306): In spring 2019, I taught full-time big-auditorium (∼170 students) Foundations of Physics Course to Engineering students at Virginia Tech, Virginia, USA. This included preparing and delivering lectures, recitations, homeworks, grading, assessment design, etc.
Substitute Lectures: In spring 2018, I taught two substitute lectures of Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (Phy-4455), and in Fall 2017, I taught two substitute lectures of Foundations of Physics (Phy-2305) at Virginia Tech, Virginia, USA.