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Loyola Faculty Make Innovative Strides in Physics Education

The Physics department at Loyola University Maryland is on the leading edge of innovation in teaching with national recognition in several publications.  Bahram Roughani, Ph.D., associate dean for national and applied sciences and professor of physics, and Randy Jones, Ph.D., associate professor of physics, are actively involved with a project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) called the Pathways to Innovation & Physics Entrepreneurship: Launching Institutional Engagement (PIPELINE) Network.  They are practitioners of physics innovation and entrepreneurship (PIE) education, developing curricular and co-curricular materials for introductory physics courses, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, and using design-thinking to demonstrate real world, human-centered applications of physics concepts.

Dr. Roughani and Dr. Jones have developed a module in introductory physics based on Hyperloop, the high-speed transportation system being explored by Tesla and SpaceX.  Students work through real-life problems of increasing difficulty associated with operating a high-speed train in an airless tube.  Elements of ambiguity challenge students’ abilities to make well-informed estimates and acquire a physics mindset.  Read more in the Physics Today article Teaching physics for tomorrow: Equipping students to change the world and in the APS Careers 2020 article Physics in the real world.