Teaching |
Dr. Sanny with some of his physics students | |
If you are reading this, it's more than likely that you are in one of my classes. And if you are not a physics major, you may be wondering why physics is in the curriculum. The importance of physics in the education of a scientist or engineer cannot be overstated. Rather than treating physics as another subject that you must pass on your way to success, you should consider it as training in how to think. This is the skill I hope you will develop during our short time together. This skill in thinking is often called intuition, or insight into the analysis of problems. For example, when a complex real-world system is being considered, intuition enables you to distinguish between relevant and trivial parameters, to set up the problem, and to proceed with the analysis. It allows a physicist to derive physical meaning from mathematical equations. Intuition does not come easily. To acquire it, you need to practice, and I believe this is the key to success in physics. It's not enough to look at a problem and convince yourself that you're able to solve it. You need to go through the process of considering what concepts are involved, applying these concepts to the problem, and writing out the steps to its solution in a logical way. As you review the coursework, it's a good idea to jot down any questions you have and come talk to me so that we may resolve them. I think you'll find that such personal interactions are very helpful in developing a deeper understanding of physics concepts. I wish you well and hope that I'll be able to help you attain success in your physics class. |