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Department of Physics and Astronomy

Mail Office
Science B 605
University of Calgary
2500 University Dr NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 Canada
office@phas.ucalgary.ca
Tel: (403) 220-5385
Fax: 403) 289-3331

Undergrad Info:
Science B 605
phasugrd@ucalgary.ca
(403) 220-8127

Physics Education Development: Publications

Written Publications

R.B. Stafford, M.L. Lazon, M. Sabati, R. Frayne, and R.I. Thompson, “A Tutorial on the Precessional Behaviour of Hydrogen Nuclei in External Magnetic Fields”, Canadian Journal of Physics 88(7), pp.465-477, (2010).

J.M.K.C. Donev, P.P. Langill, M.D. Williams, and M.J. Russel, “Digital Sundials on the Internet, A New Way of Using Ancient Sundials”, Physics in Canada 66(1), pp.41-42, (2010).

D. Ahrensmeier, J.M.K.C. Donev, R.B. Hicks, A.A. Louro, L. Sangalli, R.B. Stafford, and R.I. Thompson, “Labatorials at the University of Calgary: In pursuit of effective small group instruction within large registration physics service courses”, Physics in Canada 65(4), pp.214-216, (2009).

T. Antimirova, P. Goldman, N. Lasry, M. Milner-Bolotin, R. Thompson, “Recent Developments in Physics Education in Canada”, Physics in Canada 65(1), pp.19-22, (2009).

Shelley A. Page, Carl E. Weiman, Robert I. Thompson, “Discipline-based science education research in Canada: the case for a new funding initiative”, Commissioned by the Canadian Association of Physicists, and Submitted to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council; and Canadian Association of Physicists, 5 pages, January (2009). (Commissioned report)

R.I. Thompson, T.J. Harmon, M.G. Ball, “The Rotating-Saddle Trap: A Mechanical Analogy to RF Electric Quadrupole Ion Trapping?”, Canadian Journal of Physics 80(12), 1433-1448 (2002).


Conference Presentations

R. I. Thompson, M. Afshari, D. Ahrensmeier, J.M.K.C. Donev, R.B. Hicks, J. Holmes, A. Louro, R. Stafford, “Labatorials - A report after their first full year at the University of Calgary”, Invited Talk, 65th CAP Annual Congress, Toronto, ON, June 2010.

D. Ahrensemeier, J.M.K.C. Donev, B. Hicks, A. Louro, R. Stafford, M. Wieser, R.I. Thompson, “TA training at the University of Calgary: Why we require our TAs to do exercises in first year physics and take tests on it” , Contributed Talk, 65th CAP Annual Congress, Toronto, ON, June 2010.

D. Ahrensmeier, J.M.K.C. Donev, R.I. Thompson, “Challenges of implementing PER driven changes in Canadian Physics Departments”, Contributed Workshop Presentation, 65th CAP Annual Congress, Toronto, ON, June 2010.

R.I. Thompson, D. Ahrensmeier, L. Borvayeh, J.M.K.C. Donev, P. Gimby, H. Graumann, P. Irwin, R. Stafford, “Reflective Sails for Air-track Carts – Design and Testing of an Inexpensive and Effective Design”, Contributed Talk, 65th CAP Annual Congress, Toronto, ON, June 2010.

Robert I. Thompson, Shelley Page, Carl Wieman, “A Discussion of the Present and Future of Physics Education Research in Canada”, Contributed Talk, 64th CAP Annual Congress, Moncton, NB, June 2009.

Robert I. Thompson, Cindy Graham, James Stallard, Anthony Russell, Helen P. Gardiner, Ian R. Hunt, Alfredo Louro, Leslie Reid, Ben Stephenson, “RAISE and its Faculty Teaching Engagement Survey at the University of Calgary”, Contributed Talk, 64th CAP Annual Congress, Moncton, NB, June 2009.

J.M.K.C. Donev, Daria Ahrensmeier, A. Louro, R. Stafford, L. Borvayeh, R.I. Thompson, “A Pre-test / Post-test Approach to Evaluating the Effectiveness of Individual Instructional Sessions”, Contributed Talk, 64th CAP Annual Congress, Moncton, NB, June 2009.

Daria Ahrensmeier, J.M.K.C. Donev, R.B. Hicks, A. Louro, R. Stafford, L. Borvayeh, R.I. Thompson, “Labatorials - a step towards concept-based instruction using blended learning”, Contributed Talk, 64th CAP Annual Congress, Moncton, NB, June 2009.

Daria Ahrensmeier, ”Physics Education Research in Canada – A Physicist’s Wish-list”, Poster Presentation, 64th CAP Annual Congress, Moncton, NB, June 2009.

D. Ahrensmeier, J.M.K.C. Donev, R.B. Hicks, A. Louro, R. Stafford, L. Borvayeh, R.I. Thompson, “Towards concept-based instruction with blended learning in Labatorials”, Contributed Talk, The 11th Annual American Physical Society Northwest Section Meeting, Vancouver, BC, Canada, May 14-16 (2009).

Robert I. Thompson, “Simplifying the complex with familiarity: An approach to effective physics education at all scales”, Invited Plenary Talk, 62nd CAP Annual Congress, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, June 2007.

Robert Thompson, “The role of new student orientation in the undergraduate physics curriculum”, Contributed Talk, The 61st CAP Annual Congress, St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada, June 2006.

Robert Thompson, “Graduate Studies in Physics and Astronomy: A Canadian Perspective”, Invited Talk, The 2nd Canadian-American-Mexican Graduate Student Conference (CAM2005), San Diego, California, Aug. 19, 2005.

Robert I. Thompson, “The Role of Dirac Notation in Undergraduate Quantum Mechanics Instruction: When And Why Do We Introduce It?”, Contributed Talk, Annual Congress of the Canadian Association of Physicists, UBC/TRIUMF, Vancouver, B.C., June 5-8, 2005.

R.I. Thompson, M. Ball, T. Harmon, “The Rotating Saddle Trap: A Mechanical Analogy of the Paul Trap?”, Contributed Talk, 57th Annual Congress of the Canadian Association of Physicists held in Quebec City, Quebec, June 2-5, (2002).


Media Coverage

Article in OnCampus (Official University of Calgary News Magazine - now called U Today). "Labatorials offer a new way to learn physics", written by L. Yohemas and published in print and on-line in September 2008.


Ethics Approvals

Robert I. Thompson, Daria Ahrensmeier, Jason Donev, R. Barton Hicks, Randall B. Stafford, "Evaluation of Learning Outcomes and Student Learning Experiences in PHYS223 and PHYS211/221", 13 pages, approved by the University of Calgary Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board, Apr. 20, (2009).

Robert I. Thompson, "Evaluating the effectiveness of teaching introductory quantum mechanics based on a wave mechanics foundation versus a Dirac notation foundation", 10 pages, approved by the University of Calgary Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board, Feb. 5, (2009).