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About December 2010

This page contains all entries posted to Physics Announcements in December 2010. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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December 2010 Archives

December 1, 2010

Seminar: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 3:30 p.m. Coffee 3:15 p.m.

Improving students' understanding through research
Dr. Chandralekha Singh
University of Pittsburgh
The goal of physics education research is to help close the gap between teaching and learning. I will discuss, drawing from my own research as examples, how the lessons learned from physics education research can be applied to all STEM disciplines. I will discuss my research that emphasizes the importance of understanding the relevant prior knowledge of students and designing instruction such that it builds on students' existing knowledge. Our research suggests that the difficulty of a problem not only depends on its inherent complexity but on the familiarity and intuition one has developed about it. Our research also suggests that students should be taught effective problem solving strategies explicitly while they acquire content knowledge because everyday life does not prepare students for the disciplined approach to problem solving required to solve complex problems in the STEM disciplines. Finally, I will discuss why instructional approach should value and encourage students to be actively engaged and work with each other and provide examples of how such collaboration gives students an opportunity to be able to solve problems that each student alone may not be able to solve.

December 8, 2010

Seminar: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 3:30 p.m. Coffee 3:15 p.m.

Patterns of mineral dust aerosols from North Africa over the Mid Atlantic Ocean
Drs. Y. Ben-Ami, I. Koren, O. Altaratz and Y, Lehahn
Department of Environmental Sciences and Energy Research, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, Department of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

While fluxes of North African dust travelling over the Atlantic have significant influence on climate processes, biogeochemical cycles and human lives, there are still many open questions such as:

- Where exactly the dust is originating from and where does it sink?
- What is the dust flux and how well is it quantified?
- What is the frequency of emission of the North African dust sources?

Inhomogeneous spatial, vertical and temporal distribution of dust aerosol in the atmosphere and the location of dust sources in remote regions harden our ability to understand and quantify its exact role in climatic processes.

Focusing on the inter-annual patterns of dust loading and height we are trying to answer some of the open questions by studying the spatial and vertical distribution of dust over the ocean and by following dust plumes from source to sink.

In this talk I will discuss inter-annual patterns of North African dust height and loading over the Mid Atlantic Ocean and dust sink over the Amazon forest.

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