UniServe€ Science News: Newsletter of the Science Software Clearinghouse Vol 1, July 1995


Second Australian Conference on
Computers in University Physics Education

Ian Johnston is a Senior Lecturer in the Physics Department of the University of Sydney and is the Director of UniServe*Science

This conference was held at the University of Melbourne on April 19-21, 1995. It was attended by approximately 100 physics academics from 30 universities in Australia and New Zealand. There were also invited speakers from the USA and Europe, and a small number of participants from universities in South East Asia.

The keynote speakers were:

* Dr Fabio Bevilacqua (University of Pavia) who described an elaborate CAL/Encyclopedia package for teaching history and philosophy of science.

* Dr Rob Capon (Department of Chemistry, University of Melbourne) who gave an extensive description of teaching packages used in first year Chemistry (see his article in this newsletter).

* Dr John Davies (Queensland University of Technology) who described the Software Teaching of Modular Physics (SToMP) project, part of the Teaching and Learning Technology Program (TLTP) in the UK.

* Dr Ian Johnston (University of Sydney) who described the Consortium for Upper-level Physics Software (CUPS), a USA-based project which has produced over sixty multi-part simulations for use in teaching.

* Dr Bengt Kjöllerström (University of Lund, Sweden) who spoke on the description of Swedish Council for Renewal of Undergraduate Education (CRUE), and their plans for establishing networks for the distribution of teaching software.

* Dr Diana Laurillard (Institute of Educational Technology, Open University, UK) who spoke on problems involved with the design of interactive (`student-active') packages for teaching.

* Professor Lillian McDermott (University of Washington, Seattle, USA) who spoke on physics education research dealing with students' misconceptions in introductory physics problems.

* Professor Joe Redish (University of Maryland, USA) who spoke on new ways of using computers in the teaching of introductory physics courses, based on findings of recent educational research.

* Professor Ed Taylor (Boston University, USA) who spoke on a distance education course dealing with special and general relativity conducted entirely by email conferencing.

The meeting was enjoyed by all present, and cemented the feeling of community, established at OzCUPE1 (Sydney, 1993). It demonstrated the level of activity there is in this country, and underlines the need, which we at UniServe*Science are pushing, to make sure others know about the level of activity. A copy of the proceedings of the conference may be obtained ($50) from the organizers: Dr David Jamieson and Mr Jon Pierce, Department of Physics, University of Melbourne; to whom a vote of thanks should be given for the success of the conference. Further information may be gained from their Web page: http://OzCUPE2@unimelb.edu.au/info

The next conference in the series will be held at the Queensland University of Technology in 1997. If you are interested in what is happening in the use of computers in university physics teaching, be there!

Ian Johnston

Previous Page Table of Contents
Next Page