Bethany Wilcox is a member of the Physics Education Research group. Her research interests include understanding and addressing students' difficulties utilizing sophisticated mathematical tools and techniques in the context of physics problem solving. In addition to investigating students' difficulties in the context of a single course, she is also interested in understanding how these difficulties change longitudinally as students advance through the curriculum and encounter these mathematical tools in multiple contexts. She is also interested in the development of research-based and validated assessments of student learning that can be used to measure the impact of curricular changes or compare student learning across courses and institutions. In particular, she is utilizing advanced testing theories to explore viable options for creating modular assessments that can address variations in content coverage in across courses.
PHYS 1230 - Light and Color for Nonscientists
Discusses light, color, vision, and perception. Covers reflection, refraction, lenses, and applications to photography and other methods of light sensing. Other topics include lasers and holography. Course is geared toward nonscience majors. Department enforced prereq., high school algebra or equivalent. Should not be taken by students with a math MAPS deficiency.
PHYS 3220 - Quantum Mechanics 1
Introduces quantum mechanics with wave, operator and matrix computational techniques. Investigates solutions for harmonic oscillator, potential well and systems with angular momentum. Develops a quantitative description of one-electron atoms in lowest order.
PHYS 3310 - Principles of Electricity and Magnetism 1
Fall 2018 / Spring 2020
Covers mathematical theory of electricity and magnetism, including electrostatics, magnetostatics, and polarized media, and provides an introduction to electromagnetic fields, waves, and special relativity.
PHYS 4230 - Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
Fall 2019 / Fall 2020 / Spring 2021
Statistical mechanics applied to macroscopic physical systems; statistical thermodynamics, classical thermodynamics systems; applications to simple systems. Examines relationship of statistical to thermodynamic points of view.