Teaching

As a graduate student, I have been a teaching assistant (or, as we are called at Berkeley, graduate student instructor, GSI) for two different courses and a co-instructor for two others.  I really enjoyed teaching each of these courses, and they are listed below.  In 2012, I was awarded the Outstanding GSI Award and the Teaching Effectiveness Award (the essay I wrote for the latter can be found here).

Facilitating small group discussions during the Compass summer program.

Facilitating small group discussions during the Compass summer program.  Photo credit: Jesse Livezey

 Courses

  • Introduction to Astronomy (GSI, Fall 2010) – An introductory course to astronomy for non-science majors.  I taught two discussion sections of roughly 30 students each.
  • Introduction to Astrophysics (GSI, Fall 2011) – The first of two introductory courses to astrophysics for science and astronomy majors focused on stellar evolution.  I taught two discussion sections of roughly 20 students each.
  • Berkeley Compass Project Summer Program (Co-instructor, August 2013) – The Berkeley Compass Project is an organization of graduate and undergraduate students seeking to improve undergraduate physics education and increasing the retention of students, especially underrepresented minorities in the physical sciences.  Every year, Compass hosts an intensive two-week summer program for about 20 incoming freshmen interested in the physical sciences.  Together with five other graduate students, I developed the curriculum for the summer program and taught a course focused on the nature of sound.  The majority of class time was devoted to small group projects and class discussion rather than lecturing, and we focused on teaching the scientific method in addition to the physics of sound.
  • Instructional Techniques in Astronomy (Co-instructor, Fall 2013) – A required pedagogical course for all first-time GSIs teaching astronomy courses.  I planned and taught the course together with another graduate student.  See the course wiki for our syllabus and lesson plans.
Field trip to the Exploratium with the Compass summer program students.

Field trip to the Exploratorium with the Compass summer program students.  Photo credit: Jesse Livezey