“Economy of language” is a term I learned in grad school and I wish they taught it to all working adults, especially those who end up sending a lot of emails. A counter-example of economy of language is precisely what I’m doing now. A good example of economy of language: Economy of language is saying [...]

Hydrodynamics + Field Theories?

How are hydrodynamics and field theories related? If you'd asked me early last week I wouldn't have much to say. However, after hearing Pavel Kovtun's talk at the Caltech Physics Colloquium last Thursday, I now see that they're pretty deeply related. I've always seen hydrodynamics as equivalent to fluid mechanics, which I dismissed as "an [...]


This November, I'm striving to take a step back and remind myself of all the things I'm grateful for. 'Tis the season of thanksgiving, and in lieu of not seeing my family for the holidays, I'll focus on gratitude (and Black Friday shopping, of course!). We've just come off the very long month of October, so this is the time for all teachers to focus on self-care and prevent burnout. Making a gratitude list and updating it regularly throughout this month is a simple, yet effective way to infuse some positivity into your day. I felt silly the first time I created a gratitude list, but I quickly realized I had a ton to be thankful for and even writing down just the little things put me in a better mood! I encourage you to try it for yourself!

Executive Functioning

Teaching is a profession which requires you to be ULTRA organized. You have crazy weird time constraints ("second period starts at 9:34 and ends at 10:29, at which point you only have three minutes to use the bathroom and make it to the third floor of the building"). You have weird location requirements ("fourth period you teach a physics lab course in someone's ELA classroom"). And you have a million tasks to keep track of ("grade the math test by Tuesday, email a student's family, make your lessons for next week, debrief your observation with your admin"). Teaching requires the highest levels of executive functioning (organization, chunking up larger tasks, etc.), yet we rarely teach this skill to our students.


Neutrinos fascinate me. Their history is particularly interesting: they were one of the first particles hypothesized by theory and then found experimentally. They were once thought to be massless, but now we know they have a very, very tiny mass. They have antiparticle counterparts (which at first blush is confusing, considering they are electrically neutral). And they "oscillate" from one flavor to another as they travel across space! I'm pretty familiar with solar neutrino detection experiments, but last week I learned about a whole new use for these mysterious particles: discovering what's happening beneath Earth's crust.


I LOVE me a good doc cam. Considering I started my teaching career with only a blackboard - no projector, no whiteboard (and this was 2014!!) - I've been on the path to find the perfect, cheap classroom tech that works best for me and my students. For in-person teaching there is seriously nothing better than a doc cam. But that's not what this blog post is about. This is about my new love: my Wacom drawing tablet.


Perhaps in high school Algebra 1 or 2 you first learned about even and odd functions. The idea seemed simple and pointless at first: an even polynomial function had an even degree, and an odd polynomial function had an odd degree. Like many students, you may have thought, "Duh. Who cares?" Ah, just like almost everything in math, this is the general feeling FOR YEARS until you have that beautiful, glorious, "aha" moment. The real beauty of these facts is revealed in intro college quantum courses.