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Department of Physics and Astronomy

I have taught a wide variety of undergraduate as well as graduate courses, in both astrophysics and physics. I have often taught graduate courses on Star Formation (Physics 778), the Interstellar Medium (Physics 785) and Galactic Dynamics (Physics 781). In the undergraduate program, I have often taught the Introductory Astronomy and Astrophysics course (Astron 1F03), first year physics, and upper level courses such Galaxies and Cosmology (Astron 3X03), and Stellar Structure (Astron 3Y03).

Origins Institute

I have worked extensively with my OI collaborators, Jonathon Stone and Alison Sills, to create and realize a new concept for teaching transdisciplinary courses in fundamental science. We designed the Origins Undergraduate Research Specialization to take students into the heart of 6 of the most fundamental streams of research in 21st century science. These subjects transcend the traditional subjects in science calendars, since these fields are often highly transdisciplinary. Our philosophy is to insure that students that are deeply trained in a particular field (hence requirement to be registered in a traditional Honours Science Program), are at the same time sufficiently immersed in the broad set of fundamental science themes that are emphasized in the OI programs.

This approach is accomplished by first having our students go through a set of survey courses in their first year of the program (e.g. Big Questions). Their interests are then sharpened in the second year of the program through a selection of courses centred on each of the 6 basic themes. All the while, we expose students to the fundamental literature and new scientific results in these fields by means of highly interactive seminars (Origins 2S03 and 3S03). The first of these is designed to take the students through the basic literature, guided by OI faculty. The 2nd year seminar exposes students to visiting scientists and their colloquia as part of the OI colloquium series. The capstone of the program is the OI undergraduate thesis, taken in the 3rd and final year of the program. Here the student is encouraged to work in any area that they have taken an interest in, and to seek appropriate OI supervisors. Our OI students are invited to meet with OI Public Lecturers to broaden their exposure to outstanding scientists at a very early stage in their careers.

I have personally developed and taught, in collaboration with Paul Higgs, the Origins of Life (Astrobiology - Origins 3D03) course. The OI is building a strong research presence in this field, and students participate in this very exciting, emergent new science.

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