From Particle Physics to Education:
The Role of Tinkering

Mats Selen, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Physical Sciences Building 160/161
October 28, 2016, 4:00-5:00pm

Abstract: The love of tinkering is perhaps the single most universal trait among scientists. From designing an experiment to building a computer application to solving a differential equation, the cycle of “observe – explain – test – revise” is at the root of the scientific creative process.

We have developed a low-cost wireless lab system with the goal of putting powerful scientific instrumentation in the hands of every student, both inside and outside of the classroom. I will describe this project and show how it is enabling a radical shift in the way we approach introductory physics labs at the University of Illinois.