In Spring 2019, CAT awarded an Instructional Improvement Major Grant to Professor Katsushi Arisaka, Professor Jay Hauser, and Dr. George Trammell in Physics & Astronomy for a proposal titled “New Development of Hands-on Physics Laboratory for Scientists and Engineers: Revising Physics 4AL and 4BL.”
The proposal was for revisions to the current Physics 4AL and 4BL courses. These courses are amongst the largest lab-based undergraduate education programs at UCLA, offered by the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Through upgrades to Physics 4AL and 4BL, students will be better equipped to:
- Problem solve and build solutions as the next generation of scientists and engineers.
- Understand and apply fundamental principles of physics in the context of rapid technological advancements in daily life.
- Demonstrate mastery of the latest computer hardware and software tools.
The following three specific concepts are emphasized:
- Designing new labs with clear scientific aims, based on well-defined top-down hypotheses.
- Taking full advantage of the latest data collection technology, such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi.
- Data gathering and analysis using modern and mainstream computer programming, such as Python-based JupyterLab.
With the COVID-19 situation and move to remote instruction, the professors and TAs were able to utilize these revised concepts and tools to quickly convert their labs to a remote format.