Teaching

Students in the the Strawbridge Astronomy Library during Professor Karen Master's Advanced Topics in Astrophysics class. Photo by Holden Blanco '17
With students in the the Strawbridge Astronomy Library during Observational Astrophysics class, Spring 2019. Photo by Holden Blanco ’17

Haverford Classes

  • ASTR341: Advanced Observational Astronomy – Use of the Strawbridge Observatory 16″ for CCD observing, often an observing trip (in Spring 2019 we went to the Green Bank Observatory to use the 40′ telescope)
    • Fall 2022
  • WRPR194: Explaining the Universe – a first year writing seminar themed around writing about astronomy.
  • Intro Physics Labs (PHYS 102, 105, 106) – Laboratory instructor for the labs which course which accompanies first year physics courses
    • PHYS102, PHYS105 and PHYS106 labs Spring 2022
    • PHYS106, PHYS102 (both of the second semester Intro physics classes), Spring 2019.
  • ASTR204: Introduction to Astrophysics – a one semester introduction to astrophysics (prereq is PHYS105 or the equivalent and students should have taken, or be co-enrolled in PHYS106 or equivalent). This course covers the basic of stellar astrophysics, the interstellar medium, galaxies and cosmology as well as an introduction to python for astronomy.
    • Fall 2019 Syllabus (first time taught as ASTR204 – a modification of the old two semester Introduction to Astrophysics (ASTR205; which I taught in Fall 2018, and ASTR206) to fit it into a single semester class.
    • Fall 2018: I taught the similar class: ASTR205: Introduction to Astrophysics I (stellar astrophysics and planets)
  • ASTR352: Extragalactic Data Science.
    • A new 0.5 credit course in the second half of Fall 2021 semester (in series with Andrea Lommen’s 0.5 credit course on Gravitational Waves). Github Respository for ASTR352.
    • An evolution of ASTR344: “Galaxies and Cosmology”, a full credit upper level galaxies and cosmology class for Astro majors which I taught Spring 2018
    • Fall 2021 Syllabus. Covered as a Cool Class by the Haverblog.
  • PHYS105: Fundamental Physics I – Typically the first physics class in the Physics/Astrophysics/Astronomy major track, this class covers classical (Newtonian) mechanics and thermodynamics with examples mainly drawn from the physical sciences. Along with PHYS106 this is intended to be a one-year introduction suitable for students interested in the physical sciences.
  • ASTR101: Astronomical Ideas
    • A non-mathematical introduction to astronomy aimed at non-science majors. I taught two sections of this class for the first time in Spring 2020 – the first half in person, the second half remotely due to Covid-19.
    • Spring 2020 Syllabus – Covered as a “Cool Class” on the Haverford Blog
  • ASTR152: First Year Seminar in Astrophysics
    • A half credit topics class in astrophysics intended for students taking first year physics classes.
    • Taught Spring 2019, 2018
With students in Astronomical Ideas (Feb 2020) in Quaker and Special Collections in the library looking at archival astronomical material. Photo: Emily Williams ’20.

Pedagogical Learning/Research

In Fall 2018 I had the pleasure of taking the Teaching and Learning Institute Seminar (a Haverford/Bryn Mawr joint pedagogy seminar).

In collaboration with the VOLCROWE team I published a short paper on how/if people learn while engaging in online citizen science: “Science Learning Via Participation in Online Citizen Science“, Masters et al. 2016, JCOM, 15, 3.

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (in the UK). This designation came following the submission of this set of Case Studies and Reflections on my teaching at Portsmouth. My application was commended for the following points:

  • A strong application which evidenced all of the values of the UKPSF
  • A democratic approach to learning and teaching with particular focus on the inclusive curriculum
  • Your approach to the teaching of scientific writing and fostering effective learning environments for your students

Portsmouth Classes

  • Introduction to Computational Physics (2016, 2017)
  • Application of Physics and Space Science (2015, 2016, 2017)
  • Mathematical Physics I (2011, 2014)

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