In one of those bizarre

Filed under:General — eric @ 3:39 am

In one of those bizarre events that shows just how interconnected everything is, an entry in my referrer logs led me to an on-line textbook: A Radically Modern Approach to Introductory Physics. This book was written by a former professor of mine (and chair of the Physics department at the time) Dr. David Raymond. Dr. Raymond and I didn’t really get along all that well, and he is a very large part of the reason I didn’t continue on in graduate school (a decision I’m very happy I made), but I’m always interested when someone attempts to write a new introductory physics text. There have been very many attempts but very few successes, at least when looked at from a student’s point of view. One of my first confrontations with Dr. Raymond was when my friend Kevin Healy and I gave a talk in front of the entire department’s faculty and graduate students on suggested new approaches to teaching physics. I don’t remember why Kevin and I thought we had the authority to tell a group of world renowned physicists how to teach, but I know we gave a very reasonable talk full of reasonable suggestions. Generally, we both got a positive response, but Dr. Raymond (as department chair) took our criticisms personally, I think, and that began our rocky relationship and my decent from a bright young rising star in the department to just another student. I’m eager to see if any of our general ideas made it into the book. Oh — how’d I find this from my referrer logs? Someone was searching for kestrel, and his entry showed up two above mine because it’s being hosted on a computer named kestrel. Very tenuous threads that hold us all together, no?

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