Holding a PHYS 411 (General Relativity and Cosmology) class outdoors in Freedom Square (Spring 2018)

I have taught algebra- and calculus-based Introductory Physics (PHYS 211,212 and 241), Astronomy (ASTR 161), Electricity and Magnetism (PHYS 242), Mathematical Physics (PHYS 307), and a seminar course called Physics and Metaphysics (TSEM 102). In 2018, I revived a long-dormant course at Towson University: Introduction to General Relativity and Cosmology (PHYS 411, pictured above). Among the visitors to drop in on this class was Towson university President Kim Schatzel.

Taking students to the Wilmington & Western Railroad. Photo courtesy Kanji Takeno (April 2019)

In 2019, I began teaching Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (PHYS 352/552). Department operations manager Trevor Lowing helped me take students on a day-long field trip to Delaware’s Wilmington & Western Railroad (pictured above). For 2021 and 2022, we switched from steam trains to steam ships. With the help of funding from Towson’s BTU program, we visited the engine room of one of the last two World War II Liberty Ships still in operation, Baltimore’s S.S. John W. Brown (news stories in 2021 and 2022). For 2023, I plan to expand this field trip to include also the world’s first nuclear-powered merchant ship, the N.S. Savannah.

Teaching remotely during the pandemic with the help teacher-in-residence Jim Selway, who created many of the demonstrations shown (December 2020).

During the COVID pandemic from 2020-2021, these courses had to be taught remotely. I used two computers and two Zoom accounts, one to spotlight and record whiteboard lectures for students and the other to sign in again as “guest”. With the guest account, I could see everyone in gallery mode on a large external display mounted on top of a ladder in my basement — almost as if we were together in a classroom. I did labs together with students in real time using a separate table with a flexible camera. Students received miniaturized packets of lab equipment to follow along at home. My basement filled up with physics demonstrations from Smith Hall (pictured above).

In the fall of 2021, all these courses moved back to campus and into Towson’s new Science Complex. My Fall 2021 PHYS 242 class appeared briefly in a video by Henry Basta commemorating the ribbon-cutting for this building:


I have worked with many amazing students in individual research courses such as Directed Readings (PHYS 491), Independent Studies (PHYS 490,690), Special Topics (PHYS 470), Capstone Research (PHYS/ASTR 495,695), Honors Thesis (HONR 499), etc. These courses have been taught on an “off-load” (voluntary) basis.

In 2021, I received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Fisher College of Science and Mathematics. In 2023, Acting President Melanie Perreault presented me with Towson’s Presidential Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching.

With President Perreault at Auburn House (April 2023)