Session L4: Why We Should Double the Number of Undergraduate Degrees in Physics

1:30 PM–3:18 PM, Sunday, April 13, 2008
Hyatt Regency St. Louis Riverfront (formerly Adam's Mark Hotel), Room: Promenade B

Sponsoring Unit: FEd
Chair: Cathy Mader, Hope College/APS

Abstract ID: BAPS.2008.APR.L4.2

Abstract: L4.00002 : SPIN-UP and the Recent Increase in the Number of Undergraduate Physics Majors

2:06 PM–2:42 PM

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  Robert Hilborn
    (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

The SPIN-UP report [R. C. Hilborn, R. H. Howes, and K. S. Krane, \textit{Strategic Programs for Innovations in Undergraduate Physics: Project Report} (American Association of Physics Teachers, College Park, Maryland, 2003) ( analyzed 21 undergraduate physics programs that had achieved growth in the number of undergraduate majors in the late 1990s when most physics departments had experienced substantial declines. The report identified several common features of ``thriving'' undergraduate physics programs. Subsequently, many departments have used the SPIN-UP report to develop plans to enhance their undergraduate programs. (See the AAPT publication \textit{Guidelines for Self-Study and External Evaluation of Undergraduate Physics Programs}.) In this talk I will present an analysis of several physics programs that have achieved substantial (80{\%} or more) growth in their undergraduate programs in recent years. The principles identified in SPIN-UP seem to explain the growth in these departments' programs.

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