Ph.D. Physics – Arizona State University, 1993
M.S. Physics – The Ohio State University, 1986
B.S. Physics – Ohio University (Honors Tutorial College), 1984
B.S. Mathematics – Ohio University (College of Arts and Sciences), 1984
Before joining the UMBC Physics Department in 2005, Dr. Anderson was Associate Professor at Avila University, where he practiced a studio approach to teaching introductory physics.
My interests center around improving student learning in introductory physics. A wealth of research points to the need to actively engage students in the learning process in order to achieve substantial gains in problem solving skills, reasoning ability, and conceptual understanding. To that end, I’ve helped to reform the discussion sections associated with the calculus-based introductory sequence. Through the use of tutorials aimed at resolving specific conceptual difficulties and practicing a systematic approach to solving real-world problems, the new discussion sections have significantly improved student learning. I’ve also contributed to our departmental effort to advance the training of graduate teaching assistants (TAs) and undergraduate learning assistants (LAs), important to both the goal of greater student engagement and to the professional development of our TAs and LAs. Recently, I helped to launch the Living Physics Project, part of the NIH-funded Interdisciplinary Quantitative Bioscience Program at UMBC. By reforming the algebra-based introductory physics sequence, we hope to better equip life science students to contribute to cutting-edge bioscience research.