Teaching

My teaching principle

Most of the science courses today present the currently prevailing scientific theories as facts and focus on the mathematical framework to work out the implications. The introduction to a new subject/topic is mainly about throwing some light at the prerequisites. For e.g., in a general relativity course, discussing the metric and curved spaces in general becomes the introduction before discussing Einstein equation(s) and some interesting solutions. The history of the development is hardly paid attention to.

One of the key goals of teaching science should be to impart scientific thinking. If a student is never going to take a science course again in his/her life, then the take away from the course must be not the details but the generic principles and its justification. And I believe it is best done by emphasizing on how the theories we have today came about. It is important to highlight how even a systematic approach to a problem can lead to erroneous conclusions, affected by confirmational bias. Thus, while introducing a new theory, I always focus on other simpler, alternative theories that were adopted before the current successful theory and why the scientific community has disregarded the earlier approaches.


I have been a Teaching Assistant (TA) for some of the undergraduate physics courses at CMU:


List of courses

Below is the list of classes that I have taken as a student.

Graduate courses (CMU + UPitt)

(Courses marked with an * were not formally registered for.)