Physics and Astronomy

Physics Exploration Center (PEC)

  • Dr. Chandralekha Singh, the dB-SERC Founding Director, has founded the Physics Exploration Center in which undergraduate students who are taking introductory physics can work together on exploration experiments designed to help them develop a more thorough understanding of physical phenomena.
  • Doing PEC experiments is often required in introductory courses for course credit (although, it's usually as extra credit).
  • The Center is open from 9:00 am am to 4:30 pm and is staffed by physics graduate students who can provide guidance and support to undergraduates. In addition, the graduate student also provide homework help for students who are struggling in physics courses. 
  • More information available here.
  • Articles written by Dr. Singh about the exploration center:

Clickers (Personal Response Systems)

  • to improve student engagement and learning in introductory courses
  • The department of physics and astronomy at Pitt has purchased clickers which are used in the majority of introductory physics courses.
  • Students do not have to purchase the clickers and just use one that is assigned to them each class.
  • The clickers are used to ask students mostly conceptual and sometimes quantitative questions during class so that they practice the material they are learning as they are learning it and receive immediate feedback. In addition, the instructor receives feedback of student learning and proceeds accordingly.
  • In addition, clickers are used to promote student discussions during class (students are often asked to discuss the clicker questions with one or several peers).