Physical Computing Course Presented to the AAPT

Associate Professor of Physics Jeff Groff presented a talk to the American Associate of Physics Teachers (AAPT) on Monday, July 27th at the University of Maryland in College Park. The talk detailed his recently developed physical computing course, which is an Arduino-based course for artists, scientists, and environmental studies majors.

A physical computer is a digital device that senses and interacts with the analog environment. The physical computing course in an introductory course that aims to empower students to create physical computers of their own conception by teaching them electronics and microprocessor programming using the Arduino open hardware and software ecosystem. Elements of the course pedagogy such as open-ended problem solving allow students to discover that many problems have multiple solutions. Meanwhile, end-of-semester projects aim to establish a collaborative marketplace of ideas in the classroom. While all students propose an idea for a physical computer to the class, the students themselves select a small number of these projects to be pursued and funded.

Below are several videos highlighting some of the end-of-semester creations students made during the spring 2015 semester.

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