Michiel de Dood
‘Scientific research, applications and teaching are inseparable. When teaching I try to integrate my research experience into the lectures.'
'It is important for a physicist to understand how things work and to be able to explain this briefly. And it is even more important to explain why something is so important or interesting. This shows why this topic is part of the course.
I give the courses Statistical Physics 2 and Quantum Optics. In the first course I discuss phase transitions and the critical behaviour of gases. In the Quantum Optics course pairs of students give a presentation about a recent publication. Not only do I grade the presentation, but also the questions they answer and ask during other presentations.
Besides these courses I give an online module about data analysis. Last year I made an exercise where students analyse 100 years of Dutch climate data. In this way they could form their own opinion about the effect of global warming on the local weather.
Sometimes it is better to admit that you don’t know, both as a student and a teacher
Improvise as a teacher
Sometimes it is better to admit that you do not know, both as student and teacher. This is the basis of an interesting discussion. Lectures become interesting when the teacher needs to improvise. He needs to think aloud to find a reasonable answer. I can safely say that the students manage to reach this boiling point every year.’