Organization: West Virginia University
Personal Biography: Dr. Paul Miller teaches physics at West Virginia University. His interests include physics education, informal science education, and plasma physics. He specializes in the teaching of introductory physics for engineers and for elementary education majors, and he is the director of the WVU Learning Assistants program. He is a former director of the National Youth Science Camp and is currently involved with the American Physical Society’s Division of Plasma Physics education and outreach. Dr. Miller received his BS in physics at the University of Wyoming, where he also completed a BA in secondary science education. He received his MS in physics from the University of Michigan. Dr. Miller taught in high schools in Oregon, Maryland, and West Virginia before returning to physics to complete his PhD in 2009 at WVU. He is married to Betsy Miller and has two fun kids, Griffin and Nora Wren.
Lecture Topic: “Laboratory Plasma Physics–A Teacher Becomes A Student”
Directed Study Topic: Lighting and the History of Science
As compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and LED lighting has become common, less efficient incandescent bulbs appear to be on the way out. This trend toward greater efficiency in artificial lighting is not new. Since the human race first learned to control fire, we have relied on technology to improve our lighting. In this directed study, we will use light and light technology as a thread to explore the history of science, from fire to the quantum mechanical devices of today. We will do experiments, explore demonstrations, and take part in discussions along the way. Anyone is welcome, and non-physics people are encouraged to sign up.