Ignite Session

Using an On-Line Course to Better Prepare Students for Physics and other Science Courses using Data Modeling and Simulations

Track:  Managing Mobility (IGNITE)

In this presentation, the online course “SCIENCE: Models and Equations” is introduced.  Concepts of physics and other sciences are introduced by looking at the basic forms of the equations used to model phenomena. Students will investigate concepts, such as Newtonian Dynamics, by examining data collected by experimental means.  The experiment is described and the data is stored on the course website.  The students learn to plot and model the data, instead of learning the equations and then working through word problems.  This course bridges the gap between mathematical techniques and practical applications and prepares students for science courses.


Joseph J. Trout
Assistant Professor of Physics
Richard Stockton College

Bio / Expertise
Dr. Joseph J. Trout, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Pomona, New Jersey.  Joseph was born in Camden, New Jersey and graduated Camden Catholic High School in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.  Upon graduating, Joseph Trout enlisted in the United States Navy.  He spent the majority of his five year enlistment in the Electrical Power Generating and Distribution Shop aboard the United States aircraft carrier, the USS Forrestal (CV-59).  Here he became an expert in magnetic controllers, analog control circuits, and digital control circuits.  During his enlistment he received letters of commendation from the captain and from the admiral for his work in overhauling the electrical systems of the power generating systems and the propulsion systems.  He was honorably discharged as a Petty Officer Second Class / EM2.

From there Joseph Trout entered Richard Stockton State College of New Jersey.  Graduating three years later, he took a position as lab director at Millersville University in Millersville, Pennsylvania.  During his tenure at Millersville University he entered the graduate program at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  At Drexel University he was awarded a Research and Teaching Assistantship.  His teaching duties included teaching engineering physics and environmental modeling courses.  His research duties were with the Numerical Modeling Development Facility at Drexel University.  Here Joseph worked on a research grade numerical model called the “Limited Area Mesoscale Prediction System (LAMPS90)”.  His research used data collected during the “Experiment on Rapidly Intensifying Cyclones Over the Atlantic (ERICA)” to initialize the model.  Joseph also used the data collected to verify the output of the model.

After receiving his Master’s Degree and Ph.D. Joe Trout went to work at Sun Microsystems as an expert in numerical modeling and high performance computing.  At Sun Microsystems he worked with research facilities including Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) and Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB) to enhance their computer capabilities and improve their computational performance.
From here he was offered and accepted a position as Director of Undergraduate Engineering Physics Lab.  Here he reconstructed and rewrote several experiments and co-authored a lab book “Physics Lab Manual” Trout, Tyagi, Ramos, Cengage Publishing.  During his tenure at Drexel, Dr. Trout also received the Stanley J. Gwiazda Professorship Award for excellence in teaching.

Recently, Dr. Trout has accepted a tenure track Assistant Professor in Physics position at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  He is continuing his research in computation atmospheric physics and his interest in data analysis using Fourier Analysis and Wavelet Analysis.

Dr. Joseph J. Trout lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his lovely wife Rosemary Trout, MS.  He divides his free time between running marathons, competing in triathlons, cooking food for Saint John’s Hospice and maintaining the computer labs at Saint Francis Xavier Grade School in the Fairmount Section of Philadelphia.


Presentation Content:
I will present an online course I developed.  This course teaches graphing and modeling techniques.  It is primarily intended for students to prepare to take science and math course, but would also be helpful for business and finance students or any students who will need to analyze and present any kind of data.  Unlike traditional course where students are given the equations and then asked to graph the results, this course will have students look at the data and try to model the data and eventually come up with the equations.  Although some modeling of data is done in traditional lab courses, this course presents the data collected and stresses the modeling of the data instead of the data acquisition.


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