Notice To Users

Gerard Williger

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Most Recent/Current Courses:
Physics & Astronomy 107, Elementary (College) Astronomy, Sp 2022
Physics & Astronomy 590, Astrophysics II: Stars and Galaxies, Sp 2022

Tutorial (non-credit, taught irregularly, assisting Lutz Haberzettl):

Astro-Boot Camp: tutorials for Unix/Linux, IRAF, DS9,  Au 2015

Past courses at U. Louisville:

Physics & Astronomy 107, Au 2006, Sp 2007, Sp 2008, Au 2008, Sp 2009, Au 2010, Sp 2011, Au 2012, Sp 2013, Au 2014, Sp 2015, Au 2015, Sp 2016, Au 2016, Sp 2017, Sp 2018, Au 2019 , Sp 2020 , Au 2020 , Sp 2021, Au 2021

Recitations for Physics & Astronomy 298, Sp 2014

Physics & Astronomy 307, Solar System/Astrophysics I: Sp 2006, Au 2007, Au 2008, Au 2010, Au 2012, Au 2013, Au 2014, Au 2015, Au 2016, Au 2017 , Au 2019 , Au 2020 , Au 2021

Physics & Astronomy 590, Stars & Galaxies/Astrophysics II: Sp 2013, Sp 2014, Sp 2015, Sp 2016, Sp 2017, Sp 2018, Sp 2020, Sp 2021

Physics & Astronomy 650, Research Methods (in astronomy): Sp 2013, with J. Lauroesch, J. Kielkopf

Past courses at U. de Nice:
Astrobiology (general education/non-majors, in French): Sp 2010, Au 2011 (with M. Adrian-Scotto + team), Sp 2012 (team-taught), Sp 2013 (for geology majors, team-taught, my part via Internet)
Quasars & Black Holes (general education/non-majors, in French): Sp 2010, Sp 2012
Star Formation (Master-2nd yr, in English): Dec 2009, Dec 2010, Dec 2011
Physics labs (in French):
  Quantum Mechanics-3rd yr Sp 2011, Sp 2012
  Electronics-1st yr Au 2011
  Thermodynamics-1st yr Sp 2011
Recitations (in French): Thermodynamics for Physicists Sp 2011

Grading history at U. Louisville

Tutoring for Physics & Astronomy 107 by former students: the A-Stars program

Lily Bouch Award - for the most inspirational student in Astronomy 107
Lily Bouch was a student in Astronomy 107 who tragically died in an automobile accident in April 2018, a few
days before the final exam. In her memory, this award commemorates the student who is the best example of
enthusiasm for the course, determination and/or overcoming obstacles.
Au 2019: Susan Pallman, senior, Web Design/Art
Sp 2020: Elmedina Brkic, senior, Education
Au 2020: Sebastian Zapata, sophomore, going into Business Computer/Information Science
Sp 2021: Adam Poston, sophomore, pre-Business

NSF Website for REU searches searches (astronomy, atmospheric science, materials research, physics, computer science, life sciences etc.)
NOTE: Many of the programs listed as "physics" also include astronomy!

Academic Misconduct: Why Cheating Makes A Loser Of Everyone
Advice from Astro 107 Students Who Cheated
Academic Misconduct in Physics Courses - A Guarantee of Career Failure

some astronomy summer internship suggestions
Getting the Most Out of Your Summer Internship/REU, Science Magazine 2008 Dec

" So You Want to be an Astronomer " by Duncan Forbes
" So You Want to be a Physicist " by Michio Kaku
" The Production Rate and Employment of PhD Astronomers " by Travis Metcalfe
" The plight of young scientists (includes podcast) " Nature, Vol 538, 26 Oct 2016
" How Long should an Astronomical Paper Be to Increase its Impact " by Krzysztof Stanek

Astronomy books by local academics

Setting Aside All Authority: Giovanni Battista Riccioli and the Science against Copernicus
in the Age of Galileo
Christopher M. Graney (University of Notre Dame Press, 2015)

Popular Articles on Education and Working Through College

Manual Labor, All Night Long: The Reality of Paying for College (3rd Shift UPS in Louisville) , The Atlantic, 20 Mar 2015
Why Science Majors Change Their Minds (Itís Just So Darn Hard + Grade Inflation in Humanities) , NY Times, 4 Nov 2011
A warning to college profs from a high school teacher , Washington Post, 9 Feb 2013
Some Students Need to Fail: Lessons Learned from a Dean , Inside Higher Ed, 10 May 2012
We Must Teach Students to Fail Well , Chronicle of Higher Education, 1 May 2009
Close the Book. Recall. Write It Down. , Chronicle of Higher Education, 1 May 2009
Some Students Get Away with Poor Preparation , USA Today, 10 Nov 2008
Faculty and Students Interact Outside of Class, USA Today, 9 Nov 2008
High School Students Active in Research, USA Today, 10 Dec 2008
Beating Cheating (with software), The Economist, 2 June 2011
5 Study Habits That (are said to) Work reprinted from, Sep 2014
Study Tips: The Transition from High School To College by Ron Theys, U Wisconsin-Fond du Lac, reprinted at
Focus on Process, your Brain as a Learning Machine, to Succeed -- not on "raw intelligence" , Carol Dweck, 1 Jan 2015, Scientific American
Why All-Nighters DON'T Work , P Haynes, B Christmann, L Griffith 2015, eLife 10.7554/eLife.03868, Brandeis U.
Ratings agency: Students judge their teachers. Often unfairly. - a meta-study of , The Economist, 23 Jan 2016
The Math Revolution in America: Math is a Tool for CRITICAL THINKING , The Atlantic, Mar 2016
Students Who Take Notes by Hand Outperform Those with Laptops (includes 5' video), Tanya Rivero, Wall Street Journal, 4 Apr 2016
A Learning Secret: Donít Take Notes with a Laptop (and don't use the Internet in class, either) , Cindi May, Scientific American, 3 Jun 2014
The rise of the 'gentleman's A' and the GPA arms race , Catherine Rampell, Washington Post, 28 Mar 2016
Why Universities Should Get Rid of PowerPoint and Why They Won't Paul Ralph, Univ. Auckland,, 02 Sep 2016
How I Rewired My Brain to Become Fluent in Math: The building blocks of understanding [in many fields] are memorization and repetition. Barbara Oakley, Oakland Univ.,, 15 Sep 2016
Media Multitaskers Pay Mental Price: People Don't Do As Well As They Think Clifford Nass, Stanford, YouTube video 1.8', 25 Aug 2009
How we lost the world-changing power of useless knowledge: Why Pure Research is Necessary Simon Ings, New Scientist, 15 Mar 2017

Dear Students, Donít Be a Commodity -- How to Differentiate Yourself from Other Graduates to Land a Job Vince Bertram, Real Clear Education, 16 Aug 2017
How to Really Help Struggling Students: One-On-One Instruction; Don't Promote Without Mastery Debra Bruno, Politico, 19 Oct 2017
The Americans who can't read - spotlight on Kentucky BBC, Franz Strasser & Ashley Semler, 30 Oct 2017
What Makes A Good Teacher? It's More than Raising Test Scores The Atlantic Monthly, Matt Barnum, 8 Dec 2017
NASA Pioneer Katherine Johnson Q and A: Work the problem, THEN go use the computer! AARP Bulletin, Sue Lindsey, Mar 2018
Why Our Kids Don't Get Math - A Math Paradox: The Widening Gap Between High School and College Math The Daily Riff, Joseph Ganem, 17 Oct 2017

Math skills arenít enough to get through hard decisions Ė you need confidence, too The Conversation, Ellen Peters & Brittany Shoots-Reinhard, 9 Sep 2019
8 Ways to Overcome Bad Teachers (and 7 Mistakes to Avoid), Aric Mitchell, undated (linked on 8 Dec 2019)
How to fix educationís racial inequities, one tweak at a time Politico, Marcella Bombardieri, 25 Sep 201
9 Italian lessons: what we've learned from two months of home schooling , [with tips for online teaching in general in a pandemic], The Guardian, Tobias Jones, 25 Apr 2020
Iím Not a Snowplow Parent ó I Want My Kids to Fail [growth from not being perfect] , CBC, Janice Quirt, 15 Oct 2019
Why suffering setbacks could make you more successful , BBC, Ian Leslie, 9 July 2019
Dunning-Kruger Effect: tendency for people wrongly overestimate their knowledge or ability in a specific area [or, "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing"] , Psychology Today, linked on 2020 May 4
Dunning-Kruger Effect: The importance of knowing you might be wrong , BBC, 6.5' video, 2020 May 14
The Myth of being 'Bad' at Mathematics , Riffanie Wen, BBC, 2020 May 12
What wayfinding teaches us about history, memory and our brain: Put away that GPS and exercise your brain , Michael Bond, CBC, 2020 May 8
The mindset you need to succeed at every goal , David Robson (author of "The Intelligence Trap: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things", BBC, 2020 July 22
When 'math is accessible to any brain,' we can make better political, social choices, says mathematician; Math could help people make more rational, thought-out decisions, says John Mighton , Allie Jaynes, CBC, 2020 Jan 21, has 24.6' audio
Why writing by hand makes kids smarter , Anne Sliper Midling, Norwegian Science & Technical News, 2020 Oct 1
I Grew Up Gifted, But My Life Didnít Turn Out The Way I Expected [as drive, self-discipline and resilience count more] , Heather M. Jones, CBC, 29 May 2019
Kids Like Cold Call and No Opt Out , EL Education, 6th grade students, Springfield Renaissance School (MA), Sep 2011, 2' video
I Flunked the Random House Typing Test, But Everything Turned Out Okay [or, how to learn from people and hard work] , Sean Desmond, RealClearBooks, 03 Feb 2021
The Pandemic Has Increased the Need for Student Tutoring: Peer Mentoring, Not a Thinly Veiled Cheating App [Chegg], Is the Answer , Edward Whitley, Chair of English, Lehigh U,, 17 Dec 2021
My Late Father Was a Great Teacher. He Wouldn't Last a Week in the Modern Classroom. , Jeremy S. Adams,, 17 Oct 2021
Lower Bars, Higher College GPAs: How grade inflation is boosting college graduation rates , Jeffrey Denning, Eric Eide, Richard Patterson (all BYU), Kevin Mumford (Purdue), Merrill Warnick (Stanford), Education Next, 9 Nov 2021
The Role of Homework in the Age of Photomath and Chegg , eMath Instruction, 29 Apr 2021
Become Antifragile: Exercise Your Resilience by Embracing Painful Emotions to Achieve Happiness , Tal Ben-Shahar, former Harvard and Columbia faculty member, RealClearScience, 1 Feb 2022 (7.2' video)
This $12 Billion Company [Chegg] Is Getting Rich Off Students Cheating Their Way Through Covid , Susan Adams, Forbes, 31 Mar 2021
Why Good Students Do "Badly" in College: Why We Should Care and What We Should Do -- the 80/20 - 20/80 principle and other strategies for success , The Learnwell Projects, Aug. 2017
The best- and worst-paying college majors, five years after graduation , Mike Winters, CNBC, 12 Feb 2022
The College-Admissions Process Is Completely Broken , Jeffrey Selingo, opinion piece, Microsoft News, 23 Mar 2022
When "Rigorous" Courses Aren't: High schoolers are taking tougher classes, getting better grades, and know less than students did a decade ago. What gives? , Frederick M. Hess,, 24 Mar 2022
Grade Inflation 'Persistent, Systemic' Even Prior to Pandemic, ACT Study Finds , Linda Jacobson, The 74, 16 May 2022
Editorial: The problem with college debt is that we never fix the causes , Editorial Board, Los Angeles Times, 26 May 2022 (reprinted on Yahoo News)
The Scourge of Online Solutions and an Academic Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram , J. Overduin, J. Buchman, J. Perry, T. Krause, Towson St. U., June 2021, "The Physics Educator", on the breakdown of the correlation between homework and test results