Instructor Insights

Instructor Interview

Below, Professor Michael Short describes various aspects of how he teaches 22.01 Introduction to Ionizing Radiation.

"As an instructor, I like to start by opening knowledge gaps rather than spouting theory at someone."
— Michael Short

Curriculum Information


This course, which is the first subject in the Nuclear Science and Engineering undergraduate degree sequence, has no prerequisites. It is generally taken in the first semester of sophomore year, after two semesters of freshman calculus and physics.

Requirements Satisfied


Every fall semester


Grade Breakdown

The students’ grades were based on the following activities:

  • 36% Problem sets
  • 20% First quiz
  • 20% Second quiz
  • 24% Third quiz

Student Information


14 students

Breakdown by Year

Mostly sophomores

Breakdown by Major

Mostly Nuclear Science and Engineering majors, with some Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering students.

Typical Student Background

This is often students’ first experience with modern physics.

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:


Met 3 times per week for 1 hour per session; 36 sessions total; mandatory attendance

Out of Class

  • Weekly problem sets that typically included a number of simpler questions as well as more complex questions or lab exercises
  • Preparation for quizzes
Course Info
As Taught In
Fall 2016
Learning Resource Types
theaters Lecture Videos
assignment_turned_in Problem Sets with Solutions
grading Exams with Solutions
co_present Instructor Insights