Pedagogical Iteration

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GUNTHER ROLAND: So over the last few, last couple of years, Sean Robinson and I have made a few changes to the 8.14 curriculum to really are differentiate it more from 8.13 But I mean, a change that happened a number of years ago, five years ago, was sort of the introduction of this exploratory project.

But then in the last few years, what we decided to do was add yet another communication component, namely, the poster session. As the students move on to graduate school, posters are one of the communication forms they will have to use at conferences, et cetera. And I think, like for the papers and the presentations in 8.13, the poster, I mean, when you have to start for the first time with a blank slate, I think it is very different to find the appropriate form. So we thought it would be very good to practice that in 8.14.

And the reason we made this change is that 8.14 competes for the students' time with many other things they can do, including taking UROPs, which they feel, correctly, are important for their future career. And we felt that we need to revamp 8.14 a little bit to really make it worth the students' time, to give them something on which they can build for their graduate school applications and their work as graduate students.

And I think many of the-- essentially, all of the students that take 8.14 in the end, move on to graduate school in physics. And the new components, I think, really help them, in both rounding out their application and in developing some tools that they will use later on as graduate students.

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