Students who have a great advantage in the job market do so because they have been exposed to practical problems in their education. We, at the Department of Physics at PVAMU, have made several changes in our curriculum to remain relevant to the working world. In addition to strengthening our Traditional Physics Track (TPT), we have introduced three additional “practical” tracks – Computational Physics Track (CPT), Applied Physics Track (APT) and Medical Physics Track (MPT). See here for more detailed descriptions. A physics major can also be enrolled in one of several other minors. Our goal is to give physics students a unique ability over students of other disciplines.
The Department of Physics at Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) plays a vital role in the University and provides the physics teaching for all of the PVAMU students. The Department is very active both in research and teaching. The Department has an enthusiastic faculty and staff, including seven full-time tenured faculty, a Manager of Laboratories, a Web Master, an Administrative Assistant and several student workers. The department also has a strong link with other research centers and groups, including the PV Solar Physics Observatory (one of ??? in Texas and one of ??? in the U.S.) consisting of a Senior Research Scientist and three post-doctoral fellows.
The physics department at Prairie View A&M University has three major goals:
to provide a firm foundation in physics for those pursuing careers in areas such as biology, chemistry, computer science, dentistry, engineering, medical sciences, mathematics, and school teaching
to acquaint students with the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the natural universe - to develop each student's ability to model the world and to make measurements, and understand and infer from such measurements; and
above all, to prepare the outgoing graduates with skills for posing and solving a diversity of problems, for incorporating available technologies, and for reporting the results of such work.
PV Physics has a combination of small class size (although some introductory physics classes do become fairly large) with individualized attention, relatively low tuition, and opportunities for research and personal development.
The Physics Department is housed, along with the Biology and Chemistry departments, in the New Science Building, a new state-of-the-art building completed during the fall of 2000 and occupied in the spring of 2001. The building has modern classrooms and laboratories with computerize multi-media equipment. The physics laboratories have just acquired modern Macintosh-based physics experimental bundles. The department is in the process of acquiring more equipment for the advanced physics courses. Instruments that physics students are expected to use include … . Both PC- and Mac-based microcomputers are an integral and important part of the laboratories, and are used in introductory courses. For selected photo tour of the physics laboratories, click here.
Distance Education Capabilities at Prairie View A&M
Hub for North Star Telecommunications Network
Electronic classroom with standards-based VTel Codec operating at 384K
Direct connection to TTVN (Trans Texas Video Network) and dial-on-demand to Texas VidNet
Eight port multi-point control unit for eight site conferences
Direct connection from classroom to the Internet
Direct connection to tunable C/Ku band satellite dish
Direct connection to campus for free and cable television channels
VCR, Laser Video Disc and Computer inputs
The faculty and staff of the Department provide an excellent mentoring to students in all the classes. In particular, those students who have demonstrated a true aptitude for learning receive individual attention from the faculty towards assistance in planning for their future careers. An excellent example is that of six physics majors who went on to receive their Ph.D.s in Physics at major universities in the U.S. See here for a list of these students.
Except for the physical science course whose class sizes average around seventy students, most other physics classes average around fifteen to forty. The small size of physics classes permits closer attention to each individual student. Laboratories are designed to prepare students for independent projects after four semesters of structured experiments. Students then are encouraged to schedule independent research projects with a faculty member.
Our Commitment to Students, Parents and Stakeholders
The Physics Department works hard to maintain the quality of teaching and research. In doing so, the faculty and staff pay considerable attention to the opinions of the students. These opinions are obtained in a variety of ways.
Student Opinion Surveys (SOS) at the end of teach semester
Suggestion Box in the Department
E-mail surveys and responses
The Department Curriculum Committee and the Department Head carefully monitor the academic content and workload of all courses. They also assess the lecturing practices and abilities of the individual members of the faculty and, when appropriate, take any steps necessary to ensure that the teaching is of the highest quality.
Students are not a hindrance or a nuisance. They are the ones keeping us in our jobs.
Service to our customers - students, parents, industry, government - cannot be compromised.
Everyone brings a unique strength.
Need to respect and capitalize on diversity.
Mutual respect, courtesy and civility non-negotiable.
Professionalism, ethics and integrity non-negotiable.
For a chronology listing the most important events and people pertaining to African-American civil rights, and educational struggle, desegregation and advancement on the national and state levels, and at Texas A&M University from 1862-2000, see here.
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P.O. Box 519 - Prairie View, Texas - 77446-0519
FM 1098 Rd & University Dr, Prairie View, TX 77446
University Operator: (936) 261-3311
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