Erskine Programme Visitor Profile: Professor Sally Seidel

Where have you come from and what do you teach?
My home institute is the University of New Mexico Department of Physics and Astronomy in Albuquerque, NM, USA.  I teach the full range of physics courses required for an undergraduate degree at UNM, as well as specialized graduate courses in particle physics.

What interested you in the Erskine Programme/Why did you want to come to UC?
The UC School of Physical and Chemical Sciences hosts research across a wide range of frontier fields, some of which are not represented at my home institute.  I hope to become better acquainted with these research fields and in fact have already begun to do so through interesting conversations with members of the School.

What have you been doing at UC?
I am teaching in two courses: Quantum Field Theory (PHYS416) and Applied Electrodynamics (PHYS313).

Since arriving at UC four weeks ago, I have delivered two special topic lectures to the students of PHYS310 (Modern Physics).  
I also delivered two seminars to faculty, advanced students and researchers on Silicon Tracking Detectors for contemporary particle physics experiments, such as those at the Large Hadron Collider.

In addition, I presented a talk on ‘Active Learning Techniques for Science Instruction’ that was attended by members of the UC community, drawn from a range of schools and departments.  

I’ve enjoyed contributing as a panel member on a review of the PCAS (Post Graduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies) program; this allowed me to read a variety of fascinating background documents about that program, to spend a full day in discussion and interviews with members of the UC faculty, staff, and students involved in it, and then contribute to the preparation of a document on the panel’s findings.

What have you most enjoyed about your time here at UC/Christchurch?
I have been welcomed warmly into my host school (Physical and Chemical Sciences). Faculty there greeted me with a coffee hour, offered me tours of their laboratories, and even invited me to dinner in their homes.

With regards to living in Christchurch, I really enjoy the crisp cool days combined with the magnificent landscape. They are a source of immense pleasure to me and my family, every day.