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PHYSICS GRAD STUDENT: Trying To Improve The Way Science Is Taught In Middle School and High School

About this video 

Joel shares his story about being a physics graduate student. Joel talks about the three stages in a grad student's career and shares why he decided to further his education in physics. Plus he talks about the skills he's acquired in graduate school and shares what he plans to do with his PhD.

Degree: Physics
Job Title: Graduate Student

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='330'>So</span> <span m='660'>I'm</span> <span m='920'>currently</span> <span m='1380'>a</span> <span m='1420'>graduate</span> <span m='1890'>student</span> <span m='2180'>in the</span> <span m='2350'>physics</span> <span m='2660'>department</span> <span m='3180'>at</span> <span m='3390'>UC</span> <span m='3680'>Berkeley.</span> <span m='4120'>So</span> <span m='4310'>it</span> <span m='4410'>really</span> <span m='4670'>varies</span> <span m='5170'>depending</span> <span m='5590'>on</span> <span m='5710'>how</span> <span m='5870'>far</span> <span m='6140'>along</span> <span m='6440'>you</span> <span m='6610'>are</span> <span m='6800'>in</span> <span m='6900'>graduate</span> <span m='7420'>school.</span> <span m='7730'>So</span> <span m='7910'>early</span> <span m='8280'>on,</span> <span m='8490'>you're</span> <span m='8630'>still</span> <span m='9050'>taking</span> <span m='9390'>a</span> <span m='9440'>lot</span> <span m='9750'>of</span> <span m='10000'>courses,</span> <span m='10590'>like</span> <span m='10810'>you</span> <span m='10910'>might</span> <span m='11100'>have</span> <span m='11190'>been</span> <span m='11490'>during</span> <span m='11760'>college.</span> <span m='13180'>Towards</span> <span m='13490'>the</span> <span m='13570'>middle</span> <span m='13820'>years,</span> <span m='14260'>you're</span> <span m='14690'>working</span> <span m='15380'>more</span> <span m='15740'>on</span> <span m='15880'>a</span> <span m='15950'>research</span> <span m='16410'>project.</span> <span m='16970'>So</span> <span m='17070'>you've</span> <span m='17170'>picked</span> <span m='17420'>a</span> <span m='17470'>project</span> <span m='17910'>that</span> <span m='18030'>you</span> <span m='18130'>want</span> <span m='18290'>to</span> <span m='18350'>work</span> <span m='18600'>on,</span> <span m='18800'>and</span> <span m='18880'>you're</span> <span m='19020'>working</span> <span m='19830'>often</span> <span m='20100'>with</span> <span m='20350'>faculty</span> <span m='20750'>members</span> <span m='21330'>and</span> <span m='21490'>other</span> <span m='21720'>grad</span> <span m='22020'>students</span> <span m='23180'>to</span> <span m='23320'>make</span> <span m='23520'>advances</span> <span m='24100'>on</span> <span m='24240'>your</span> <span m='24380'>project.</span> </p><p><span m='25590'>And</span> <span m='25780'>so</span> <span m='25980'>for</span> <span m='26170'>me,</span> <span m='26860'>that</span> <span m='27690'>involves</span> <span m='28470'>doing</span> <span m='28760'>a</span> <span m='28840'>lot</span> <span m='29100'>of</span> <span m='29220'>math,</span> <span m='29630'>and</span> <span m='29830'>also</span> <span m='30110'>a</span> <span m='30140'>lot</span> <span m='30330'>of</span> <span m='30410'>computer</span> <span m='30820'>simulations,</span> <span m='31500'>because</span> <span m='31760'>I</span> <span m='31830'>do</span> <span m='31990'>theoretical</span> <span m='32560'>physics.</span> <span m='33570'>For</span> <span m='33710'>other</span> <span m='33910'>people,</span> <span m='34200'>it</span> <span m='34300'>might</span> <span m='34510'>mean</span> <span m='34690'>working</span> <span m='35010'>in</span> <span m='35070'>a</span> <span m='35120'>laboratory.</span> <span m='36600'>And</span> <span m='36820'>then</span> <span m='37340'>these</span> <span m='37630'>days,</span> <span m='37940'>because</span> <span m='38220'>I'm</span> <span m='38350'>close</span> <span m='38620'>to</span> <span m='38740'>the</span> <span m='38880'>end,</span> <span m='39230'>I'm</span> <span m='39350'>mostly</span> <span m='39800'>spending</span> <span m='40190'>my</span> <span m='40340'>time</span> <span m='40810'>writing</span> <span m='41220'>up</span> <span m='41720'>all</span> <span m='41950'>of</span> <span m='42030'>the</span> <span m='42110'>work</span> <span m='42380'>that</span> <span m='42500'>I've</span> <span m='42630'>done</span> <span m='42820'>over</span> <span m='43000'>the</span> <span m='43120'>last</span> <span m='43460'>few</span> <span m='43550'>years</span> <span m='45140'>into</span> <span m='46410'>my</span> <span m='46550'>dissertation,</span> <span m='47410'>which</span> <span m='47500'>is</span> <span m='48795'>a</span> <span m='49180'>book-length</span> <span m='49700'>summary</span> <span m='50170'>of</span> <span m='50280'>what</span> <span m='50430'>it</span> <span m='50510'>is</span> <span m='50670'>that</span> <span m='50810'>I've</span> <span m='50990'>done.</span> </p><p><span m='51580'>So</span> <span m='52560'>for</span> <span m='52940'>a</span> <span m='53110'>very</span> <span m='53400'>long</span> <span m='53740'>time,</span> <span m='54160'>I</span> <span m='54300'>would</span> <span m='54480'>say,</span> <span m='54890'>since</span> <span m='55090'>I</span> <span m='55160'>was</span> <span m='55280'>really</span> <span m='55590'>little,</span> <span m='55940'>I've</span> <span m='56070'>been</span> <span m='56200'>the</span> <span m='56290'>type</span> <span m='56520'>of</span> <span m='56580'>guy</span> <span m='56840'>who was</span> <span m='56990'>interested</span> <span m='57380'>in</span> <span m='57460'>science</span> <span m='57870'>and</span> <span m='57970'>math.</span> <span m='58990'>And</span> <span m='59060'>when</span> <span m='59220'>I</span> <span m='59280'>got</span> <span m='59500'>to</span> <span m='59570'>high</span> <span m='59760'>school</span> <span m='60570'>was</span> <span m='60780'>the</span> <span m='60860'>first</span> <span m='61100'>time</span> <span m='61290'>I</span> <span m='61370'>took</span> <span m='61620'>physics.</span> <span m='62400'>And</span> <span m='62720'>my</span> <span m='62850'>high</span> <span m='63000'>school</span> <span m='63220'>physics</span> <span m='63570'>class was</span> <span m='63980'>awesome.</span> <span m='64450'>And</span> <span m='66055'>that</span> <span m='66500'>was</span> <span m='66710'>the</span> <span m='66800'>point</span> <span m='67180'>where</span> <span m='67320'>I</span> <span m='67430'>realized</span> <span m='68080'>that</span> <span m='68500'>physics</span> <span m='68890'>was</span> <span m='69080'>the</span> <span m='69160'>kind</span> <span m='69420'>of</span> <span m='69480'>science</span> <span m='69860'>that</span> <span m='69980'>I</span> <span m='70040'>wanted</span> <span m='70350'>to</span> <span m='70450'>be</span> <span m='70550'>doing.</span> <span m='71750'>And</span> <span m='71950'>so</span> <span m='72570'>I</span> <span m='73210'>went</span> <span m='73370'>to</span> <span m='73450'>college,</span> <span m='74660'>was</span> <span m='74960'>physics</span> <span m='75240'>major</span> <span m='75580'>in</span> <span m='75680'>college,</span> <span m='76150'>and then</span> <span m='76350'>straight</span> <span m='76580'>out</span> <span m='76670'>of</span> <span m='76740'>college,</span> <span m='77110'>applied</span> <span m='77420'>to</span> <span m='77490'>grad</span> <span m='77780'>school,</span> <span m='78060'>and</span> <span m='78150'>ended</span> <span m='78360'>up</span> <span m='78480'>here.</span> </p><p><span m='79100'>I've</span> <span m='79330'>learned</span> <span m='79820'>a</span> <span m='79930'>lot</span> <span m='80760'>of</span> <span m='81090'>physics.</span> <span m='81920'>I've</span> <span m='82040'>learned</span> <span m='82260'>a</span> <span m='82310'>lot</span> <span m='82520'>more</span> <span m='82700'>science.</span> <span m='83170'>I've</span> <span m='83300'>learned</span> <span m='83500'>a</span> <span m='83540'>lot</span> <span m='83800'>about</span> <span m='84030'>how</span> <span m='84150'>to</span> <span m='84230'>be</span> <span m='84490'>a</span> <span m='84540'>scientist</span> <span m='84840'>and</span> <span m='85140'>how to</span> <span m='85280'>do</span> <span m='85630'>science.</span> <span m='86970'>That</span> <span m='87360'>I</span> <span m='87470'>knew</span> <span m='87630'>a</span> <span m='87680'>little</span> <span m='87880'>bit</span> <span m='88030'>of</span> <span m='88970'>back</span> <span m='89200'>in</span> <span m='89280'>the</span> <span m='89370'>day,</span> <span m='89580'>but</span> <span m='89760'>not</span> <span m='89980'>so</span> <span m='90110'>much.</span> <span m='92196'>And</span> <span m='93300'>I've</span> <span m='93500'>also</span> <span m='93860'>learned</span> <span m='94370'>a</span> <span m='94480'>lot</span> <span m='94870'>about</span> <span m='96120'>how</span> <span m='96530'>to</span> <span m='97460'>collaborate</span> <span m='98090'>with</span> <span m='98260'>other</span> <span m='98470'>people,</span> <span m='98765'>how</span> <span m='99060'>to</span> <span m='99160'>work</span> <span m='99450'>on</span> <span m='99580'>other</span> <span m='99770'>people</span> <span m='100100'>on</span> <span m='100200'>a</span> <span m='100250'>project.</span> <span m='101790'>How</span> <span m='101880'>to</span> <span m='102050'>communicate</span> <span m='102900'>science</span> <span m='103390'>to</span> <span m='103490'>other</span> <span m='103710'>people</span> <span m='104030'>and</span> <span m='104120'>communicate my</span> <span m='104590'>results</span> <span m='105010'>to</span> <span m='105100'>other</span> <span m='105250'>people</span> <span m='105540'>through</span> <span m='105770'>writing</span> <span m='106095'>and through</span> <span m='106420'>giving</span> <span m='106660'>talks.</span> <span m='107715'>So</span> <span m='108210'>there's</span> <span m='108430'>all</span> <span m='108560'>sorts</span> <span m='108820'>of</span> <span m='108890'>skills</span> <span m='109260'>that</span> <span m='109380'>you</span> <span m='109470'>build</span> <span m='109750'>along</span> <span m='109800'>the</span> <span m='110090'>way</span> <span m='110730'>like</span> <span m='110960'>that.</span> </p><p><span m='111420'>I'm</span> <span m='113070'>taking</span> <span m='113400'>a</span> <span m='113450'>little</span> <span m='113660'>bit</span> <span m='113790'>of</span> <span m='113880'>a</span> <span m='113940'>different</span> <span m='114330'>track</span> <span m='114790'>than</span> <span m='114930'>normal,</span> <span m='115350'>maybe,</span> <span m='115670'>with</span> <span m='115840'>my</span> <span m='115990'>Ph.D.</span> <span m='116560'>So</span> <span m='116730'>I</span> <span m='116860'>am</span> <span m='117660'>probably</span> <span m='118050'>not</span> <span m='118310'>going</span> <span m='118410'>to</span> <span m='118460'>be</span> <span m='118570'>continuing</span> <span m='119120'>with</span> <span m='119270'>my</span> <span m='119400'>physics</span> <span m='119770'>research.</span> <span m='120300'>Instead,</span> <span m='121220'>as</span> <span m='121400'>a</span> <span m='121450'>grad</span> <span m='121730'>student,</span> <span m='122030'>I've</span> <span m='122160'>become</span> <span m='122550'>really</span> <span m='122970'>interested</span> <span m='123620'>in</span> <span m='124030'>education,</span> <span m='125590'>in</span> <span m='125810'>teaching</span> <span m='126130'>physics,</span> <span m='126650'>and in</span> <span m='126850'>trying</span> <span m='127090'>to</span> <span m='127230'>improve</span> <span m='127730'>the</span> <span m='127820'>way</span> <span m='128080'>that</span> <span m='128210'>physics</span> <span m='128610'>and</span> <span m='128720'>science</span> <span m='129010'>is</span> <span m='129300'>taught</span> <span m='130949'>in</span> <span m='131130'>middle</span> <span m='131320'>school</span> <span m='131630'>and</span> <span m='131690'>high</span> <span m='131830'>school,</span> <span m='132130'>at</span> <span m='132200'>the</span> <span m='132270'>college</span> <span m='132610'>level.</span> </p><p><span m='133000'>And</span> <span m='133170'>so</span> <span m='133380'>for</span> <span m='133550'>my</span> <span m='133680'>next</span> <span m='134760'>career</span> <span m='135080'>step,</span> <span m='135470'>I'm</span> <span m='135620'>going</span> <span m='135740'>to</span> <span m='135800'>move</span> <span m='136030'>into</span> <span m='136300'>a</span> <span m='136370'>position</span> <span m='138620'>where</span> <span m='138890'>I'm</span> <span m='138980'>going</span> <span m='139100'>to</span> <span m='139150'>be</span> <span m='139300'>helping</span> <span m='140300'>to</span> <span m='140730'>support</span> <span m='141240'>people</span> <span m='142670'>in</span> <span m='142920'>universities</span> <span m='143700'>in</span> <span m='143810'>trying</span> <span m='144090'>to</span> <span m='144240'>improve</span> <span m='144690'>their</span> <span m='144840'>introductory</span> <span m='145400'>science</span> <span m='145810'>courses.</span> <span m='146840'>And</span> <span m='147000'>to</span> <span m='147120'>really</span> <span m='147580'>use</span> <span m='148410'>methods</span> <span m='148890'>that</span> <span m='149040'>we</span> <span m='149180'>know</span> <span m='149450'>work</span> <span m='150900'>to</span> <span m='151040'>teach</span> <span m='151330'>people,</span> <span m='151930'>rather</span> <span m='152270'>than</span> <span m='152550'>the</span> <span m='152650'>same</span> <span m='152910'>old</span> <span m='153050'>thing</span> <span m='153240'>that</span> <span m='153350'>we've</span> <span m='153490'>been</span> <span m='153630'>doing</span> <span m='153930'>for</span> <span m='154080'>decades,</span> <span m='154510'>which</span> <span m='154680'>doesn't</span> <span m='154940'>really</span> <span m='155150'>work</span> <span m='155450'>so well.</span> </p>","file":{"id":290545,"video_id":"2711306001001","name":"1180-Joel-p-GradStudent","duration":156085,"thumbnail_url":null}});