FIU Department of Physics

First-Year Physics Seminar
PHY 1033

Tuesdays, 11am - noon
CP 220


Dr. Laird Kramer
Laird.Kramer at
CP 211

Dr. Caroline Simpson
simpsonc at
CP 217A

Course Information

This weekly seminar course will introduce you to a variety of research fields in physics, especially those pursued here in our Physics Department. You will meet and talk with several physics faculty, as well as your fellow physics students and graduate students. There will be informal presentations by faculty and graduate students, and several senior undergraduate physics majors. You will learn how to make the most of your physics education at FIU, physics career options, and how physics research is done.

The goal of this experience is to help you make the most of your physics degree. We will ask for feedback throughout the course, but feel free to let us know anytime how to improve the course.

Attendance: This is a seminar course and need your input to be successful. Attendance is therefore required and counts towards your grade. You may have one excused absence during the term.

Contributing to the Discussions: This is an informal discussion-based course, so you must not only come to the class, but you must also contribute to the discussions. Contributing includes posing questions, answering questions, and offering opinions.

Presentation: You will be responsible for one 10-minute presentation on a physics-related topic of your choice. The topic must be approved by one of the instructors. Ideas for topics can come from magazines, newspapers, the web, or your imagination. The goal is to pick a topic that you find interesting and think your fellow classmates will enjoy.

Email List: An email list will be created to distribute information on the course and encourage group discussion. Your FIU email will be added to the list. You may also request that your favorite addresses be added.

Grading: The grade breakdown is:





Interesting Links: Here are links to several professional organizations. They have useful information about careers, topics, meetings, recent discoveries...

American Physical Society:
American Institute of Phyics:
American Astronomical Society:
American Association of Physics Teachers:
Physics Central:


Jan 8


Jan 15


Jan 22


Jan 29


Feb 5


Feb 12


Feb 19


Feb 26


Mar 4


Mar 11


Mar 18

Spring Break -- No Class

Mar 25


Apr 1


Apr 8


Apr 15

Apr 22 Final Exam

*Schedule subject to change