Freshman Seminar: Physics of Energy

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This seminar is a collaboration among three faculty—Professors Marc Baldo, Steve Leeb, and Les Norford—who have collaborated for years on projects that involve energy. There are 3 sections (4.A22, 6.A47, and 6.A48), each led by one faculty member who will be the seminar leader and freshman advisor to the 8 freshmen in his section. You may list one, two or three of the sections among your seminar choices.

Ever wonder what makes a motor turn? How a windmill can make electricity? How a flashlight you shake can make light? How the range of an electric go-cart you'll drive compares to a gasoline-powered cart? In this seminar, we'll explore all sorts of systems that make, use, and convert electric power. We'll look at heat engines, electrical generators and motors, and circuits to control these devices. We will work in teams to develop energy experiments. Come if you're excited to build and want to learn about energy!

Les Norford will be the advisor to this section 4.A22. Les is a mechanical engineer who teaches in the Department of Architecture and has a special interest in environmental issues. He's studied buildings and how people live and work in them around the world. Les earned his BS in engineering science from Cornell University and his PhD in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University.


The Freshman Advising Seminars (FAS) program, offered by the Office of Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming, is one advising option available to freshmen. It is available only to first-term freshmen, who must apply online. A Freshman Advising Seminar is typically led by a faculty member who also serves as the freshman advisor to the small group of seminar advisees. While a FAS can vary in style and topic, most are oriented to group discussion and offer an opportunity to interact closely with faculty.

All Advising Seminars receive six units of credit and are graded P/D/F.