## Archive for the ‘Admin’ category

### Psychology by the numbers

September 29, 2013

Psychology would seem, at first look, to be one of the sciences with the least involvement with mathematics. After all, psychology is all about the mind, all about people – what does mathematics have to do with that?

Well, as it turns out, a lot! The main reason is that mathematics is of use, is that psychology has one aspect that most people don’t consider. Most think of psychology as relating to a single person, but there is one other consideration. We also care about how groups respond, and how the individual compares to the group.

To this end, we need a simple way to describe groups, so we can compare them to each other and to the individual. The best way to do this reliably is to use mathematics – and we are interested in two particular concepts – the idea of what the average value of a group is, and the idea of how much the group is distributed.

In this post, I will cover the basic mathematics you will need to describe these concepts – which you will need for your Empirical Research Activity (ERA) report that is due at the end of term 4. The mathematics is *not* difficult, and you will be able to the majority of it on your computer, by using microsoft excel (or a similar piece of software).

### Looking through medical imaging

September 18, 2013

Well, this will be a quick unit. You might say that we will be only “looking through” it, rather than going for the full-on invasive surgery that we have done so far in our studies of motion.

The main purpose of this unit is to help you understand how we can use different types of radiation and other technologies to obtain information about the internal structures of objects or organisms that are not transparent to visible light.

When we have the ability to see into objects, it gives information that can be used to guide other choices – from determining the safety of a bridge (looking for microfractures in beams), to the integrity of a jet turbine or airscrew (checking to see for weaknesses that may result in catastrophic failure) or to diagnose medical conditions prior to surgery.

Your task for this unit is to select one of the following medical physics technology, and explain the basic physics behind what form of energy is used (define the type), how it is generated (if appropriate), how it interacts with material objects (how it is affected by passing through matter), how it is received (how the energy is collected and transformed so that the internal structure of what it passed through is made visible). You also need to discuss the advantages (what it allows the user to do) and disadvantages (what risks or dangers are inherent in the used of the technology).

### Coach Carter Resources

September 13, 2013

I am away with sick family; my wife is back in hospital. I expect to be back next week. To help you complete the Coach Carter assignment, here are some links for you.

Script & useful quotes (If you want top grades, I expect you to find your own relevant quotes)

http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/c/coach-carter-script-transcript.html

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0393162/quotes

See you in class.

### Physics is *powerful* stuff

July 31, 2013

An’ Yur OUTTA here!

That’s Area of Study One, Unit Four, Down! Now it’s up to you to make sure it stays down for the count, and that you’ve knocked it out conclusively – time for some preparation, a bit of (mental) exercise before final round, the Assessment task.

OK, back to the serious stuff. Each of you are working on a common resource to share for the summary of this area of study, but you must also be preparing your own summary sheet (one page, one side) to be used for this task, and then revised for the next and saved for the final examination. Those resources are to be ready for distribution via the Melba Physics page on Friday, so everyone has a chance to use them over the weekend.

The first assessment task is a straight forward test – we have a data analysis task to follow. You know the nature of the questions we discussed in class, but here is a link to the cover pages and formula sheet for the task. There are also links to files that we used in class here (1, 2). Make the most of them – they will help you prepare if you make sure that what you are doing is focused so that you ace this task.

### Physics is a *moving* science

July 21, 2013

Don’t start crying – it’s not about emotion, its all about motion. On second thoughts, you might want to cry after all – this unit we start pulling out the maths, and we just WON’T STOP! There is a lot to get done, and less time to do it in, but we’ve already talked about how much harder you are going to have to work this semester, so I won’t go into that any further.

The important thing to remember, when we are solving equations or drawing graphs is that PHYSICS IS NOT A MATHEMATICAL SUBJECT! Mathematics may be one of the techniques we use to model, analyse or predict what will happen in a situation, but the important thing is the concepts and theories underneath – you must understand the ideas below the mathematics. This is why the major task I have assigned to you so far is all about your “reading record”, not a list of questions. Keep in mind you must try and understand the “why” before you start analysing the “how” with the formulas.

This is not to say that you can ignore the mathematical components -NO! But it is equally important that you make sure that you understand both parts of the science – the Mathematical (data, formulas, graphs and equations) and the Conceptual (Theories, Laws and explanations).

### What is Psychology?

July 15, 2013

Psychology is possibly the most interesting subject that you can take in school. Why? Because it is (mostly!) all about you – and you are interesting, aren’t you?

This semester, we will be studying an introduction to psychology – we will be looking at what psychology is, what sort of jobs are available in psychology, how to conduct research in psychology and a few of the more interesting types of psychological specialisations.

There will be a lot of fun this semester, but also a lot of work. Please talk to the students of last semester’s class if you think it will be easy – it isn’t and you will need to be working hard to succeed!

The human brain is an amazing thing – the picture just above is an example – are there 12 or 13 children shown in the picture  – it’s a trick, but it does show you how easy it is to trick your brain.

### Motorin’ on!

July 10, 2013

To my year 12 physics class: Get to it!

More to come…