Teaching Physics with MATLAB Through Project-Based Learning

Chris Melllor

In this webinar we focus on the use of MATLAB in undergraduate physics teaching in the School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, U.K. All physics students are taught MATLAB in the first year of their degree, and the use of MATLAB is emphasized throughout the degree program. In the second year, students are taught about the use of computers in experimentation, again using MATLAB as the software environment for communicating with laboratory instruments and data acquisition hardware. In their third year, students take a project module that may be experimental, theoretical, or analysis-based. The students use MATLAB in many creative ways to control experiments, as well as to model and analyze data. 

Featured examples of student project work include:

  • recording fluid flow at 200 frames per second 
  • NMR data acquisition and control 
  • processing satellite images

About the Presenter: Dr. Chris Mellor is an associate professor and reader in physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham. His teaching responsibilities include the coordination of the third-year project laboratory, and he is chair of the Teaching Laboratories Committee. He has taught undergraduate students MATLAB for more than 10 years. His research interests include the study of nanomechanical resonators at low temperature.

Product Focus

  • MATLAB
  • Data Acquisition Toolbox
  • Instrument Control Toolbox
  • Curve Fitting Toolbox

Recorded: 8 Dec 2010