Saving the World 101: Teaching After Staying too Long at the Fair.

  • March 6, 2024, 3:30 pm US/Central
  • George Gollin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Chris Stoughton

During five decades in HEP, I have seen

  • remarkable discoveries: three generations, Higgs, support for inflationary cosmology…;
  • ideas that were so very, very compelling but were wrong (SU(5) ⟹ proton decay);
  • a necessary evolution in how we work: larger collaborations and devices, longer time scales;
  • growing preferences for the crippling, pyrrhic victories of turf protection and electoral success.

Late in a career, aware of an approaching horizon, it can become time to walk away from all this. But towards what?

Things I learned from hammering diploma mill criminals:

  • I can make a difference;
  • I should engage in a way that brings my professional skills into play;
  • I should stay focused on the desired outcome.

I’ll describe what is working for me in creating UIUC’s new Master’s in Instrumentation and Applied Physics. Here is what I/we do:

  1. Identify unaddressed problems in medicine, transportation, performing arts,…
  2. Teach students to design, build and program an embedded system of devices to address the problem.
  3. Document what we’ve done and try to move it out into the world.

So far so good; I’ll spend most of my time describing the things we’re building, and bring lots of samples to show you.