Conceptual Physics and Rod's Teaching
Rod was again scheduled to teach the intensive Conceptual Physics in two three-week courses beginning on June 18. This course was designed to give some conceptual background to science education majors who were going to teach physical science in elementary or middle school. Dr. Joe Hadley, Chair of Physics and Astronomy, had approached Rod in 1980 about developing this course and he had taught it each summer since that. It was developed at the request of the College of Education to meet a certification requirement for these students.
The above is a flyer that Rod produced to promote the course to the science education students. It represents about the state of the art for computer graphics at that time. The graphics were xeroxed from Hewitt's Conceptual Physics text which was used for the course. Taping the small xeroxed segments on the printed page was the best he could do at the time. The text layout may have been on the first Macintosh that came out at about that time, or may have been on the later models of the Apple-II which we were using in the laboratory for Conceptual Physics at that time. There was no color graphics capability on the computers at that time.
Second, the rapid development of computer capability with the introduction of the Apple Macintosh and the appearance of the first vector graphics program called Adobe-88 in 1988, the dream of a computer-based exploration environment to help these teachers on an on-going basis began to form.
This dream ultimately led to HyperPhysics, which was developed originally to be a tool for teachers to provide ongoing help to them as they taught. The Macintosh as a graphical interface encouraged the development of a graphical interface for HyperPhysics. Many of the items like the introduction to collisions above made their way into HyperPhysics. Having done graphics on the chalkboard for many years, it was somewhat natural to produce a graphical environment to help teachers and students.