Physics Faculty Member Presents National Workshop
Catawba Valley Community College physics and astronomy faculty member Joe Heafner recently conducted a workshop at the winter meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers at the University of California San Diego.
In the workshop, Heafner taught physics instructors how to use the mathematical markup software called LaTeX. Freely available in desktop and web based versions, LaTeX was developed in the 1970s as a typesetting system for physics, math and other related textbooks. Today, many graduate programs in science, technology, engineering and math require students to submit their papers and student work using LaTeX software.
Heafner requires his students in upper level physics courses to use LaTeX to submit assignments. This has been an advantage for students who transfer to universities where they are required to learn the program and use it in the first weeks of the semester.
Heafner has been invited to repeat his presentation at the January 2019 meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers in Houston and at the North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers this spring.
He was named a Fellow of the American Association of Physics Teachers and received the organization’s Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service. A regular contributor to Sky & Telescope magazine, Heafner has authored a number of professional papers on physics, astronomy, and critical thinking. He has also authored and co-authored several physics textbooks.
Heafner joined the CVCC faculty in 1992 and teaches all levels of introductory physics and astronomy. He is a member of the Catawba Valley Astronomy Club, a staff member of the Lucile Miller Observatory and volunteers with the Catawba Science Center.
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