Curriculum Vitae


Boye M. Odom                           Physics and Astronomy                    11/27/2013


Educational History

M.S., Physics, University of Texas at El Paso, 1981
Thesis results published:  B. M. Odom and D. E. Bowen, Ultrasonic Absorption in Lithium-Methylamine Solutions, Journal of Physical Chemistry, 88, 3904(1984)

B.S., Physics, University of Texas at El Paso, 1978

Additional graduate hours, University of Texas at Austin, 1981-1983


Employment History

2001-Present         Director of Regener Laboratories, Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of New Mexico

2013-Present         Principal Lecturer, Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of New Mexico

1998-2013     Lecturer II, Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of New Mexico

1997-1998     Visiting Lecturer, Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of New Mexico

1986-1997     Instructor of Physics, Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute (now Central New Mexico Community College)

1981-1983     Teaching Assistant, University of Texas at Austin

1978-1981     Teaching Assistant, University of Texas at El Paso


Professional Recognition, Honors, etc.

Teaching Allocations Subcommittee Award for “Enhancing Physics Laboratories with Core Concepts in Physics CD (2002)   University of New Mexico

William P. and Heather W. Weber Award for Teaching Excellence  (2008)   University of New Mexico


Workshop and Conference Participation

2005          AAPT Annual Meeting (Albuquerque)

2003          Introductory Calculus Based Physics Conference (Arlington)

2000          Site Visit to University of Washington Physics Education Group (Seattle)

1999          New Mexico Collaborative for Excellence in Teacher Preparation Conference

1999          AAPT Summer Meeting Workshops:

Tutorials, Part I

Tutorials, Part II

Just in Time Teaching

Interactive Lecture Demos

1998          Site Visit to NCSU to study SCALE UP program and WebAssign (Raleigh)

1998          AAPT Chairs Conference on “Building Undergraduate Physics Programs for the 21st

                Century” (Arlington)

1998          Introductory Physics Conference III (Waves)

1997          Introductory Physics Conference II (Electricity, Magnetism, Optics)

1996          Introductory Physics Conference I (Mechanics)

1993          Microcomputer-Based Lab Workshop II

1993          Conceptual Exercise/Overview-Case Study Workshop II

1992          Conceptual Exercise/Overview-Case Study Workshop I

1991          Microcomputer-Based Lab Workshop I


On Teaching

I have long enjoyed the challenge of being able to describe or present physical ideas to students in a way that they can understand and then to watch the “light bulb” turn on. Having taught many students at the introductory level, however, I have learned several things. I have learned that good lectures coupled with good lecture notes and compelling physical demonstrations do not always result in the learning of certain concepts by my students. Through my exposure to the results of physics education research, I have learned techniques or pedagogical approaches that can increase student learning as measured on certain conceptual diagnostic tests. I have experimented with several of these PER based approaches and had some successes.


Clear articulation of ideas is desirable. Implementing various active engagement strategies to improve student conceptual learning is valuable. What is most important, however, is something different from a good curriculum and well-researched pedagogy. The most critical element – and it is no surprise - is the teacher. It matters how I, as the teacher, connect with my students that makes learning physics the rich and valuable human enterprise that it should be. It is as a teacher that I can convey to the students the idea that learning physics is a worthy human endeavor.


Ideally, a teacher can make the subject interesting to students. Realistically, however, not all students will find physics interesting. More than that, it is simply not possible for me to teach - or for my students to learn - everything that I think they should learn in an introductory course. Therefore, just as important as the details of what is learned is the metalesson that the subject can be learned! Once a student understands that he or she can learn something in an area, the student has obtained a skill or an attitude that will be valuable for a lifetime of learning. It is the teacher who can build experiences that let a student find out that a subject is learnable.


In order to build these experiences, it is necessary for the teacher to connect with the students. It is necessary for the teacher to actually care about the students. Yes, it is necessary to care about their learning of certain material, but more than that to care about them as people. As the adage goes, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Students are great discerners of whether a teacher genuinely cares about them, about their learning, or even about the course itself.


In my current role as Director of Regener Laboratories, I supervise the Graduate Teaching Assistants (TAs) who teach the introductory labs. I have spent a good deal of time and effort to provide them top-notch laboratory workbooks that include many pedagogical innovations. But I realize that the TAs, not just the curricula, are critical for student learning and success. Therefore, much of my “teaching” is done by spending time with my TAs and helping them in any way that I can. This is one of the motivations for my seminar. TAs are the key for the success of my labs. They are the ones upon whom I must rely to reach the students in the introductory laboratories.


Classroom Teaching

Albuquerque TVI (Central New Mexico Community College)

Fall 1986       Physics 160

Spring 1987   Physics 160 (2)

Summer 1987         Physics 160; Math 120 (2)

Fall 1987       Physics 160 (2); Math 120 (2)

Spring 1988   Physics 160; Math 120 (4)

Summer 1988         Physics 160; Math (2)

Fall 1988       Physics 160 (2); Physics 151; Physics 102; Physics 153L/163L

Spring 1989   Physics 160 (2); Physics 102; Physics 153L/163L

Summer 1989         Physics 151; Physics 102 (2); Physics 153L

Fall 1989       Physics 160; Physics 151; Physics 102; Physics 153L

Spring 1990   Physics 161; Physics 152; Physics 151; Physics 154L; Physics 153L

Summer 1990         Physics 160; Physics 102 (2)

Fall 1990       Physics 262; Physics 161; Physics153L/163L

Spring 1991   Physics 262; Physics 152; Physics 151; Physics 153L

Summer 1991         Physics 160; Physics 152; Physics 102; Physics 153L/163L

Fall 1991       Physics 161; Physics 160 (2); Physics 152

Spring 1992   Physics 262; Physics 161; Physics 160 (2)

Summer 1992         Physics 161; Physics 102; Physics 154L

Fall 1992       Physics 262; Physics 161; Physics 154L; Physics 153L/163L (2)

Spring 1993   Physics 262; Physics 152; Physics 154L; Physics 153L/163L (2)

Summer 1993         Physics 151 (2); Physics 153L (2)

Fall 1993       Physics 262; Physics 151; Physics 154L; Physics 153L/163l (2)

Spring 1994   Physics 262; Physics 151; Physics 154L; Physics 153L/163L (2)

Summer 1994         Physics 151 (2); Physics 153L

Fall 1994       Physics 151 (2); Physics 153L/163L; Physics 153L (2)

Spring 1995   Physics 151 (2); Physics 153L/163L (3)

Summer 1995         Physics 151 (2); Physics 153L/163L

Fall 1995       Physics 151 (2); Physics 153L/163L (3)

Spring 1996   Physics 151 (2); Physics 153L/163L (3)

Summer 1996         Physics 153L/163L; [Physics 151 (2)?]

Fall 1996       Physics 151 (2); Physics 153L/163L (3)

Spring 1997   Physics 160; Physics 151 (3)

Summer 1997         Physics 161; Physics 160; Physics 151


University of New Mexico

2001 Spring   General Physics 160    140 students

2000-Present Spring and Fall   Physics 452 (TA Seminar)  6-10 students per semester


Curriculum Development or Teaching Administrative Positions

2000-Present Director of Regener Laboratories 

A Director of Regener Laboratories I am responsible for all aspects of the introductory physics labs that serve on the order of five hundred students each semester. I have completely revamped our introductory lab program. Significant changes in pedagogy and laboratory workbooks are detailed elsewhere. I am responsible for the conduct and operation of the laboratories including these academic, administrative and logistical/technical components:

Academic responsibilities

-Set the overall tone of the labs

-Establish the curricula for all introductory labs

-Ensure the integrity and fidelity of the physics in the laboratory workbooks

-Set the syllabi and schedule of topics

-Establish the grading and attendance policies

-Assess the effectiveness of lab instruction

-Train and coach Graduate Teaching Assistants via seminar and personal contact

-Ensure that the TAs understand the topics and concepts in the labs

-As primary instructor for all lab sections, maintain a permanent record of student scores, attendance and semester grades

-Advise students in terms of prerequisites for labs and which labs are appropriate

-Set permissions and overrides for students as advisable

-Help students with questions on experiments, physics concepts and lab reports

-Coordinate labs with lectures to the extent possible

-Give occasional lectures or demonstrations for various student groups

-Stay current with trends in physics teaching and in technology

Administrative responsibilities

-Interview incoming graduate students to determine their suitability for teaching

-Devise a teaching schedule with appropriate TA assignments

-Coordinate TA lab preparation

-Advise undergraduate students on registration issues or any question regarding the labs

-Maintain a “storefront” for the labs for faculty, TAs and students

-Act as department liaison for the labs to other constituencies on campus and in the community

-Facilitate learning experiences for off campus student groups who visit the labs

-Maintain a website for the labs

Logistical/Technical responsibilities

-Set up and maintain about 35 networked computers in the labs

-Coordinate all physical resources related to the labs. This includes ordering new equipment or having it fabricated, updating hardware and software, repairing or arranging the repair of equipment, organizing the stockroom of lab equipment.

-Maintain lab supplies


University Service

2013 Wrote the 2013 Core Course Assessment Report

2013 Chair Introductory Physics and Astronomy Committee

1999-2013  Member (and chair) of the Regener Hall/Service Course Committee

2007-2008 Member of the team which developed our Core Course Assessment plan

2008-2009 Coordinated Core Course Assessment and wrote the 2009 Core Course Assessment Report

2000-Present Coordinate and maintain assessment of student learning in labs

2007 Provided Lab upgrade and assessment information for department review associated with accreditation

2002 Chair of the committee to hire Lecture Demonstration Coordinator

1999-2000 Participated in writing NSF grant proposals

2000 Served on NSF Review Panel

I have hosted physics education speakers for our department colloquia.

I have given periodic lecture/demonstration talks to various high school and middle school student groups and even once to a Native American pre-school group to spark their interest in science.

I have facilitated lab experiences for high school student groups.

I have facilitated various projects for engineering students by lending them equipment and giving them advice on probeware and software.

I have facilitated students who put on the OSE Science & Technology Day at Expo New Mexico.

I have advised SIPI regarding their physics labs.

I have advised and facilitated GK12 Fellow, Alim Haji to bring interesting physics to middle school teachers and students.

I served as the faculty mentor for Robert Edmonds on his Undergraduate Research project (2005). His work was highlighted in a poster “Images of a Tornado” presented at the UNM Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium. Robert received an award for his project, and continues to pursue his passion as noted in the Albuquerque Journal, September 18, 2012.

I helped David Scarpetti and Nick Joseph, on a project “A New Class of Rubber Refrigerators” and helped them put the poster together for presentation at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. (2007)

I am the faculty advisor for the chartered student groups Renovate  and Israel Alliance


Community Service

Member of Communion Board at my church

Member of Challenge Men’s Leadership Team

Member of CareTeam for two different missionaries (Team leader for one)

Host and Lead home Bible study

Past president and vice president of Supper Rock Neighborhood Association