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Abstract Title: Preparing students for physics-intensive careers in optics and photonics
Abstract: Initial results will be described from an ongoing study that is investigating both academic and industrial career paths in optics and photonics. By grounding the discussion of workforce development in education research, we can have more productive discussions and a more accurate understanding of contentious topics such as skills gaps, shortages of skilled STEM workers, and similarities and differences between academic and industrial careers.  The study is refining our understanding about how specific math, physics, and communication skills are utilized in academic and industrial labs. Initial results indicate significant use of computational mathematics in the workplace and a span of communication modes that extends beyond technical writing, including group work, critiquing, one-on-one training, documenting, and more. The information should inform physics departments seeking to link their curriculum with students' future careers and serve as a case study for directly linking physics education research with national priorities in workforce development.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Benjamin Zwickl
Rochester Institute of Technology
84 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623
Phone: 5854754512
and Co-Presenter(s)
Javier Olivera, Rochester Institute of Technology
Kirk Winans, Rochester Institute of Technology
Kelly Martin, Rochester Institute of Technology

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster