Surely, you don’t expect this to be science?

easVisiting the EAS 2015 trade show in Göteborg last week made me reflect back on Supercomputing ‘95 in San Diego that I visited as part of the Swedish council for high-performance computing. There were large similarities: Byers, vendors and users getting together for a show of spectacularly large and expensive high-tech machines and also watch curiously to see what buyer is talking closely to what seller – although during SC95, the machines were supercomputers, not carousels and roller coasters. Both trade shows featured fast-driving cars or airplanes – the movie and gaming industry have a long tradition of using computing power, although at SC95, the cars or airplanes were likely to be accompanied by a visualization of the flow, e.g. in a numerical windtunnel.

The EAS ice sculpture in the entrance to the opening reception at Liseberg reminded also me of similar sculpture at a Cray party. During that party the guests wore blinking buttons showing the new hypercube T3E architecture – and in the EAS opening reception, the participants wore Liseberg rabbit ears.

Although there are many similarities, there are also differences that can probably be ascribed to the different characters of the relations to their user bases, but also to different relations to science, technology and education.

Continue reading

20 Years of Amusement Park Physics

disk_kuling_platsDuring a few days, 10-15 of September 2015, I participated in, arranged and observed three different physics/science days in three parks: Gröna Lund, Liseberg and Tivoli Gardens – and realised that I could look back on 20 years of amusement park physics. These 20 years have involved a development from a small introductory activity for 35 students to a wide range of tasks of many levels of difficulty for most rides in Liseberg and Gröna Lund, as well as international collaborations. The student assignments have been presented in some detail in a number of articles. The evolving format has built on reflections and evaluations from students, teachers and collaborators, and been scaled up to special edutainment or physics days for thousands of students, and forms for teacher involvement as described in our paper about Teacher Roles in Amusement Parks.

Continue reading

Professor in Science Communication and Physics Education at Lund University.

From today, 1 January 2015, I am professor in Science Communication and Physics Education at Lund university. This implies an expansion of my position as director of NRCF – The Swedish National Resource Centre for Physics Education to include also time for research during the next couple of years. Continue reading