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Dean Hamden

Assistant Professor, Physics and Astronomy

Center for Environmental & Life Sciences 100C
BS, Fairleigh Dickinson University
MAT, Fairleigh Dickinson University
PhD, Walden University
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Research: I am conducting research on:

1. Problem solving in the general physics course.
2. Use of social media ( Face Book ) to improve engagement and learning in the general physics course.
3. Use of latest neuroscience research to improve learning in the general physics course.
4. Application of physics laws to Human Behavior, like relationship between Elasticity of relationships and happiness, and other relational factors like Entropy.


I consider teaching the most important part of a professors responsibilities. To that end I look back at every lecture and demonstration to see if I could make it better. I have used these techniques to improve student deep learning and to develop important critical thinking skills that students will transfer to other areas of study.
These include:

1. Use of discovery and demonstrations to derive physical laws rather than lecturing.
2. Use of YouTube videos to illustrate physical phenomenon that may be hard to demonstrate.
3. Use of computer simulations to illustrate phenomena that cannot be physically demonstrated such as electrostatics.
4. Continuously evaluating classic assumptions and challenging with new techniques.
5. Changing the format of problems to see if they can be made easier for students to solve.
6. Use of incentives like a Physics T shirt to promote physics and get students to be more engaged.
7. Using experiments with students being involved as part of the experiment, like measuring student best acceleration and horse power.
8. Taking student on field trips that compliment lab experiences like the Physics show.

Other responsibilities:

1. I am the physics teacher education advisor.
2.I am the advisor for the Graduate MAT program in Physical science.


Problem Solving
Learning Theory
Physics of Human Behavior
Research In Problem Solving in The General Physics Course, Excerpts and Summary of Results in the link below:


Office Hours


4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Research Projects

Problem Solving in the general physics course

We are using the latest neuroscience findings to develop a stepped process to help non-intuitive students solve physics problems.
Problem solvers fall in two broad categories:
Intuitive (the student who knows exactly what to do to solve the problem) and
Non-intuitive (the student who is lost and needs some established pattern to follow to solve the problem)

Effect of Elasticity on Happiness in Human Relationships

An Elasticity constant describes the stretchability of elastic objects like springs, rubber bands. The lower the constant, the more elastic or stretchable the spring is, and the higher the constant, the less flexible. We developed a questionnaire that quantifies the elasticity constant in human relationships. The hypothesis is that the lower the constant the easier going, and more flexible the partners are and the happier they are. The higher the constant, the less flexible and the more difficult the partner are.