Reed physics department recognized for achievements
High numbers of graduates and productive learning environment cited
The American Institute of Physics
reported in the July 2002 edition of
AIP Report that, of the more than 500 U.S. institutions offering
undergraduate-only physics programs, Reed College in 1998,
1999, and 2000 produced an
average of 17 graduates per year, the third-highest number. Reed
trails only the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy—which
offer primarily technical curricula—in this distinction.
The National Task Force for Undergraduate
Physics visited Reed’s physics facilities this year and produced
a highly positive profile, which is posted on their website.
Beyond recognizing Reed’s steadily high physics graduation rate,
the task force praised these aspects of Reed’s physics program:
the graduation average also exceeds 80 percent of that of Ph.D.-granting
institutions; the rate of retention for physics majors is very high; a
non-competitive “cohesive, supportive, and collegial attitude”
pervades the department; undergraduate education, rather than funded research,
is the chosen measure of faculty accomplishment; and a close bond is formed
between the physics faculty and students that culminates in the unifying
senior thesis experience.