How to teach me Physics

I was invited by Physics Today’s editor to write “on how you are being taught physics and—more important—how you would prefer to be taught physics.” So I took the challenge as an exercise of academic integrity and it was quite fun to write it too! My essay, How to teach me physics: Tradition is not always a virtue [Phys. Today 70, 3, 10 (2017)], was published in March of this year. I received positive comments from outstanding physicists such as Freeman Dyson, Frank Wilczek, and Eugene Parker. In particular, Dyson gave me the following advice after reading my essay:

“I agree with you that the time spent in formal class-room lectures and course-work is mostly wasted. You don’t need all that stuff to do science. . . . My advice to you is to skip the classes as much as the system allows, and get to work on a real problem. When you work on a real problem, you quickly find out what you really need to know.”