Carnegie Mellon University

2022 Ryan Award Recipient

David Anderson

Associate Teaching Professor of Physics

David Anderson is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Physics Department. He joined the department as a Special Lecturer in 2008 and has focused on undergraduate education ever since. In the Spring he primarily teaches Experimental Physics, a course focused on introducing some of the key ideas of scientific experimentation gradually through a series of experiments in diverse areas of physics, from mechanics to nuclear and atomic physics. In the Fall he teaches Physics 1 to the incoming cohort of engineering students. This course covers Newtonian Mechanics and Thermodynamics and is focused on acquiring the ability to apply a few basic principles and concepts to a large variety of problems, to break complicated problems into parts that can be solved successively, and to identify and critique the assumptions and approximations involved in solving a particular problem. When he is not teaching, Dr. Anderson works on a number of committees including the CMU Academic Review Board, and the Physics Department’s Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, focused on keeping our physics courses up to date and making sure our students are as well prepared as possible for whatever is the next phase in their life, whether that’s graduate school, or industry, or applying those physics skills to data science, finance, or some other field of their choosing.

Dr. Anderson received his B.Sc. in Theoretical Physics in 1998 from the University of Essex (UK). He then moved to York to study Condensed Matter Physics under Professor Mohamed Babiker, focusing on the theory of electron-phonon interactions in low-dimensional materials. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of York in 2003. After working a temporary appointment at the York Structural Biology Laboratory examining the structure of proteins, he moved to the US to teach at Deep Springs College in Inyo County, California. He lived briefly in Baltimore before moving to South Carolina to teach at Francis Marion University for three years. In 2008 he was hired as a Special Lecturer in the Physics Department at CMU, and has never looked back. Dr. Anderson has also taught in short term positions at Duquesne University, the Pennsylvania Governor’s School, and Sichuan University in China.