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Student Lecture Series

Student Lecture Series SLS

The University of Utah Department of Physics and Astronomy hosts a student lectureship program, the Student Lecture Series (SLS), with the intention of allowing students at all levels to practice their scientific communication skills and teaching skills. Lectures are scheduled every other Tuesday (see the calendar below). If you're interested in submitting a proposal for a talk, use the button above. There you can also find a directory of the current committee members and a list of previous talks given by students at the University of Utah.

The SLS is hosted on alternate Tuesday nights from 4:00pm to 5:00pm. You can find the selected lecturers and their proposed talks in the calendar below. The SLS committee meets once monthly to select the speakers for the month following the current one. Speakers are generally given at least 3 weeks notice before their speaking date.

Our Mission

  • Engaged Pedagogy
    The SLS seeks to highlight students who place an emphasis on engaged, innovative, and effective pedagogical methods.
  • Educational Value
    SLS Lectures are selected particularly to highlight topics and ideas which are applicable, interesting, and engaging for students. We seek to present lectures on topics which extend and improve the core curriculum of offered course work.
  • Learning First Culture
    SLS is committed to promoting a culture of curiosity and collaboration within the P&A community. Student instructors are not experts in those topics which they teach and we therefore encourage SLS lectures to be a space to acknowledge limitations in our knowledge, to foster discussion, and to encourage students to explore without fear of judgement for imperfect execution.
  • Encouraging Student Engagement
    SLS seeks to provide an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to better mingle both between one another and with faculty.
  • Reinforcing A Shared Love for Physics
    Being a student can be hard and stressful. SLS aims to provide students with a space to enjoy learning and thinking about physics outside of the stressors of actual course work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question that's not answered here? You can reach to committee via email here.

Who will I be lecturing to?

Lectures are open to the entire P & A community, including faculty. This doesn't mean to need to be an expert! You should be comfortable with the subject you're teaching, but no one expects you to be the foremost expert in the room.

Am I allowed to give a lecture?

If you're a student (grad or undergrad), a post bach, a soon to be student, or a post-doc then the answer is YES! The only people who can't give the lectures are faculty (because they already get to do it for work).

Can I Talk About My Research?

Maybe. We want these talks to be informative and useful. If your research is about something that the "average" undergraduate student could find useful, then yes absolutely. If your research would be incomprehensible to a freshman in the department, maybe not.

What is the committee looking for?

We want to see 4 components: Accessibility (how well can a freshman understand it?), Applicability (how useful is it to a general physicist?), Innovative (are you trying to teach in an interesting way), and Originality (do students see this in their core classes? What makes yours better?)

Where are the lectures?

TBD - One of the JFB lecture halls.

I want to do a demonstration! What do I have to do?

We LOVE demonstrations! If you'd like to do a demo, please indicate so in your proposal. If selected, we'll be in touch to help facilitate making that demonstration come to life.

Are lectures recorded?

Not yet. We are working on making this happen!

When are the lectures

Lectures are hosted on alternating Tuesdays from 4:00pm - 5:00pm.

Can this go on my CV?


Meet The SLS Committee!

(Contact Us:

Eliza Diggins

SLS Committee Chair

Josh Hill

Committee Member

Amaya Sinha

Committee Member

Anne Durr

Committee Member

Dr. Kelby Hahn

Faculty Liaison