Mike Ries is a Senior Lecturer in Physics at the University of Leeds, and is the head of the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Group, with his research focusing on how to use NMR to determine microscopic properties. He has a theoretician background investigating the mathematics behind NMR with the aim to understand aspects about matter, dynamics and structure at a microscopic level.
Being in charge of the NMR machine, he fulfills the role of teaching undergraduate students how to use the facilities. The research is combined with teaching, which results in peer-reviewed research papers published annually in collaboration with students.
Mike received a University Teaching Fellowship with which he is funding a summer research placement that will focus on enhancing the teaching methods of the main first year course that he teaches; Electromagnetism. The main objective of the teaching enhancement placement is capturing a core element of the module material within a phone ‘app’ that will consist of examples explaining the mathematics involved. He is passionate about teaching and is motivated to enhance his teaching techniques.
In teaching advanced lab, he developed an interactive online tutorial in creating a virtual spectrometer of a Benchtop NMR machine, where students deal with similar principles as when working with the real machine. Mike has found that the online tutorials are time efficient and a great addition in assisting the learning of the students.
Being a member of PRiSM, Mike hopes to learn about new interactive ways that might enhance his teaching methods. He emphasizes that the character and dedication of a lecturer plays a large part in how enticing a class can be. His main aim when teaching is to create an understanding of the knowledge at hand, as he expresses that the main pleasure for students lie in understanding a subject matter. He states that is important to create an embodiment and reality for the theoretical concepts that are taught.