Section Navigation

Fernand Brunschwig

Professional Background

Educational Background

Harvard College, AB, Physics, 1964
Harvard Graduate School of Education, MAT, Science Education, 1965
University of California, Berkeley, MA, Physics, 1970; PhD, Science Education, 1972
City College of New York (CUNY), MS, Computer Science, 1987

Scholarly Interests

Physics teaching and learning, design and development of instructional materials, computer-based simulations and animations, physics problem solving techniques, beginners' thinking about physics concepts, online teaching and learning, computer uses in education, science teacher education, alternative teacher certification, clinical approaches in science teacher education, science content-based pedagogy.

Selected Publications

Brunschwig, F.. Teachers' Guide for Introductory Physics: a Model Approach by Robert Karplus. (website).

Brunschwig, F. (primary author). Galileo's paradox, Interference of waves from double slit (Young's experiment), Energy of a slingshot: David and Goliath, Block on a frictionless inclined plane, and Interaction at a distance: the radiation model. (computer-based demonstrations using Mathematica software). published by Wolfram Demonstrations Project at

Brunschwig, F. (co-author or contributing author). Pythagorean, meantone, and equal temperament musical scales, Animated pendulum, and Throw off a cliff. (computer-based demonstrations using Mathematica software). published by Wolfram Demonstrations Project at

Brunschwig, F. (Ed.). Cracking the AP Physics "B" Exam, 2008-2009 Edition. The Princeton Review.

Brunschwig, F. & Favant, P. (2005). Sound and Waves - A Computer-Based Lab and Instructional Module. New York, NY: Favant Software.

Brunschwig, F. (Ed.) (2003). 2nd Edition of Introductory Physics: A Model Approach by Robert Karplus, Buzzards Bay, MA: Captains Engineering Services.

Brunschwig, F. (2001). Guide to Educational Planning in Science, Technology and Business. Saratoga Springs, NY: Empire State College.

Brunschwig, F. & Breslin, R. D. (1982). Scientific and technological literacy--a major innovation and challenge. Liberal Education, v68 n1 p49-62 Spr.

Brunschwig, F. (1977). Solar energy - a home experiment module. Saratoga Springs, NY: Empire State College.

Brunschwig, F. (1973). Infrared radiation (instructional module with home lab activities). In A. A. Strassenburg (Ed.), Novel experiments in physics. Stony Brook, NY: American Association of Physics Teachers.

professional experiences

2006-present: Adjunct Faculty, Teachers College, Physics and Science Education.

2003-2012: Professor, Empire State College, Master of Arts in Teaching Program. Teach and advise graduate and undergraduate students, online and face-to-face, in physics and science education.(Retired, Feb., 2012)

2005-07: Professor (part-time), Purchase College. Teach physics as part of general education.

1993-2003: Empire State College, Old Westbury, NY , Mentor/Professor, Acting Dean (1998-99), Chair of state-wide Educational Technology Committee; developed state-wide Technology Plan. Taught physics, computer science, info systems and related subjects; mentored degree planning, developed and taught independent studies for NYC teachers on sabbatical. Taught in Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program.

1991-93: NYNEX (Verizon)/Empire State College - Corporate College Program, New York, NY , Founding Director and Associate Dean. Planned and developed new, in-house, degree-granting program for employees. Hired and led faculty. Developed academic program.

1972-91: Empire State College, Old Westbury, NY , Founding Faculty, Long Island Center. Wrote proposal and administered National Science Foundation grant for state-wide program development. Chaired initial Accreditation Self-Study. ACE Fellowship in Academic Administration (1980-81). Developer, early implementer and tester of educational technology systems. Faculty leader in use of technology for education of part-time adults. Led Science, Mathematics and Technology Faculty state-wide.

1966-68: The Overseas School of Rome, Rome, Italy, Teacher of general science, chemistry (Chem Study) and physics (PSSC).

1965-66: The American School in Switzerland, Lugano, Switzerland, Teacher of PSSC physics and general science.

1964: Waltham Public Schools, Waltham, Massachusetts, Teaching Internship supervised by Harvard, PSSC physics teacher (Fall term).

biographical information

I was one of Empire State College's founding faculty, hired in 1972, and I've made a variety of contributions to the development of the College, including creation of the Student-Alumni Associaiton, the initial Accreditation (for which I co-chaired the Self-Study), and the founding and development of both the ESC-Verizon Corporate/College Program and the Master of Arts in Teaching Program. I believe strongly in the student-centered philosophy of Empire State College, and I enjoy working with my students to help them figure out where they want to go and how to get there.
I have also been engaged in the NYC public schools, as a parent of two boys, as President of a Parents' Association and in other roles. At Teachers College I'm focusing on outreach and science teachers' professional development; I'm chair of PhysicsTeachersNYC and organize weekend and summer workshops for teachers.

service and work in nyc

2011-Present: PhysicsTeachersNYC, Chairman. Manage and administer weekend and summer professional development workshops for physics teachers in NYC and surrounding region.

2004 to Present: New York Academy of Sciences, Science Education Section, Steering Committee, New York, NY; Chair (2009-10), Vice-Chair (2006-09). Organize committee meetings, plan and run events for general membership of Section; set policy and procedure; interface with Academy staff.

1994 to 1997: Crossroads School Parents’ Association, New York, NY; President. Organized and conducted meetings, activities and fund-raising. Planned and wrote funded grant proposal to Chase Manhattan Bank. Sponsored collaborative work with other public middle schools in District 3 (Manhattan).

1995 to 1997: Center for Collaborative Education, New York, NY; Executive Committee, Board of Directors. Organization founded and led by Deborah Meier, dedicated to improving public education in NYC through creation and nurturance of small schools and school networks.

1995 to 1997: District 3 Middle School Network, New York, NY; Coordinator, Steering Committee. Planning, fundraising and administration of collaborative project among 4 public middle schools. Implementation of teacher development workshops. Interfacing with Columbia University and Board of Education on computer and Internet access project.

1992-1994: The Lower Lab School for the Gifted and Talented, New York, NY; Planned, organized and implemented a Teacher's Assistant Program on behalf of the Parent-Teacher Association. Solicited, selected, trained and supervised parent volunteers as teacher assistants in elementary science classrooms. Prepared and taught a series of workshops on science content and teaching methods based on Piaget's thought and up-to-date practice.



MSTC 4075: Concepts in physics I

Exploration of physics themes of molecules and molecular kinetic theory, heat, mechanics, waves, electricity and magnetism, and modern physics. Of particular interest to introductory physics, physical science, and general science teachers.

MSTC 4076: Concepts in Physics II

Exploration of electricity, magnetism, light, optics, quantum mechanics, and selected topics in atomic, nuclear, elementary particle physics and astrophysics.