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School ofSciences

Spotlight John Varriano

Dr. John Varriano

Title: Professor of Physics and current Chair of the Department of Physics and Natural Science

Length of service at CBU: Dr. Varriano has been at CBU since 1993.

Courses taught: Dr. Varriano regularly teaches the three lecture and lab courses in the calculus-based introductory sequence (PHYS 150, 251, and 252) and the two lecture and lab courses in the algebra-based introductory sequence (PHYS 201 and 202). He also regularly teaches upper-level courses in special relativity (PHYS 347), optics (PHYS 415 and 416), and quantum mechanics (PHYS 447 and 460). He has developed and periodically teaches a course in light (NSCI 122) for non-science majors. Web pages for all of his courses can be found on his home page under the My Courses link.

Formal Education: Dr. Varriano received his B.S. degree in physics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1987. He received his Ph.D. in optics from the University of Rochester, New York, in 1993.

Background: Dr. Varriano grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he attended Central Catholic High School, another Christian Brothers school. (Little did he know then that he would be teaching at CBU!) He met his wife, Karla, while in graduate school in Rochester. He and Karla have three children, Louis, Sofie, and John.

Professional Interests: Dr. Varriano’s main professional interest is in physics education. He enjoys teaching physics to others and is always looking for new ways to help people understand physics (even if that involves subjecting himself to a bed of nails - see the picture below). He is a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and has served as President of the Tennessee Section of AAPT. His graduate worked involved the fabrication and characterization of semiconductor lasers and he remains interested in optical technologies.

Interests: Dr. Varriano enjoys spending time with his family, especially on long road trips. (Thank you, books on compact discs.) He also ardently supports the Steelers, the best football team in the NFL.

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