Vita for John David Gavenda Professor Emeritus of Physics and of Education
The University of Texas at Austin
March 25, 1933, in Temple, Texas
Rio Hondo, Texas, Public Schools
University of Chicago
University of Texas
B. S. in physics
University of Texas
M. A. in physics
Ph. D. in physics
Control Room Engineer, KBOR Brownsville, TX
Radiotelegraph Operator, Texas Dept. of Public Safety, Austin,TX
Technical Staff Assistant, Defense Research Laboratory
University of Texas
Edgar Lewis Marston Fellow, Brown University
Assistant Professor of Physics and Research Scientist, Defense
Research Laboratory, University of Texas
Associate Professor of Physics, University of Texas (On leave
during 1963 while appointed as a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute
for the Study of Metals, University of Chicago)
Associate Professor of Physics and of Education, University of Texas
Professor of Physics and of Education, University of Texas
(On leave Jan-Jun 1969 as NATO Senior Fellow, University of Oslo)
Professor Emeritus of Physics and of Education, University of Texas
American Physical Society (Fellow)
Helped organize the Texas Section and served as Vice-Chair, Chair,
American Association of Physics Teachers (Fellow)
Chaired several national committees
Texas Academy of Science (Fellow)
Texas Association of College Teachers
Honors and Awards:
Phi Beta Kappa, University of Texas 1954
Robert N. Little Award for Outstanding Contributions to Physics Higher
Education in Texas from the Texas Section of AAPT 1988
UT Natural Sciences Advisory Council Award for Teaching Excellence 1994
Distinguished Service Citation from the AAPT 1996 [Citation published in
Am. J. Phys.65, 596 - 597 (1997)]
General physics courses for non-majors; introductory sequence for majors and
for engineers; quantum mechanics, atomic physics, and electricity and
magnetism for upper-division majors; solid state physics for graduate
students. Supervised fifteen Ph. D. candidates in Physics and four in Science
Engaged in the study of the interaction of conduction electrons with lattice
vibrations in metals. These investigations have used the magnetic field
dependence of the attenuation and velocity of high-frequency sound waves at
liquid helium temperatures as a means of measuring the interaction. Recent
work has been directed toward the use of surface acoustic waves to study the
properties of electrons near the surfaces of metals.
Also engaged in projects related to the measurement and suppression of
electromagnetic emissions from computers. This includes the development of
models for the propagation of electromagnetic waves
inside semi-anechoic chambers and in other real-world environments of
interest to test engineers.
Published more than 50
papers on these topics, plus numerous reports and oral presentations.
(Link to publication list)
Consultant to the Electromagnetic Compatibility department of IBM/Austin on
problems related to the measurement and reduction of electromagnetic noise
emitted by computing devices (1983-92).
Consultant to Ray Proof Shielding Corporation on improved methods for
measuring the properties of electromagnetic absorbing materials (1992-5).
Consulted on various science curriculum projects for elementary and junior
high students, including the 1967 summer writing conference for the
Intermediate Science Curriculum Study project.
Formulated the content and methodology related to physical science for a
series of elementary and junior high science textbooks published by Ginn and Company
in the 1970s.
Chaired the National Steering Committee of the American Institute of
Physics Tech Physics Project, which developed a new physics course for
Developed one of the first computer-based introductory physics courses for
Served on the National Advisory Board for the NSF-sponsored Solar Tech
Project which developed a curriculum for solar energy technicians.
Served as a member of the Review Board and the Advisory Board for the
National Science Teachers
Association project to develop a new public school curriculum in the
sciences: Scope, Sequence and Coordination of Secondary School Science.
Developed a computer-based system for introductory physics
Other Administrative, Professional, and Public Service:
Directed the U. T. Academic Year Institute for high school science and
mathematics teachers, 1960-62.
Consultant to several major publishers of physics textbooks.
Chair or member of a number of Standing Committees of the General Faculty.
Vice-Chair of the Faculty Senate of U. T. (1987-1988, 1989-1990).
Served as External Reviewer for the evaluation of the UT-Arlington Physics Department 2007.