Mrs. Melissa Vigil

Melissa Vigil
Mrs. Melissa VigilMarquette University

Wehr Physics Building, 252

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-4546

Laboratory Supervisor


I graduated from Washington University in 1989 with bachelor's degrees in both Physics and English Literature. While there, I worked with Mark Conradi to study solid hydrogen-deuteride using nuclear magnetic resonance techniques. I then went to DePaul University where I studied both physics and science education. There I worked with Richard DeCoster on planetary scale magnetism, looking for connections between the particle behavior in the plasma-sheet boundary layer of the earth's magnetotail and the magnetic storm activity measured at circum-polar monitoring stations. The data was done in collaboration with Van Allen's group at the University of Iowa.  My more recent work has focused on how students learn physics, especially the impact of metacognitive writing on their performance.


I taught at Lincoln Land Community College and Elmhurst College before joining the Marquette University Physics Faculty in June of 1992.  While here, I have work to update both the equipment and the pedagogy of the introductory physics laboratories and help to prepare the teaching assistants for all the introductory lab courses. In addition to my primary focus on the introductory physics sequences (1001-1002, 1003-1004, and 1013-1014), I have also worked with pre-service and in-service science teachers in the ARSC 1020-1021 general science for non-science majors course. I have also worked with junior high and high school students through the Upward Bound program here at Marquette and through the College for Kids program at UWM. I also coordinate the Traveling Trebuchet Road Show, a physics and history outreach program using model siege weapons.


In my spare time I am a calligrapher, cook, photographer, poet, and knitter. I enjoy connecting all these artistic pursuits to physics and the other sciences. I am also developing a short-course entitled Mathematical Fiber Arts: Using Knitting to Teach Calculus and Developing Equations as Knitting Patterns.

Courses Taught

  • Introductory Physics for Engineers

  • Introductory Physics for the Health Professions

  • Introductory Physics for Physics & Chemistry Majors

  • Honors Physics

  • Concepts in Modern Science

  • Physics Pedagogy

Additional Information

Teaching Schedule Fall 2019

  • PHYS 1001: Mondays at 8:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 1:00 p.m.

  • PHYS 1003H Discussion: Tuesdays @ 11:00 a.m.

  • PHYS 1003H Lab 3:00-5:00 p.m. and 5:00-7:00 p.m.

  • TA Prep Sessions: Thursdays 5:00-6:30 p.m. and 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Office Hours Fall 2019

  • Mondays: 10:00-11:30 a.m. and 2:00-3:30 p.m.

  • Tuesdays: 4:30-6:00 p.m.

  • Wednesdays: 10;30 a.m. - noon

  • Thursdays: 8:30-10:00 a.m.

  • Or by appointment

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