Roberto Salgado

Office hours
116 Cowley Hall

Specialty area(s)

Theoretical Relativity [relativistic physics, spacetime structure, relativistic pedagogy],
Applied Mathematics, Physics Pedagogy, Computational Physics and Scienfific Visualization

Current courses at UWL

PHY 103 lab - Fundamental Physics I lab [section 14,15]
PHY 125 lecture - Physics for Life Sciences
PHY 125 lab - Physics for Life Sciences lab [4 sections: 10,11,12,13]
PHY 498 - Independent Study [with first-year student doing relativity research]

Teaching history

At UW-La Crosse:
PHY 103, PHY 103lab, PHY 104lab, PHY125, PHY 125lab - Fundamental Physics, Physics for Life Sciences
PHY 374lab, 474lab - Computational Physics
PHY 376, PHY376lab - Introduction to Nuclear Science
PHY 453 - Topics in Physics and Astronomy: Special and General Relativity
PHY 498 - Research [with student] "Relativistic Electrodynamics", "Spacetime Diagrams for Special Relativity","Differential Forms in Relativistic Electrodynamics"

[intro] Algebra-based introductory physics, Physical Science, Twentieth-Century Physics, Astronomy lab, Relativity (for nonmajors)
Calculus-based introductory physics, Optics and Modern Physics

[pre-engineering] Engineering Mechanics, Mechanics of Materials, Electric Circuits, Engineering Graphics

[intermediate] Mechanics, Electrodynamics, Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, Mathematical Methods, and Computational Physics/Numerical Methods (C++, Python, VPython)

[special topics] Computational Physics (Python), Relativity

[independent study courses for students]: Relativity, Robotics

--details in my past syllabi

Professional history

(2013 – Present) Lecturer
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (Physics), La Crosse, WI

(2012-2013) Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics
Lawrence University (Physics), Appleton, WI

(2010-2012) Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics
Bowdoin College (Physics), Brunswick ME

(2008–2010) Visiting Assistant Professor and Mount Holyoke Fellow
Mount Holyoke College (Physics), South Hadley, MA

      (2008) Ph.D. Physics, Syracuse U:
      "Toward a quantum dynamics for causal sets", (preview at Google books)

(Spr 2006 - Fall 2007) Senior Part-Time Instructor of Physics
Syracuse University (Physics), Syracuse, NY

(2002-2005*Katrina) Assistant Professor of Physics
Dillard University (Physics), New Orleans, LA

(2001-2002) Research Scientist
SUNY Upstate Medical (Radiology/Radiation Physics), Syracuse NY

(1999-2001) Postdoctoral Teaching/Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics
Truman State University (Physics), Kirksville, MO

Research and publishing

in progress: 
"Comparing Alternate Approaches to Spacetime Diagrams",
with Tobias Nelson [UWL’17, now in a Ph.D. physics program at Montana State U].

"Relativity on Rotated Graph Paper"
(Am. J. Phy., 84, 344 (2016) -,
part of the theme issue: "Relativity and Gravitation-Contemporary Research and Teaching of Einstein's Physics"
(a 2011 draft is available at ).

(doctoral dissertation, 2008) "Toward a quantum dynamics for causal sets",
Syracuse University, Physics (preview at Google books)

(invited) “Visualizing Proper Time in Special Relativity.”
(Physics Teacher (Indian Physical Society), v46 (4), (October-December 2004), 132-143),
available at

“Some Identities for the Quantum Measure and its Generalizations.”
(Mod. Phys. Lett. A, Vol. 17, No. 12 (2002) 711-728 - )
available at

selected posters and projects
[ongoing large-scale projects with many opportunities for student-projects]:

"VPython applications for Teaching Physics" (2001-present)
Rob Salgado's GeoGebra pages  (2016-present)

(2016) A "Spacetime Trigonometry" approach to Relativity (Gordon Research Conference - Physics Research and Education, Newport RI)
(2015) Spacetime Trigonometry: a Cayley-Klein geometry approach to Special and General Relativity (General Relativity and Gravitation: A Centennial Perspective - Penn State U.)
(2006) Spacetime Trigonometry"  from the AAPT Topical Workshop "Teaching General Relativity to Undergraduates"

(2016) Visualizing the Electromagnetic Field with Differential Forms (AAPT 2016 Summer Meeting - Sacramento CA)
(2013) Visualizing Differential Forms in Thermodynamics (AAPT 2013 Summer Meeting - Portland OR)
(2007) "Visualizing Tensors" from the AAPT Topical Conference: Computational Physics for Upper Level Courses

(1995, 1997, 2005,2015) "The Light Cone: an illuminating introduction to relativity"
(2001, 2015) Visualizing Proper Time in Special Relativity [with a Light Clock]

(search for my poster and talk abstracts for AAPT national meetings)



Ph.D., Physics, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

M.S., Physics, University of Chicago, Chicago IL

B.S. cum laude, Mathematics and Physics, SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY

[I started as an engineering major at The Cooper Union, New York, NY before switching to Math and Physics at Stony Brook.]