Currently reading

Paul Hanley
A Month in the Country
Michael Holroyd, J.L. Carr
A Tale of the Dispossessed: A Novel
Laura Restrepo, Dolores M. Koch
Mesabi Pioneers
Jeffrey Smith, Russell Hill
The Crusades Through Arab Eyes
Jon Rothschild, Amin Maalouf
Island of a Thousand Mirrors
Nayomi Munaweera

Physics in Biology and Medicine (Complementary Science)

Physics in Biology and Medicine (Complementary Science) - Paul Davidovits I got a free copy of this textbook to review, since I'm considering building a 100-level physics course on it. It's coverage of the applications of physics to the human body and medicine is really very good. It's written well and is truly aimed at the students who know their anatomy but not how to use physics or math to a great extent. It is written as a follow-up to a standard 2-semester physics course. The basics of physics are reviewed in two appendices (one per semester, roughly). Since very few students bound for the health sciences are able/willing to take 3 semesters of physics, I'll need to fit the basics in with the applications from this book in the same course. The textbook will therefore need quite a bit of supplementation to make the course work. It's a very good read for people interested in the applications on their own, but again, it assumes you already know some physics. Also, the problems at the end of each chapter are decent, but there aren't enough of them, and they will also need to be supplemented.

In short, this is a good book and is exactly what it claims to be, but I'll need to add quite a bit of basics to it to make it into a 1-semester course with enough background for the students to really learn the material.

One gripe I have about the book is the lack of respect for units. When the author is doing a calculation, he often plugs numbers in right away (without starting with the original formula!) and plugs them in without units. The units appear on the final answer magically. This probably won't bother any of my students, but it bothers me since I work very hard to not let them do this sort of thing.