My name is Dr. Norman J. LaFave. I have a PhD in physics from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.S. in physics and mathematics from Carnegie-Mellon University.
I have specialized in tutoring students in physics, chemistry, and mathematics at both the high school and collegiate levels for over 35 years.
I am a firm believer in promoting mastery of material by my students and giving them methodologies that lead to mastery. I address both conceptual understanding, problem solving, and applications.
I have been teaching courses and giving lessons in physics, chemistry, and mathematics at all levels for over 35 years to thousands of students. I have been highly successful at giving my students the skills and knowledge they need for college.
Cancellations must be done at least 24 hours before the session. Cancellations after that time will require a cancellation fee of $25.
NORMAN J. LAFAVE
Over 35 years of progressive experience encompassing:
o Science instruction
o Innovating new methods for science instruction
o Engineering and research management
o Innovating new methods and products
o Analyzing and evaluating technical issues
o Physics research
DEMONSTRATIONS OF EFFECTIVENESS
Instructed high school students in Honors, AP Physics B, AP Physics 1/2 and AP Physics C. Designed new methods for curriculum development and instruction for science and mathematics. Authored two books on curriculum and instruction methods for science and mathematics for new teachers. Innovated a learning environment for STEM involving blended learning and project-based instruction. Coached an FTC Robotics Team and a UIL Science Team. Coached varsity swimming. Result: Texas Exes Award for Outstanding Teachers in 2010.
Created and managed a technology company which performed engineering consulting work for NASA and conducted technology product research and development for aerospace launch systems. Performed fluid engineering code development and studies; research and design of potential launch concepts and the study of technology products in aerospace propulsion, structures, and materials. Result: A successful consulting and research and development company.
Managed a $300 M software and hardware development and acquisition program for the Federal Aviation Administration. Developed hardware and software specifications; formulated the statement of work; performed alternatives studies, cost-benefits analyses, and life-cycle cost estimates; formulated schedules; supervised 20 scientists and engineers at multiple sites. Result: A very successful request for proposal and program management structure.
Formulated and managed a new technology group to facilitate technology transfer initiatives. Assessed company technical capabilities; formulated the technology group charter and organizational plan; presented plan to corporate executives; developed technology group business plan and delineated several technology transfer avenues; wrote four proposals; supervised 4 engineers. Result: Formation of an R&D division within the organization.
Innovated and developed environment modules for a real-time proximity operations and control simulation and its supporting software for a major aerospace organization. Developed new dynamic environment algorithms and modules for plume and aerodynamics; wrote translators and filters which took input data directly from PC-based CAD/CAM models; refurbished and tested equations of motion and integration schemes; redesigned data output modules for easy input to graphics routines; supervised two engineers. Result: An award-winning, flexible, and easy-to-use real-time proximity operations and control simulation running on RISC workstations and a modular rocket plume impingement tool which is 20 times faster than previously-developed engineering codes.
Collaborated in the planning, preparation, and execution of three electro-optic signature studies for the Navy. Collaborated on test van and mount wiring and equipment installation; calibrated and tested equipment; performed field test data acquisition and reduction; collaborated on three technical reports. Result: Significant improvement in the Navy's electro-optic capability and three Navy technical reports.
Pioneered a finite-element numerical method for geometrodynamics. Formulated the kinematics, dynamics, initial value procedures, and quantum structures; defined test problems. Result: New and general numerical method for geometrodynamics and five publications.
Paradigm Shift Institute/Dynamica Research 2006-Present
Proposed nonprofit laboratory dedicated to education, innovation, entrepreneurship, and the solution of national and global crises.
Clark County School District. Las Vegas, NV 2015-2016
Physics and Mathematics Instructor, Robotics and Swimming Coach
Physics and mathematics teaching; Education research in physics and mathematics instruction, problem solving, blended learning implementation, and project-based instruction for science and mathematics; FTC robotics team coach; Varsity swimming coach.
Northland Christian School 2014-2015
Advanced Placement and Honors Physics Instructor; Robotics Coach
Physics teaching; Education research in physics instruction, problem solving, and project-based instruction for science and mathematics; FTC robotics team coach.
Klein Independent School District 2001-2014
Advanced Placement and PreAP Physics Instructor; Chemistry Instructor
Physics and chemistry teaching; Education research in physics instruction, problem solving, and project-based instruction for science and mathematics; UIL Science Coach.
Lone Star Space Access Corporation/Dynamica Research 1995-Present
President and CEO
Aerospace engineering consulting and technology products research and development. Launch vehicle design, analysis, and systems development; Aerospace R&D.
Advanced Management Technology Incorporated 1994-1995
Program Manager for Software and Hardware
Performed program management duties for a major government weather monitoring system acquisition.
Dual Incorporated, Arlington, VA 1993-1994
Scientific and Technical Director, Technology Group
Formulated the charter, organizational structure, and business plan of Technology Group. Consulted on technology transfer and implementation issues. Wrote two Small Business Innovative Research proposals to NASA and DOD.
Lockheed Engineering & Sciences Co., Houston, TX 1990-1993
Performed computational modeling of rocket plume impingement by the Space Shuttle reaction control system jets on another vehicle for real-time proximity operations simulations; acted as the chief expert on plume physics issues. Designed a lunar-based gravitational wave antenna. Published seven papers.
Continuous Improvement Facilitator
Taught Continuous Improvement classes to engineers and scientists. Helped modify the course content for better applicability to company's needs. Helped delineate automation of continuous improvement system. Supervised the instruction of materials.
Phillips Laboratory, Albuquerque, NM 1989-1990
National Research Council Associate
Researched computational geometrodynamics, spacetime geodesy for the Global Positioning System, spacetime structure, quantum gravity, smoothed-particle hydrodynamics, and magnetohydrodynamics. Published two papers.
Physics Department, University of Texas, Austin, TX 1982-1989
Assistant Instructor/Teaching Assistant/Head Teaching Assistant
Taught courses in first year physical science to education majors. Performed curriculum analysis and modification. Taught first and second-year courses in engineering physics to engineering majors. Designed and disseminated a teaching methodology. Managed 20 teaching assistants. Wrote an engineering physics laboratory manual.
Sperry Ship Systems 1980
Operations Control Coordinator
Managed and defined the construction process for military ship systems.
Naval Surface Weapons Center, Dahlgren, VA 1976-1979
NSWC Junior Fellow
Researched advanced electro-optics and performed studies involving optical signatures in a variety of environments.
Ph.D., Physics University of Texas, Austin, TX 1989
B.S., Physics/Mathematics Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 1980
Teacher Certification LeTourneau University, Longview, TX 2002
Air Force Weapons Laboratory Fellowship 1988
National Research Council Associate 1989
NASA Award for Engineering Excellence 1994
KTRK Businessman of the Month 1999
Klein Forest Science Teacher of the Year 2003
Klein Education Foundation Grant 2003
Klein Education Foundation Grant 2009
Texas Exes Award for Outstanding Teachers 2010
Runner-up HEB Teaching Excellence Award 2010
X Prize Competitor
Texas State Teachers Association
National Education Association
American Physical Society
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
National Science Teachers Association
Phi Kappa Phi
Principal – retired
Klein Forest High School
5510 Foresthaven Drive
Houston, TX 77066
English Teacher – retired/Education Consultant
D&L Global Consulting, Inc.
5711 Boyce Springs Drive
Houston, TX 77066
Adjunct Professor of Mathematics
Lone Star College
6318 Cash Oaks Drive
Spring, TX 77379
Prof. Warner Miller
Advisor and Colleague
Department of Physics
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Prof. Louis Jisonna
Professor of Physics
Lone Star College
2700 W.W. Thorne Drive
Houston, TX (concealed information)
1. Classified Technical Report, Naval Surface Weapons Center/DL Technical Report
2. Classified Technical Report, Naval Surface Weapons Center/DL
Technical Report (1979).
3. "8 to 14 Atmospheric Radiation Temperature Measurement in a
Marine Environment,” Naval Surface Weapons Center/DL Technical
4. "Engineering Physics Laboratory Manual," The University of Texas
at Austin (1985).
5. (with A. Kheyfets and W. A. Miller) “Quantum Insights from
Null-Strut Geometrodynamics," Int. J. Theor. Phys., 27, no. 2,
pp. 133-158 (1988).
6. (with A. Kheyfets and W. A. Miller) "From Geodetic Triangulation
to Spacetime Geodesy," 16th Annual Gravity Gradiometry Conference,
Air Force Geophysics Laboratory (1988).
7. (with A. Kheyfets and W. A. Miller) "Pseudo-Riemannian Geometry on
a Simplicial Lattice and the Extrinsic Curvature Tensor,” Phys.
Rev. D39, no. 4, pp. 1097-1108 (1989).
8. (with A. Kheyfets and W. A. Miller) "A Few Insights into the
Nature of Classical and Quantum Gravity via Null-Strut Calculus,"
Class. and Quantum Gravity, 6, pp. 659-682 (1989).
9. "Simplicial Lattices in Classical and Quantum Gravity:
Mathematical Structure and Application," Dissertation, The
University of Texas at Austin (1989).
10. (with A. Kheyfets and W. A. Miller) "Null-Strut Calculus I.:
Kinematics," Phys. Rev. D41, no.12, pp. 3628-3636 (1990).
11. (with A. Kheyfets and W. A. Miller) "Null-Strut Calculus II.:
Dynamics," Phys. Rev. D41, no.12, pp. 3637-3651 (1990).
12. (with A. Kheyfets and W. A. Miller) "From Geodetic Triangulation
to Spacetime Geodesy: Second Order GPS Time Transfer Effects,"
Air Force Office of Scientific Research Report (January, 1992).
13. (with A. Kheyfets and W. A. Miller) "Relativistic Error Analysis
of the Global Positioning System," Air Force Office of Scientific
Research Report (February, 1992).
14. (with T. L. Wilson) "The Role of the Moon in Gravitational Wave
Astronomy,” paper presented to The 23rd Lunar and Planetary
15. "A Sensitivity Study of RCS Plume Disturbances as a Function of
Target Modeling Assumptions," Lockheed Technical Report presented
to NASA through Contract NAS 9-17900, LESC-30450 (1992).
16. (with T. L. Wilson) "Lunar LIGO: A New Concept in Gravitational
Wave Astronomy," paper presented to The 24th Lunar and Planetary
17. (with T. L. Wilson) "Gravitational Wave Astronomy and Lunar LIGO
Concept," Space ‘94: Proceedings of the 4th International
Lunar Conference (1994).
18. (with T. L. Wilson) "Lunar LIGO and Gravitational Wave Astronomy
on the Moon," paper presented to The 25th Lunar and Planetary
19. "A Step Toward Pregeometry: Ponzano-Regge Spin Networks and the
Origin of Spacetime Structure in Four Dimensions,” paper in preparation (2014).
20. "SFPDQ, A Fast Plume Impingement Tool based on SFPLIMP," Lockheed
Technical Report (1994).
21. (with D. Tuckness) “Reusable Launch Vehicle Investigation,” Dynamica Research Technical Report (2001).
22. “You Want Me to Teach What?? Sure-Fire Methods for Teaching Physical Science and Math” (2012) (published by NSTA Press).
23. “Nanomagica, Book One of Metropolis Fallen” (2011) (published by Trapdoor Books).
24. “Evolegicon, Book Two of Metropolis Fallen” (2014) (submitted to Trapdoor Books).
25. “Processes and Patterns in Physics and Physics Education” (2014) (to be submitted to NSTA Press).
26. “The Process of Learning Physics is Like Learning Carpentry…or Cooking…or Painting…” (2014) (to be submitted to The Science Teacher, NSTA).
27. "Ponzano-Regge Spin Networks and the Origin of Spin Foam Structures and Spacetime for Quantum Gravity,” paper in preparation (2016).
1. The Cosmos Mariner Project: A Presentation to the National Space Society, Houston Chapter by Dynamica Research/Lone Star Space Access Corporation, December 12, 1997.
2. The Cosmos Mariner Project: A Presentation to the AIAA in Houston by Dynamica Research/Lone Star Space Access Corporation, December 12, 1997.
3. The Cosmos Mariner Project: A Presentation to the AIAA in Houston by Dynamica Research/Lone Star Space Access Corporation, January 15, 1998.
4. The Cosmos Mariner Project: A Presentation to the United States Air Force by Dynamica Research/Lone Star Space Access Corporation, February 3, 1998.
5. The Cosmos Mariner Project: A Presentation to NASA MSFC by Dynamica Research/Lone Star Space Access Corporation, March 11, 1998.
6. The Cosmos Mariner Project: A Presentation to the International Space Development Conference by Dynamica Research/Lone Star Space Access Corporation, May 29, 1999.
7. The Cosmos Mariner Project and SolidWorks: A Presentation to The Commercial Space Center for Engineering at Texas A&M University by Lone Star Space Access Corporation, February 25, 2001.
8. Commercial Space Launch Initiative: A Presentation to the Federal Government of Venezuela by Lone Star Space Access Corporation, April 1, 2001.
9. The Method: An Innovative Way to Teach and Understand Problem Solving: A Presentation to the NSTA Regional Conference, Denver CO by Dynamica Research, December 14, 2013.
10. An Engineering Perspective on Project-Based Learning: A Presentation to The R&D in High School Classrooms Workshop by Dynamica Research, July 28. 2013.
11. The Method: An Innovative Way to Teach and Understand Problem Solving: A Presentation to the NSTA National Conference, Chicago, IL by Dynamica Research, March 12, 2015.
12. An Engineering Perspective on Project-Based Learning: A Presentation to the NSTA National Conference, Chicago, IL by Dynamica Research, March 13, 2015.
13. The Implementation of a Blended Learning and Project-Based Environment for Learning STEM: A presentation to the administrators of Valley High School. September 20, 2015.
Dr. LaFave taught me chemistry in 10th grade. He’s brilliant. He went above and beyond when I was struggling to understand the complicated mathematics as well as some of the complex theories/ect.
He also was able to share his life’s work with NASA and other interesting facts about science that truly made myself and the class enamored with chemistry and science in general.
He makes even the hardest topics easy to understand and able to relate to the ever so needy/complicated teenage hormonally charged student. Learning was fun with him and I was always excited to go to class.. which was not always the case in high school. Any school would be lucky to have him!
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