Michael Dowding (2008)

Senior Lecturer

Physics (PHYS)


B.S., South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
M.S., South Dakota School of Mines and Technology


(605) 394-2555
EEP 124 (campus map)
Research Expertise

My main area of expertise is in education. However, I do participate in academic assessment for the purpose of data collection on student progress and retention of course materials. This data is used to assess teaching methods and pedagogy from different course sections and instructors. This is done in the hopes of producing a better and more effective learning environment for our students. To this end, I serve as the undergraduate academic advisor for all physics majors on campus. I work with students to help acclimate to campus life, build semester schedules, socialize with members of the department (Faculty, Staff & Students!) and conduct degree audits to ensure students graduate on time.

Brief Bio

A Military brat since birth, I traveled the world with my parents who were both enlisted in the Air Force. Eventually retiring to the Black Hills of SD. I had an interest in science from an early age and a passion for anything from the Science Fiction or Horror genres. Halloween is my Christmas! I enrolled at the SD Mines in '97 as a Physics Major, graduating in 2002 and immediately entered the master's program in Materials Engineering & Sciences. I received my Masters in 2005 and began teaching freshmen level courses for the Physics department while pursuing my second master's in technology management. In 2007 I began working as an instructor at Sylvan Learning Center and National American University. In 2011, I returned to school to receive my Masters equivalent/Certification in 7-12 public education for the state of SD in the areas of Physics, Mathematics, Physical Science and 7-12 Curriculum. In 2012 I returned to SD Mines. I currently teach courses in Physics & Astronomy and am advisor to the Society of Physics Students.


I believe in a classroom with a safe and informal atmosphere where the students are comfortable working with me as well as with other students. I want students to be able to speak their mind when it comes to issues with the material and/or the class. This includes student participation and discussing during class. I believe in building a personal relationship of trust with my students. For only when a student trusts you can they truly learn from you. As such, I make it a point to approach my students outside of class to say hello and get to know them on a more social and personal level. I have a great passion for all things science and math related and enjoy sharing that knowledge with my students. I love to see the look in the eyes of a student when they learn something new or see how the content material connects to and affects their lives and careers. I’m constantly seeking new opportunities to engage with my students, fellow staff and faculty members, because I learn just as much from them as my students do from me.

Course Listing