David Harris

Assistant Professor | Aerospace, Physics and Space Sciences

Contact Information

dharris@fit.edu
(321) 674-7528
F.W. Olin Physical Sciences, 233

Personal Overview

Dr. David "Doc" Harris is a native to Melbourne, FL.  He graduated from Melbourne High School in 2002.  In 2008, he graduated as a Valedictorian of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences from the University of Florida with a BS in Physics.  At the University of Utah, he programmed the data reduction pipeline for the Frisco Peak Observatory.  His dissertation research investigated the Baldwin Effect using a sample of 200,000 quasar spectra.  He earned a PhD in 2015 (awarded  in 2016).

In 2015, Doc Harris started work as a Visiting Instructor of Physics at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.  He led a small group of cadets and officers in creating a computer simulation of black hole orbital dynamics in the Milky Way Galaxy.  There, he was honored as a Robert T. Alexander Visiting Fellow in OCT 2015. 

At the completion of the Visiting Instructorship, Doc Harris returned to Florida to become a Physics Instructor at Florida Gulf Coast University. 

In January of 2019, Doc Harris became an Assistant Teaching Professor of Physics at Florida Tech.  He is the Faculty Advisor for the Student Rocket Society and the Florida Tech Rocketry Club.

Educational Background

University of Utah, Physics and Astronomy.  PhD: 2016, MS: 2014.

University of Florida, Physics.  BS: 2008.

Professional Experience

Florida Tech, Assistant Teaching Professor of Physics.  JAN 2019 - Present

Florida Gulf Coast University, Physics Instructor.  AUG 2018 - DEC 2019.

U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Visiting Instructor of Physics.  AUG 2016 - JUL 2018.

Current Courses

Florida Tech:

PHY 1001: Physics 1

PHY 2002: Physics 2

SPS 1020: Introduction to Space Science

SPS 2010: Observational Astronomy Lab

SPS 4110: Senior Space Science Lab

Other institutions - College (algebra-based) Physics 1, Calculus-based Physics 1 & 2, Introductory Astronomy, Swab Summer Math (Coast Guard math training for new cadets).

Selected Publications

 

David W. Harris, James E. Toomey IV. 2021(?). The Space Force Journal.  “On the (In)efficacy of Space-to-Earth Weapon Systems”.

 

N. Amos, David W. Harris, & J. Hutchinson, July 2020, "Excerpts from an exploratory survey of units/dimensional analysis in introductory physics", Physics Education Research Conference 2020 

 

Recognition & Awards

2021 Phi Eta Sigma Excellence in Teaching Award

2020 Phi Eta Sigma Excellence in Teaching Award

2020 Student Government Association Excellence in Teaching Award

Peer Reviewer, MNRAS, 2016 - Present

Robert T. Alexander Visiting Fellow, October 2015

Research

Physics Education Research

Space Technology

Economics of Mars Colonization