Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Picture of me at Glen Canyon in Page, Arizona

Welcome to my homepage!

My name is Lee Collins, I am a full time physics instructor at Portland Community College. I’ve been teaching physics at PCC since 2014, in-person at Southeast and Rock Creek Campuses and remotely on Zoom. I also teach G184: Global Climate Change.

I’ve enjoyed learning about math and science ever since I can remember. My interest in physics mainly developed from learning about relativity and quantum physics. I remember reading A Brief History of Time and The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking and being fascinated by the strange new world of modern physics. I also immensely enjoyed watching a lecture series called Einstein’s Relativity and the Quantum Revolution by Professor Richard Wolfson. The series is available through the Great Courses today, and I’ve also found it on the streaming service Kanopy.

In college I became interested in computational physics, using computer modeling to describe and understand physics phenomena. In 2011 I earned an Honors B.S. from Oregon State University in Computational Physics. My thesis project involved studying the melting behavior of small atomic clusters of atoms using computer modeling.

In graduate school I continued to pursue my interest in computer modeling, this time with an emphasis on studying the changing climate on Earth using large climate models. In 2014 I earned an M.S. from Oregon State University in Physics of Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric Science. My graduate research project involved studying the melting of arctic sea ice using a computer model.

I’ve always enjoyed teaching, I tutored my friends in physics while we were in college, I was a TA for a college physics lab, and I’ve taught various children’s camps on science and robotics over the years. I even taught a Junior Lifeguard class for several summers while working as a lifeguard in high school! It’s incredibly fulfilling to share my passion for physics and science with the students in my classroom. When I’m not teaching I like to read, play music on the piano and guitar, play board games, and cook.