Physics Faculty Feature: Eric Kincanon

Physics Professor Eric Kincanon speaking at a lecture.
Eric Kincanon

March 22, 2024
Gonzaga University News Service
Learn more about Gonzaga's professors through our Faculty Features! In this installment, you’ll get to know Eric Kincanon, a professor of Physics, and his welding hobbies.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity:


GONZAGA: Introduce yourself!

KINCANON: I'm Eric Kincanon, I'm in the Physics department, I've been here since 1987. My dissertation was on quantum scattering theory, but since then I've become a lot more interested in issues around philosophy of time, in particular, metaphysics.

How did you become interested in this field?

In graduate school, I had my future advisor in a class and I asked a couple questions in class and them from some conversations outside of class, he ended up offering me a research assistantship and that eventually rolled into working on the dissertation. I really didn't care what I got my PhD in, what area in physics, I just wanted to get a PhD so I could teach at a school like Gonzaga.

Describe your teaching style in three words.

I think what I try to be is approachable, I want the students to feel respected in the class and I certainly want my classes to be student-centered.

What's your best piece of advice for students?

Take as many of the different kinds of courses as they can, this is really your only chance to be around these kind of experts and see these kind of classes. 

What is your favorite hobby?

I don't think I have a favorite but over the years I've done a bunch of different things. Right now, a few years ago I took a class and I got into welding, so I take scrap metal and make ugly art for the yard.

What is your favorite book?

Books I've read recently, The Volunteer, that traces a member of the Polish resistance in World War II that volunteered to be sent to Auschwitz so that he could see what was going on. And for a fiction, I'd have to go My Life as a Rat, you can't go wrong with Joyce Carol Oates.

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