Reese writes a text that embraces the spirit of many reform goals, such as better integration of modern physics topics, a stronger emphasis on conceptual understanding, and an attention to different learning styles. Most importantly, however, Reese writes for students to allow them not only to learn the tools that physics provides, but also to see why those tools work and the beauty of the ideas that underlie them.
Because students sometimes fail to see how the topics of physics connect to each other or to the world outside the classroom, Reese introduces each new topic by describing how it relates to experiences and phenomena with which the student is already familiar or to topics previously discussed.
Reese emphasizes introductory physics, rather than encyclopedic physics, leaving appropriate topics for more advanced courses. His thinking is that it is better to build technical knowledge on a firm foundation of fundamental principles rather than on a large collection of mere formulas. In doing this, he helps students develop a thorough understanding of the principles of basic areas of physics: kinematics, dynamics, waves, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, optics, relativity, and modern physics.
Because most students cannot discern simplifying patterns and connections when faced with seemingly complex ideas, students learn physics through practice. To assist them, Reese integrates the most significant material from previous chapters into new material; provides an accurate conceptual understanding of fundamental physical principles by placing great emphasis on these principles and how they arose; points out the limits of applicability of the theories and equations of physics; and stresses connections among topics by incorporating many aspects of contemporary physics and astronomy into a mix of traditional topics.
Ph. D. from Johns Hopkins in 1971