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Archive for the ‘Physics & Astronomy’


Physics and Astronomy faculty presented at American Association of Physics Teachers conference

Posted on August 04, 2014

John Buncher, Matt Craig, Steve Lindaas and Ananda Shastri, all of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, attended the American Association of Physics Teachers conference last week. Matt Craig presented a poster titled “Agile Development of a Python-based Image Analysis Tool” on his work developing a collaborative tool using iPython notebooks. Ananda Shastri presented his talk “Structured Progression in a Sophomore-level Experimental Physics Course “. Steve Lindaas presented the workshop “Demo Kit in a Box” which showed participants how to construct easy, inexpensive demos for just-in-time-teaching. Steve is also a committee member and past chair and attended meetings to plan next year’s conference. www.aapt.org/Conferences/sm2014/

Horizon Middle School’s FIRST LEGO League Robotics Competition

Posted on May 15, 2014

The Horizon Middle School robotics team, “Spudnik, the Next Generation,” placed first for their project presentation at the FIRST LEGO League robotics competition in Grand Forks on February 1. This year’s challenge was Nature’s Fury. The team presented about preventing, reducing and recovering from the damages caused by volcanoes. Team members are Paul Sternhagen, Kaeden Olthoff, Finn Harrison, Joe Eidsness, Jake Cameron, Jonathan Stalberger, Josh Hagen, Max Slicer and Chris Schmitt. Amber From is the team coach, and Matt Craig, MSUM physics professor, is the volunteer coach. Read the rest of this entry →

Three professors from the Department of Physics and Astronomy presented at the Minnesota Chapter of the American Association of Physics Teachers

Posted on May 14, 2014

Three professors from the Department of Physics and Astronomy presented at the Minnesota Chapter of the American Association of Physics Teachers held at Augsburg College in Minneapolis on April 26. John Buncher presented Why Elephants Really Are Big-Boned: Stress and Scaling in the IPLS Lab, Linda Winkler presented Rocket Science in Introductory Physics, and Ananda Shastri presented Matters of the Heart: Building an ECG Monitor in the Advanced Physics Lab.

Dave Weinrich retirement party today from 2-4 p.m.

Posted on May 09, 2014

Please join the Physics and Astronomy Department in wishing Dave Weinrich well as he retires from 31 years at MSUM. A farewell open house will be held Friday, May 9 from 2-4 p.m. in the Langseth Hall Atrium.

125 Faces of MSUM – Dennis Jacobs

Posted on May 02, 2014

Name: Dennis Jacobs
Profession: Professor of physics and astronomy
No. of years at MSUM: 26

Q: What has been one of the best experiences working here?
A: The first 23-24 years I taught in the Corrick Center. I think that was the best experience. It certainly helped a lot of students. The rest of it was just working with the faculty, the staff and the students. Read the rest of this entry →

Retirement party for Dennis Jacobs today

Posted on May 02, 2014

Please join the Physics and Astronomy Department in wishing Dennis Jacobs well as he retires from 26 years at MSUM. A farewell open house will be held today from 1-3 p.m. in the Hagen Hall Library (HA104). Read the rest of this entry →

Physics and Astronomy presented Expanding Your Horizons workshops

Posted on April 18, 2014

If you thought you saw rockets being launched in the parking lot last Saturday, you did. Faculty and students from the department of Physics and Astronomy presented Expanding Your Horizons workshops on April 12 for girls in 7th, 8th and 9th grade. Read the rest of this entry →

Sigma Pi Sigma inducts three new members

Posted on April 07, 2014

The MSUM chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma, the Physics Honors Society, inducted three new members during a ceremony on April 5. The inductees were chosen based on academic excellence, research and service to the community. MSUM students Iwnetim Abate and Andrew Larson were inducted as way MSUM Physics alumnus John Harris, currently a graduate student at NDSU.

http://physics.mnstate.edu/sps

MSUM Physics and Astronomy Seminar Series continues Friday

Posted on April 02, 2014

MSUM Physics and Astronomy Seminar Series Presents:

Driving to Root Cause
Using Scientific Training and Analytical Thinking to Solve Industrial Problems

By William Cooper, Technical Manager and Heather Jarski, Lab Manager
John Deere Electronic Solutions

Friday, April 4
3-3:50 p.m.
325 Hagen Hall Read the rest of this entry →

Physics major to conduct research at University of Maine’s Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology

Posted on March 28, 2014

Kyle Salk, a sophomore Physics major, was offered and has accepted a position as a summer researcher at the University of Maine’s Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology. The goal of this summer research program is to get students “involved in fundamental and applied sensor research” using state-of-the-art research equipment and facilities at the University of Maine.

ece.umaine.edu/research/805-2

Physics student presents research at conferences; receives internship at IBM Research-Almaden

Posted on March 28, 2014

Iwnetim Abate, junior physics student, recently accepted an internship with IBM Reserach-Almaden located in Silicon Valley in San Jose, Calif. Abate will be working on increasing the energy densities of Li ion batteries for electric vehicles.

Abate recently presented research at the American Physical Society’s March meeting, which was held in Denver from March 3-7. There were around 10,000 physicists who attend the conference from all over the world.

“I made professional friendships and learned a lot from the conference and the people.” Read the rest of this entry →

Student accepted into MIT summer program

Posted on March 27, 2014

Tadesse to present at Student Academic Conference

By Danielle Rebel

Greatness is often born from wild, far-fetched ideas.

For Loza Tadesse, this was exactly the case.

The international student from Ethiopia is studying physics and biology at MSUM. Earlier this year, she was hired in the biosciences department – not as a researcher, but to clean the fish tank.

“That’s when I first got interested in the fish,” Tadesse said. “I’m really interested in cardiology-related research.”

Being around the zebra fish in the biosciences department each day sparked an idea in Tadesse. After doing some research, she further developed the idea, which she will be presenting at the Student Academic Conference April 15.

“I’m modifying an ECG (electrocardiogram) that is already here,” Tadesse said. “Zebra fish are now top in medical research because they resemble the various human body systems, including the heart. I am trying to make the heart ECG recoding procedure less invasive.” Read the rest of this entry →

Physics in Life topic of March 28 seminar

Posted on March 27, 2014

Friday, March 28 | 3-3:50 p.m. | 325 Hagen Hall

MSUM Physics and Astronomy seminar series presents “Physics in Life, AFTER , A “lifetime” in Physics,” featuring Bruce Flaig
(1972, Physics & Chemistry).

Flaig writes about his presentation: Or, “How I’ve tried to use physics throughout a life that never quite went in the direction I planned.” I am currently mostly retired. I have degrees in physics, chemistry and meteorology. I’ve worked as an analytical chemist, biochemistry lab assistant, computer programmer, climatologist, meteorologist, physics instructor, aquatic weed harvester, and carpenter. I hope to give interesting answers to why I found and find physics both fascinating and useful no matter where I went or what I did. I may talk about the joy in F=ma, dropping calculators for profit, shining lights through cameras the wrong way or why Euclidean geometry gives me headaches.

Local scientist to deliver polymer seminar Friday

Posted on March 26, 2014

Effect of polymer structure on properties and their applications

Friday, March 28 | 2 p.m. | SL 102

Featuring: Neena Ravindran, Ph.D., Principal R&D Scientist, Tecton Products, Fargo, N.D.

This talk will focus on structure-property relationships in coating systems based on unsaturated polyester chemistry and their effect on end-use properties. Examples of applications will include laser ablatable coatings, coatings for electronic packaging applications, and low surface energy coatings. These applications will demonstrate how changes in the polymer backbone can significantly change properties of the coating system and therefore the end application. A brief overview of Tecton Products, the pultrusion process, and examples of the products we make will also be included.

Student accepts summer research position at the University of Wyoming’s Department of Astronomy

Posted on March 21, 2014

Laura Herzog, a sophomore Physics and Mathematics double major, was offered and has accepted a position as a summer researcher at the University of Wyoming’s Department of Astronomy. She will be involved in a research project involving the use of the University’s 2.3 meter and 0.6 meter telescopes in imaging and analysis of the environment around other galaxies.

www.uwyo.edu/physics/reu-info

MSUM Physics/Astronomy Seminar Series continues

Posted on March 12, 2014

MSUM Physics/Astronomy Seminar Series Presents:

Calculation of Optical Absorption Spectra of Large Molecules and Quantum Dots
By Deyan Mihaylov, MSUM Alum, Ph.D. student, NDSU Department of Physics

Friday, Mar. 14
3-3:50 p.m.
325 Hagen Hall Read the rest of this entry →

MSUM Physics/Astronomy Seminar Series

Posted on March 04, 2014

MSUM Physics/Astronomy Seminar Series Presents:

You’re Hired! – Infusing STEM and 21st Century Skills to Improve Students’ Attitudes Towards Engineering

By Kristin Brevik,
Logistics and Outreach
NDSCS-Fargo / Skills & Technology Training Center Read the rest of this entry →

Students present work at poster session in St. Paul

Posted on February 25, 2014

Minnesota Undergraduate Scholars, a consortium of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities institutions that supports research, scholarly works and creative activity of undergraduates, is pleased to host the first Posters at St. Paul. The poster session will allow undergraduate students to share the results of their work with leaders in our state government and highlight the exciting work being done on MnSCU campuses throughout the state. Read the rest of this entry →

A Stellar Night

Posted on February 25, 2014

Physics and astronomy department captures day-old supernova

Jan. 22 was a stellar night for MSUM’s physics and astronomy department.

Professor Juan Cabanela, physics and astronomy, and physics majors Nathan Heidt, Laura Herzog, Michael Meraz, and Beau Scheving, made a trek to the Paul P. Feder Observatory in an attempt to capture images of a day-old supernova.

The supernova, located in the galaxy M82, was temporarily designated PSN J09554214+6940260. Now confirmed, the supernova has been renamed SN 2014j. The stellar explosion, marking the last moments of a star’s life, happened to be one of the closest, and therefore brightest, to occur near the Earth in the last 25 years. Read the rest of this entry →

MSUM Physics and Astronomy Seminar Series

Posted on February 25, 2014

MSUM Physics and Astronomy Seminar Series Presents:

Using Softchalk to Increase Immediacy by Embedding Pop-Ups in Student Handouts

By: Richard Lahti, Ed.D.
Chemistry & Biochemistry
Physics & Astronomy

Friday, Feb. 28
3-3:50 p.m.
325 Hagen Hall

Softchalk is a program that allows faculty to create interactive lessons and upload them to a learning management system (such as D2L). Read the rest of this entry →

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