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Annual Reports

2013-2014

Highlights

  • After an international search that produced over 60 candidates, Dr. Kat Barger (Ph.D., Wisconsin-Madison, 2012) was appointed assistant professor in astronomy.
  • Six students entered the Biophysics track of the Physics Ph.D. in its inaugural year.
  • Two faculty members secured major funding for their research in biophysics (Dr. Hana Dobrovolny, Janssen Pharm.) and in astronomy (Dr. Peter Frinchaboy, NSF).
  • The Research Experience for Undergraduates program directed by Peter Frinchaboy was awarded a new 3-year grant from the National Science Foundation.
  • Two Ph.D.s in Physics were conferred.

Student Research

  • 11 undergraduate students were involved in research projects in the Department.
  • Undergraduate students were co-authors on 8 research papers presented at local and international meetings and co-authors on 5 papers published in international peer-reviewed astronomy and physics journals.
  • Graduate students were co-authors on 9 journal articles and 12 conference presentations.

Faculty Scholarship

  • Faculty members were authors on 20 refereed papers in national and international journals and 28 presentations at international, national, and state scientific meetings.
  • Faculty members secured $555,000 in external funding for their research.
  • The department secured $220,000 in funding from NSF for the Research Experience for Undergraduates Program.

2012-2013

Highlights

  • New assistant professor of biophysics position filled by Dr. Hana Dobrovolny after international search.
  • New Biophysics track in the Physics Ph.D. and new undergraduate courses in Biophysics approved and slated for introduction beginning in Fall 2013.
  • Major upgrade in equipment and laboratory exercises in Physics III-Modern Physics Lab and Astronomy labs in progress
  • Two PhDs, one each in Physics and in Physics with Astrophysics option conferred
  • Enrollments in undergraduate Physics and Astronomy courses at all-time highs

Student Research

  • Undergraduate students were co-authors on 5 research papers presented at local and international meetings.
  • Graduate students were co-authors on 5 journal articles and 13 conference presentations.
  • The high school outreach program, Research Apprentices in Physics provided opportunities for 3 area high school students to participate in research projects. They were all co-authors on posters at the SRS Symposium and 2 were co-authors on 4 papers presented at national conferences.

Faculty Scholarship

  • Faculty members were authors on 32 refereed papers in national and international journals and 39 presentations at international, national, and state scientific meetings.
  • Two patents were granted to Karol Gryczynski and collaborators.
  • Faculty members secured $3,120,000 in external funding for their research.

2011-2012

Highlights

  • The Department was host to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III/Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE), Science Meeting and Workshop during January 12–15, 2012.
  • A new course PHYS 10503: Energy debuted.
  • A new Minor in Applied Physics has been approved and will be offered beginning in Fall 2012
  • Two PhDs  in Physics were conferred

Student Research

  • A total of 10 undergraduates including 2 engineering students were engaged in research projects with faculty.
  • Graduate students were co-authors on 8 journal articles and 16 conference presentations.
  • 8 students from undergraduate institutions participated in the Research Experience for Undergraduates program.  They have subsequently presented 3 papers on their summer research at state and national meetings.
  • The high school outreach program, Research Apprentices in Physics provided opportunities for 4 area high school students to participate in research projects.

Faculty Scholarship

  • Faculty members published 33 refereed articles in international journals, 5 book chapters, and 1 book, and made 33 presentations at state, national, and international venues.
  • Doug Ingram was recognized for his outstanding teaching by the Deans’ 2011 Teaching Award.