Abstracts

  • Why Diverse Teams will Meet the Science and Engineering Challenges of the 21st Century

    Dr. Margaret Murnane

    Addressing many of the grand challenges in science and engineering requires research that spans multiple disciplines and, of necessity, also requires good teamwork. Designing the next-generation of more efficient energy sources, data storage and nano-electronics will need the collaborative efforts of scientists and engineers who can think outside the box. In many ways, there has never been a more exciting time to do research, because a diverse group of scientists and engineers can solve major global problems and invent new technologies that can drive the economy.
  • Physics Pathways: Challenges, Opportunities, and My Personal Journey

    Dr. Kate Kirby

    Physics is an incredibly exciting field in which to be involved. It is challenging intellectually and can lead to some very interesting career opportunities. This is a great time to be studying physics, as there is a steadily growing community of women in physics and physics-related fields.

    I will give some statistics on women in physics, and will discuss how a membership organization such as the American Physical Society (APS) can enhance one's career in Physics. I will also draw on a few examples from my own career to illustrate issues of work/life balance and how I went from research physicist in atomic and molecular physics at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics to Executive Officer of the APS.
  • Ultracold Molecules

    Dr. Deborah Jin

    Gases of atoms cooled to temperatures near absolute zero can be used to experimentally investigate condensed matter phenomena in a clean and controllable system. We would like to extend this work to include ultracold gases of molecules, where new possibilities include gases with long-range interactions, ultracold chemistry, and new tools for manipulation and probing using the molecules' rotation and vibration. I will describe our experiments at JILA where we are creating and exploring an ultracold gas of KRb molecules.
  • Black Holes, Galaxies, and Cosmic Evolution

    Dr. Meg Urry

    Black holes form in the early Universe and grow to millions or even billions of times the mass of our Sun as their gravity attracts surrounding matter. This growth releases energy, which we see as X-ray, optical and infrared light. I will describe the discovery of a hidden population of supermassive black holes, found with multiwavelength surveys using NASA observatories in space, as well as our most recent work investigating their host galaxies.
  • Seeing the Unseen in Geophysics and Diversity

    Dr. Roel Snieder

    Geophysics is largely concerned with finding out what the interior of the earth looks like. This has implications for resource management and environmental problems. A topic of high interest is the extraction of information from noise, which makes it possible to extract the earth response from recorded noise. I will also discuss the issue of diversity in research groups. Research groups in the physical sciences often are not very diverse. I will talk about steps we can take towards a more diverse and accepting research environment. As with the extraction of information from noise, this allows us to see patterns that were easily overlooked in the clutter of everyday.
  • Physics and Your Brain

    Dr. Cynthia Norrgran

    This talk will be on the physics of neuroscience. This will include new surgical techniques, imaging processes, radiation treatments, and how the world of neuroscience is growing. Old concepts are giving way to the new findings with far reaching impacts on the understanding of the human animal. This explosive data gathering has opened the physics field of research into new areas such as smart prosthesis, brain computer interfacing, stereotactic neurosurgery, .smart. drinks, gamma knife, implantable brain devices, psychophysics, new methods of lie detection, and new treatments for brain degeneration using toxic substances. The brain will never be the same. The link of biology and physics is the way of the future.
  • Implementing and assessing curricular changes in the CSM physics department: From the introductory to the senior level

    Dr. Patrick B. Kohl

    The Colorado School of Mines physics department has been a leader in implementing goal-driven, research-based curricular changes in recent years. In this talk, we'll describe the full cycle of new course development. This starts from identifying needs, to developing a curriculum and environment, to iterative assessment and updates over time. We'll focus mostly on the creation and assessment of Studio Physics 200, an introductory calculus-based E&M course. As time allows, we'll also discuss other development projects at CSM, including preparations for implementing the flipped classroom model in upper-division courses. This model moves traditional, passively-received lectures online, and focuses in-class time on more active pursuits.


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