Senior Research Fellow, JILA Distinguished Professor University of Colorado, Boulder
Award-winning physicist Margaret Murnane began her journey to becoming a world-renowned expert on ultrafast lasers in the countryside of Midwest Ireland. Her father, an elementary school teacher, loved science and used to reward his young daughter with chocolates or a new science book from the library when she solved math puzzles. When she was 8, one of those books, with an illustration of Archimedes in the bathtub, kindled a lifelong desire to learn about the world by observing it. She reveled in her high-school physics class, even though “it was my worst subject.” Undeterred, she attended University College Cork (Ireland), earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in physics. Her university courses were academically challenging, but fascinating. She graduated hooked on the idea of having a career in physics, even though it meant leaving Ireland to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. Murnane did her thesis work building an ultrashort-pulse laser in Roger Falcone’s laboratory. It took her a year to build the laser, another six months to refine and characterize it, and two years to demonstrate that it could generate fast x-ray pulses. Murnane graduated in 1989 and a year later received the American Physical Society’s (APS’s) Simon Ramo Award for her thesis. During her graduate studies, Murnane met fellow student Henry Kapteyn, who became her husband in 1988 and a life-long collaborator. In 1990, the couple moved to Washington State University, where they set up a joint laboratory dedicated to the fast-moving and competitive field of ultrafast laser science.
Professor Adjoint, JILA University of Colorado, Boulder
Dr. Jin’s research focuses on ultracold trapped atoms, where quantum statistics dominate the behavior of atoms. In this manner, she is able to explore a variety of phenomena such as Bose-Einstein condensation, Cooper pairing of fermions, ultracold atomic interactions, and superfluidity in dilute atomic gases. Her honors include the prestigious John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship, membership in the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society’s Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award, NIST’s Samuel Wesley Stratton Award, the Franklin Institute’s 2008 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics, the Service to America Medal, and the 2009 William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement. She received her A.B. from Princeton and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and completed her postdoctoral research at JILA.
Executive Officer, APS
Dr. Kate Kirby is the Executive Officer at the American Physical Society. Dr. Kirby earned her bachelor's degree in chemistry and physics from Harvard/Radcliffe College and her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard College Observatory she was appointed as Research Physicist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Lecturer in the Harvard University Department of Astronomy. From 1988 to 2001, she served as an Associate Director at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, heading the Atomic and Molecular Physics Division. From 2001-2007, she served as Director of the Institute for Theoretical Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (ITAMP) at Harvard and Smithsonian. Dr. Kirby's research interests lie in theoretical atomic and molecular physics, particularly the calculation of atomic and molecular processes important in astrophysics and atmospheric physics. She is a Fellow of both the APS and AAAS.
Teaching Professor Physics Department Colorado School of Mines
Dr. Kohl received his B.S. from Western Washington University followed by his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder. His graduate studies focused on representational competence in the context of physics. His most recent research focuses on the transition from a traditional-based lecture format to a hybrid lecture/studio format. Included in the scope of his research are investigations into the gender gap in introductory physics classes and analysis involving conceptual surveys such as the CSEM and CLASS. He iteratively evaluates and seeks to improve any course he is involved through assessment of course structure, rigor, and diversity. In his spare time, Dr. Kohl can be found commanding (Protoss/Zerg/human) forces alike and chilling with his house rabbit.
Teaching Professor Chemical and Biological Engineering Colorado School of Mines
Dr. Norrgran received her B.S. in physics from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Before entering medical school, she researched regenerating limbs and brain enzymes. She completed medical school at the University of Nevada, Reno. For her surgical internship and neurosurgery residency, she attended the University of Cincinnati, where her research focused on mechanical stress designs for cervical wiring techniques and skull base surgical applications for carotid cavernous sinus fistulas. For several years, she practiced as a neurosurgeon in the Denver area. Upon retiring from her medical practice, she earned her M.S. in astronomy at James Cook University. At CSM, some of her research involves monitoring bacterial growth and identification in contaminated water using spectrophotometric techniques and another area of research is the effect of conotoxin on the brain. In her spare time, she also does private research on the recovery and restoration processes for dinosaur fossils.
Professor Geophysics Department Colorado School of Mines
Dr. Snieder’s research focuses on coda wave interferometry, passive imaging, wave propagation, inverse problems, seismic interferometry, and liquefaction, landslides, and volcanoes. His honors include the prestigious Vening-Meinesz award, PIONIER grant, an appointment as a fellow of the American Geophyscial Union, corresponding member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and honorary membership to the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. He has helped edit several professional publications, lectured for various environmental and geophysics groups, and taken an active role in developing the ethics curriculum at the Colorado School of Mines. He is currently the associate editor of the European Journal of Physics, and the chair of the Committee for Ethics Across the Curriculum of the Colorado School of Mines. He received his doctorate in Theoretical Physics from Utrecht University, Netherlands, M.A. in Geophysical Fluid dynamics from Princeton University, and Ph.D. in Geophyiscs from Utrecht University, Netherlands. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the “Equipe de Tomographie Geophysique” of the Institut de Physique du Globe in Paris, France.
Israel Munson Professor of Physics & Astronomy Department Chair of Physics Director of Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics Yale University
Dr. Urry’s research focuses on accreting supermassive black holes and the co-evolution of these black holes with normal galaxies. Her honors include membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Connecticut Academy of Science & Engineering, the Annie Jump Cannon and George van Biesbrock prizes from the American Astronomical Society, and election as a Fellow by the American Physical Society and American Women in Science. In addition to her research, she has been actively involved in physics advisory committees and peer review, including service on the National Research Council’s Space Studies Board, the Board on Physics & Astronomy, as Chair of the Astronomy Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and as the inaugural chair of the STScI Committee on Diversity. Two decades ago she wrote the Baltimore Charter for Women in Astronomy, which helped turn the tide for women in that field. She received her B.S in physics and mathematics from Tufts University, and M.S. and Ph.D. in physics from John Hopkins University.