Physics and mathematics major Crystal Massoglia was named the 2107 Physics Department Scholar. Congratulations, Crystal!
Dr. Jacek Borysow presented Dr. Carly Robinson with the first Henes Center for Quantum Phenomena Distinguished Alumna Award. Dr. Robinson graduated with a BS in Physics from Michigan Tech in 2007, received her PhD from the University of Colorado, and is currently a Senior Product Strategist/Science Advisor with the U.S. Department of Energy.
Dr. Carly Robinson, a 2007 alumna of the physics department, awarded the 2017 Ian W. Shepherd award jointly to Ben Manning (left) and Kelci Mohrman (right). Congratulations, Kelci and Ben!
At the colloquium, seniors presented their research. From left to right, (standing) Dr. Will Cantrell, Kelci Mohrman, Floyd Johnson, Colin Sheidler, Nick Videtich, David Russell, Michael Foetisch, Dr. Jacek Borysow. (kneeling) Austin Hermann, Parker Schimler, Ben Manning, Dr. Carly Robinson.
Pushpalatha Murthy, dean of Michigan Tech’s Graduate School says, “Being a recipient of the Graduate Research Fellowship or Honorable Mention status in this very prestigious competition speaks to the high caliber of our students and the dedication they have for both intellectual pursuits and serving society. The NSF-GRFP is unique in that it emphasizes commitment to both intellectual inquiry and service to society and are looking to support individuals who have the potential to be high achieving scientists and engineers as well as have a broader impact on society. These awards are a well-deserved recognition of the superior accomplishments of our students and the quality and dedication of Michigan Tech faculty, staff and programs. Crafting a winning proposal is a lot of effort and I want to congratulate the students for their accomplishments and thank the dedication and passion of the faculty and staff who helped them. I look forward to great contributions for our students.”
THE NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.
Mohran recently participated in the Undergraduate Research Symposium.
A new research grant marks more than 30 years of continuous support of NSF to Professor Alex Kostinski.
In the scientific community, Kostinski is well-known as a “Scientist for All Seasons” due to his somewhat nomadic interests in diverse areas of physics including fluid mechanics, atmospheric science, radar meteorology, astronomy, optics and semiconductor physics. Specifically, the results of his research have broad impacts on cloud physics resulting in highly-cited publications in Nature, Phys Rev Letts, Geophys Res Letts. etc.
Kostinski was the recipient of the 2004 Michigan Tech Research Award and has helped the department establish a well-funded research group in atmospheric physics which includes Raymond Shaw, Will Cantrell, and Claudio Mazzoleni.
The 2017 Graduate Research Colloquium (GRC) was held on February 15-16 in the Memorial Union Ballroom. There were oral and poster presentation. The banquet was held on the evening of February 16
ABC 10’s Keweenaw Bureau Reporter Rick Allen reported on the colloquium. Read more and watch the video at ABC10 UP, by Rick Allen.
Complete list of winners:
Oral Presentation Competition
- 1st Place: Kevin Sunderland, Department of Biomedical Engineering
- 2nd Place: Teresa Wilson, Department of Physics
- 3rd Place: Andrew Chapp, Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology
- Most Attended: Muraleekrishnan Menon, Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics
- Most Attended: Niranjan Miganakallu, Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics
Poster Presentation Competition
- 1st Place: Matthew Kilgas, Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology
- 2nd Place: Brian Page, Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics
- 3rd Place: Zichen Qian, Department of Biomedical Engineering
- People’s Choice: Mugdha Priyadarshini, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Graduate Student Service Awards
- Gorkem Asilioglu, Department of Computer Science
- Hossein Tavakoli, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Kate Glodowski, Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology
- Erin Pischke, Department of Social Sciences
The GRC is held each year by the Graduate Student Government at Michigan Tech.
This week’s Dean’s Teaching Showcase recipient is Raymond Shaw from the Department of Physics, winner of the 2016 Michigan Tech Research Award. Shaw was selected by College of Sciences and Arts Dean Bruce Seely precisely because his efforts in the classroom forcefully demonstrate the unity of teaching and research and signal no necessary tension exists between these two core faculty responsibilities.
Seely says “That past fall, the Physics Department honored Ray for the Research Award in the manner it had recognized several other research award recipients — assigning them to teach a large lecture class. In Ray’s case, this was PH 2200, which covered electricity and magnetism for 390 students. He discovered large classes requires ‘one part professor and two parts theater director.’
“Fortunately, he enjoyed significant assistance from a demo crew that prepared attention-grabbing experiments suitable for classroom use, a dedicated assistant who managed iClicker content and online homework systems, the office staff that printed and organized 400 exam booklets every few weeks, and the physics learning center coaches who assisted students with homework and exams.
“At the end of the term, student evaluations ranked the class at 4.36 on the seven dimensions reported on the evaluation form. This is a very good score for a large introductory class.
“Ray identified several keys to this success, including support from Physics faculty, John Jaszczak, Wil Slough, and Bob Weidman, with extensive experience in large-lecture sections, who shared lecture materials and staging tips, and provided occasional pep talks. In addition, help from the testing center and IT staff members further confirmed that such courses are taught by a team, not just a professor.
“When asked about his contributions to making this class work, Ray noted that because big classes can seem impersonal, he ‘took it as a challenge to let my students get to know me as a person.’
“He spiced up lectures with personal anecdotes related to the course, like his rapidly-flashing blinker (RC time constants) or electromagnetic phenomena in his research. Other times he used more random elements related to life in general. He once asked students to provide iClicker responses on possible ways of disciplining his son for breaking the TV. (Corporal punishment won, but he did not take that advice) His point — students respond when taught by faculty who are real people and who care about them. As one student commented, ‘Every class was enjoyable due to the somewhat ‘nerdy’ humor followed by funny references to his son (absolutely hysterical).’
“But perhaps as important was Ray’s enthusiasm for the class. Students clearly recognized his passion and excitement about physics. One student said, ‘Your enthusiasm for Physics is inspiring. It makes the lectures much more enjoyable.’ Another added, ‘Your enthusiasm was great. You were always passionate and in a good mood.’
“This might not seem like rocket science, but teaching seems to work better in environments where faculty exhibit their enthusiasm about their field and show how they care about students and their learning.”
Shaw will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with 11 other showcase members, and is now eligible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer recognizing introductory or large class teaching, innovative or outside the classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.
by Michael Meyer, Director, William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning
Raymond Shaw has been awarded the 2016 Michigan Tech Research Award for his outstanding achievement in atmospheric research and scholarly endeavor. Read more about about professor Shaw’s research and the cloud physics research laboratory here.
In order from left to right: Bishnu Tiwari (Advisors: Dr. Yap and Dr. Zhang), Gaoxue Wang (Advisor: Dr. Pandey), and Fan Yang (Advisor: Dr. Shaw).
Congratulations to Bishnu Tiwari, Gaoxue Wang, and Fan Yang for receiving the Fall 2016 Outstanding Teaching and Outstanding Scholarship Award. They have demonstrated their exceptional ability as a teacher and commitment to their research.
Congratulations to Raymond Shaw (Atmospheric Sciences, Physics) for winning the 2016 Research Award.
In the words of Ravi Pandey, chair of the Department of Physics, Shaw is “widely recognized in the national and international community of atmospheric scientists investigating cloud microphysical processes.”
His research is both detailed and big—from the minutiae of raindrops to understanding the patterns of cloud formation. As part of this research, he collaborates with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to lead a team of scientists to conduct holographic imaging of cloud droplets from an airplane laboratory. The research was published in Science last fall and was the subject of a Michigan Tech Research Magazine story.
“The unifying aspect of my research is the atmosphere,” Shaw says, adding that the process of research inspires him. “It’s like working on an incredibly diverse set of intertwined and nested puzzles. Every now and then a burst of insight allows us to solve a part of one of them.”
Shaw is also recognized for his teaching and says that teaching is another aspect of research. “Students learn at a deeper level when they dig into a research problem,” he explains.
“The advisor-grad student relationship is the closest thing I know to an apprenticeship, where the grad student masters a craft by working side by side with a mentor.”
He considers Alex Kostinski (Physics) his own mentor who has helped him on Michigan Tech’s campus from day one. Along with Pandey’s support and the insight from his students, Shaw says, “Perhaps it sounds quaint, but I do feel like being recognized with the MTU research award is a larger recognition of the colleagues and students with whom I have worked.”