Category Archives: History

Meet the Physics Faculty and Staff

Physics Faculty and Staff Fall 2015
Physics Faculty and Staff Fall 2015

From left to right: Andrea Lappi, John Jaszczak, Ranjit Pati, Don Beck, Bob Weidman, Wil Slough, Ramy El-Ganainy, Brian Fick, Claudio Mazzoleni, Bryan Suits, Miguel Levy, Alex Kostinski, Debbie Linn, Kimberly Oldt, Ravi Pandey, Will Cantrell, Yoke Khin Yap, Ray Shaw, Petra Huentemeyer, Bob Nemiroff, Jacek Borysow, and Max Seel.

Find all of the faculty and staff of the Department of Physics.


APOD is 20 Years Old

APOD VermeerAstronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) was launched this day in 1995. The massively followed online site is maintained by APOD co-founders Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell.

The 20th anniversary APOD image is a digital re-pixelation of a Vermeer using over 5,000 APOD images that have been featured on the site.

Nemiroff and Bonnell were interviewed by The Verge.

20 years of space photos: an oral history of Astronomy Picture of the Day

Exploring the cosmos one day at a time

APOD launched on June 16, 1995. In advance of its milestone birthday, I spoke on the phone with the two guys who have run the site by hand for two decades, a seemingly unfathomable task in the age of ephemeral content. How do they do it? A combination of Microsoft Word, a fiery passion for astrophotography, and lots and lots of emails.

So where did the idea originally come from?

Robert Nemiroff: Jerry Bonnell and I shared an office at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and we were both — we’re still — active researchers. But the web was growing up, and so we brainstormed to try to figure out how we could contribute to this web. One idea, we thought, was maybe we can make lots of money, and buy a Hawaiian island or something. But that never worked out. [Laughs.]

Read more at The Verge, by Sean O’Kane.


50 Years of Fisher Hall

Fisher Hall
Fisher Hall

Fisher Hall has reached a milestone this fall: the big 5-0.

Anyone attending Tech within the last fifty years knows this campus landmark, which has been many things for many people—home for mathematics and physics majors, headquarters for gen ed courses, terror for first-years in chemistry, budget entertainment, and even a venue for true love (more on that later). Fisher has a character all its own—an identity that is as much tied to the Huskies who walked its halls as it is seated in the building’s physical attributes.

Fisher Hall is dedicated on October 7, 1964, replacing Hubbell Hall as the new home for the mathematics and physics department and engineering graphics. Much fanfare follows.

Read more at Michigan Tech Magazine Fall 2014, by Karina Jousma.



Professor Daavettila and the Nuke Program

Don Daavettila
Don Daavettila

Physics Faculty Emeritus Don Daavettila fondly recalls the days of the nuclear engineering master’s program at Michigan Tech. And the fact that nuclear power seems to be coming back in vogue after nearly fifty years doesn’t surprise him.

“Nuclear is the way to go,” says the former chemistry and physics professor. “It’s a solid 20 percent of where we get our power today.”

Read more at TechAlum Newsletter, by Don Daavettila.

Professor Daavettila

Physics alumni Kim Bylund (Warner), Ken Kok, and Marty Vonk share experiences with Professor Daavettila in From the Email Bag.

Read more at TechAlum Newsletter.




Debasis Datta Inducted into CSA Academy 2013

Dr. Debasis Datta was inducted into Michigan Technological University’s Academy of Sciences and Arts on September 13, 2013. Datta graduated with a PhD in Physics from Michigan Technological University in 1994. His research work at Tech resulted in ten publications in American Physical Review. Following the completion of his postdoctoral work, he started his career in Information Technology in 1996 as a software engineer in the IT services industry. During his 16 year IT career, Debasis worked at DaimlerChrysler, PeopleSoft, Oracle and General Motors Corporation where he is currently employed.

Read more from the Dean’s Comments at the 2013 induction ceremony.

View the PHOTO GALLERY.

Debasis Datta at CSA Academy
Ravi Pandey, Devashree Datta, Debasis Datta, and Donald Beck


In Memoriam: Paul R. Hinzmann

Paul Hinzmann
Paul Hinzmann

Paul Revere Hinzmann, professor emeritus of physics, died on Nov. 30, at the Clark Retirement Home in Grand Rapids, Mich. He was 99 years old.

He was born in Tipton, Mich., and lived in Ohio before attending the Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve). He attended his 70th reunion there in 2005.

Hinzmann received a master’s degree in education from the University of Michigan before beginning his teaching career at Michigan Tech in 1946. He taught until 1977 and was also the University photographer during his tenure at Tech. He was recalled as a patient, caring teacher who loved the enthusiasm of students. After retirement, he was active in the local Boy Scouts chapter, Isle Royale Natural History Association, and Golden Kiwanis.

Paul was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Alvin and Wade. He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Elsie (Feigley) Hinzmann and his children, Georgia (Hugh) Makens of Grand Rapids, Mich. and Vincent (Nancy) Hinzmann of Milford, Mich. grandchildren and other family members.

Paul wished his body to be donated to science with the MSU Medical School being the recipient.

Posted December 5, 2012, in Tech Today.

Please feel free to leave comments on your experiences with Paul Hinzmann.