Category Archives: Outreach and Alumni

High School Students Explore Nanotechnology

Professor Yoke Khin Yap (Physics) held a workshop for ninth and tenth grade students from L’Anse High School on Monday. The theme of the workshop was “Introduction to Nanotechnology” and was part of the outreach and education activities in Yap’s research grant funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

This workshop was co-organized by Michigan Tech’s GEAR UP, a Pre-College Innovative Outreach Institute, with the assistance of Liz Fujita. The goal of the workshop was to help stimulate the interest of pre-college underrepresented groups (girls, students with disabilities, etc.). A total of 91 students and three teachers participated.

During the workshop, students were introduced to the concept of nanoscale and hands-on experience in making molecular structures. Following lunch, there was a discussion on the potential applications of nanoscale materials. “Since Michigan Tech is the only research-intensive university in the area, we regularly provide educational support to the local communities,” says Yap. This is one of the annual outreach events planned during the three-year NSF research project.

From Tech Today, by Yoke Khin Yap.

NDSEG Fellowship for Recent Graduate Michael Adler

Michael Adler
Michael Adler

Physics alumnus Michael Adler (’14) is a recipient of the 2015 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. The fellowship is sponsored and funded by the Department of Defense (DoD) in order to increase the number of U.S. citizens and nationals trained in science and engineering disciplines of military importance.

Now in the PhD program in aerospace engineering at the Ohio State University, Adler received the 2014 Ian W. Shepherd Award from the Department of Physics while at Michigan Tech.

Teresa Wilson on Fata Morgana

Teresa A. Wilson
Teresa A. Wilson

National Geographic quoted Michigan Tech graduate student Teresa Wilson (Physics) in an article about a special kind of atmospheric mirage known as a Fata Morgana.

From Tech Today.

China’s Floating City and The Science of Mirages

They’re common in polar regions, says Teresa Wilson, a graduate student in physics at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, in an email. “But [they] can happen anywhere.” People have even seen fata morgana in the Strait of Messina between Italy and Sicily.

Read more at National Geographic, by Jane J. Lee.

Lunar Eclipse Viewing at Michigan Tech

Moonbeam: Event draws crowd to Tech’s telescope

HOUGHTON – At Michigan Technological University, people lined up Sunday night to view an astronomical event that, for most of them, was occurring for the first time in their lives.

“A lot of people think that when the moon is eclipsed, it disappears during totality, but it doesn’t,” said Amanda Shaw, a masters student at Tech and teacher of Tech’s astronomy class, who organized the viewing.

“This is a rather unique event, but otherwise people don’t necessarily get a chance to see things like a full moon with any detail,” said Tech physics student Scott Rutterbush. “Instead, it gives them a little bit of perspective. It gives them a chance to say, ‘in order to see up close on the moon, we have to go this big.'”

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese (subscription required).

Jacek Borysow Interviewed on Department Improvements

Jacek Borysow Department Improvements
Jacek Borysow

Local students will soon see big improvements in the physics department

Elizabeth and Richard Henes see great potential in Michigan Tech’s physics department. Five years ago, a Tech professor impressed them by using a mouse trap to demonstrate quantum mechanics.

“There are only certain states, like energy [or] velocity which are allowed for the molecule. A mouse trap has only 2 states. One when the spring is loose and one when it is, how do you call it, set. Mr. Henes said thank you for the lecture and handed us a check for seven hundred thousand dollars,” said Jacek Borysow, a Physics Professor at the University.

Read more and watch the video at ABC 10 UP, by Amanda L’Esperence.

Nemiroff Interviewed on APOD by MUSEUM Magazine

Museum magazine published a special feature on NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day and interviewed Professor Robert Nemiroff (Physics), who co-developed and co-writes and edits the popular astronomy feature.

From Tech Today.

A special report on NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day archive—an image-driven attempt to catalogue (some) of the universe’s ephemera.

Existence is a loaded thing. Those of us who do not engage with the physical environment or, spiritually speaking, ritualistic practice, might wonder only briefly and in passing about that which we do not understand—the deep sea, impending apocalypse, where we come from—before shaking our heads and continuing onward.

MONICA USZEROWICZ As someone exploring the beginnings of the universe, what prompted your interest in the cosmos?

ROBERT NEMIROFF Like many scientists, in particular astronomers, I wanted to be a scientist from a very early age. I remember in second grade that I could say the names of the planets—then including Pluto—faster than anyone in the class. And that included—and I hope you are sitting down for this—the teacher. So obviously, I was pre-qualified to become an astronomer.

Read more at MUSEUM, by Monica Uszerowicz.