Month: January 2014

2014 Undergraduate Research Expo Call for Abstracts

URE PosterThe Michigan Tech Honors Institute would like to invite all undergraduate researchers from every department to submit an abstract for research to be presented at the 2014 Undergraduate Research Expo. This expo will give researchers a chance to present posters describing completed or ongoing research and receive feedback from faculty judges.

Presenter Information and Poster Guidelines

Submission until January 31, 2014, 11:59 pm

In Memoriam: Keith Baldwin

Keith Baldwin
Keith Baldwin

Keith M. Baldwin, 85, passed away on Thursday, January 16, 2014, at Marquette General Hospital.

He was born May 25, 1928, in Buffalo, N.Y. Moving to Michigan in 1937, he graduated from Eastern High School, Lansing, Mich., in 1946. During his high school years, he honed his skills in radio repair and early electronics which created a lasting interest in electronics that he fostered his entire life. Keith graduated from Michigan State University in 1950 with both a degree in physics as well as a state high school teaching certificate for physics and math.

In order to spend more time with his family Keith left industry in 1963 to pursue a career in teaching and joined the Michigan College of Mining and Technology as an Associate Professor of Physics. He taught many physics classes/senior lab and served as a faculty advisor for graduate students. In the early 70’s, Keith also became involved with the Keweenaw Research Center (KRC). He worked on vehicle research projects and helped to secure contracts for vehicle testing. After early retirement from MTU in 1984 at the age of 55, MTU partnered with Keith and formed KMB/Tech. He developed laboratory physics equipment marketed to physics teachers.

Read the entire story at the Mining Gazette.

Professor Emeritus Don Daavittila (Physics) knew him well. “He was very interested in his subject and a very good teacher,” he said. “I enjoyed knowing him very much. He was also a Tech hockey fan, he was even at some games this year. Keith was a good guy.”

Professor Don Beck (Physics) also remembers his teaching ability. “I remember him saying that he liked teaching C and D students especially because he was able to see how much they learned as they progressed through his courses.”

Associate Professor Will Cantrell (Physics) and the Baldwins were members of the same congregation. “I remember Keith’s kindness and generosity,” he said. “He and his wife provided the piano we use for music, which has made quite a difference to our church.”

Read more reflections at Tech Today.

Please feel free to leave comments on your experiences with Keith Baldwin.

SURF Proposal Workshop

Will Cantrell, coordinator for the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, will conduct a workshop for students on writing effective SURF proposals at 6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 16, in Fisher 131.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to notify students interested in applying for SURF funding to attend. For more information, see

The deadline for receipt of SURF applications is noon on Friday, Jan. 31, 2014.

From Tech Today

Alum Matt Davenport Turns Science Writer

Matt DavenportMatthew Davenport ’06 is a PhD physicist turned science writer. If you are interested in such a career, view some of Matt’s writing and visualization samples on his website.

Matt also co-authored an article for Nature Nanotechnology in 2010. It is entitled “Graphene opens up to DNA,” published online 06 October 2010. doi:10.1038/nnano.2010.198 The work concerns the threading of pores in 2D graphene sheets by DNA strands.

While a student at Michigan Tech, Matt received the Ian W. Shepherd Award for most outstanding senior.

News About Time Travel

A paper by Professor Robert Nemiroff (Physics) and graduate student Teresa Wilson on their study designed to find time travelers on the Internet has garnered plenty of media attention. Hits include the following and many more:

The Huffington Post

The Telegraph



Popular Science

From Tech Today.

See also:

ABC News

Guardian Liberty Voice

CNN Tech

In the News

Professor Robert Nemiroff’s (Physics) paper describing his team’s unsuccessful search for time travelers attracted the attention of columnist Scott McLemee. The article, “In Search of Chrononauts,” appears in Inside Higher Ed.

From Tech Today.

In the News

An article by Tom Siegfried, “Google Search Fails to Find Any Sign of Time Travelers,” features Professor Robert Nemiroff and Teresa Wilson’s (Physics) recent paper on the topic and throws Stephen Hawking, Edgar Allen Poe and a few other luminaries into the mix.

From Tech Today.

Google search fails to find any sign of time travelers

On the other hand, perhaps time travelers just want to keep their existence a secret. But even highly trained supersecret time travel agents might slip up occasionally and accidentally reveal their future origins. Like for instance, by typing Comet ISON into Google before that comet had even been discovered. But even if they did, who would ever know?

Well, Robert Nemiroff and Teresa Wilson of the Michigan Technological University physics department might. Comet ISON was discovered in 2012, so it is very unlikely that anyone from the present would have searched online for it, or tweeted about it, before then. Nemiroff and Wilson reasoned that searching the Internet for pre-2012 mentions of Comet ISON might turn up evidence of a time traveler.

Read more at Science News, by Tom Siegfried.

News About Snow

Professor Raymond Shaw’s (Physics) efforts to explain why so much snow falls in the Arctic, despite the paucity of nuclei for ice crystals, was described in the story “Let it Snow: How White Stuff Comes Down Days on End.”

From Tech Today.

Let it snow: How the white stuff comes down for days on end in the Arctic

Researchers at Michigan Technological University in Houghton set out to investigate the mystery of where snow in the Arctic comes from, and how it can fall so persistently in the region.

“Within a few hours, you basically purge the atmosphere of all those particles,” Raymond Shaw, a physicist at Michigan Technological University, said in a statement. “So how can it snow for days on end?”

Read more at NBC News Science, by Denise Chow.

In the News

CBS Detroit ran a news story about the origin of snowflakes, based on Professor Raymond Shaw’s (Physics) research. See CBS Detroit.

From Tech Today.