Tag: Astrophysics

Giusarma Garners Deans’ Teaching Showcase Honors

College of Sciences and Arts Dean Ravindra Pandey has selected Elena Giusarma, assistant professor in the Department of Physics, for the Deans’ Teaching Showcase. Giusarma will be recognized at an end-of-term event with other showcase members. Her inclusion makes her a candidate for the CTL Instructional Award Series.

Giusarma Instruction Innovator

Elena Giusarma
Elena Giusarma

Giusarma has proven herself to be an excellent instructor in the classroom environment. She’s implemented innovative teaching methods and strategies to enhance the learning experience for students. Giusarma incorporates interactive simulations, virtual observatory tools, and multimedia resources to bring the wonders of astronomy directly to the students. This approach aims to cater to diverse learning styles and foster a deeper understanding of complex celestial concepts. Her teaching style goes beyond traditional lecture formats. Active learning techniques such as classroom discussions, group activities, and debates encourage students to articulate their thoughts and challenge their understanding of astronomical concepts.

Giusarma’s course in Statistics, Data Mining, and Machine Learning in Astrophysics for undergraduate and graduate students plays a crucial role in shaping students’ academic and professional trajectories. In an era dominated by data-driven decision-making, proficiency in these areas is highly sought after in both research and industry. The course serves as a pathway to developing practical skills directly applicable to analyzing and interpreting vast astronomical datasets. The course is part of a graduate certificate program developed in 2022, offering participants a structured pathway to acquire expertise in statistical analysis, data mining, and machine learning in astrophysics. The importance of these skills extends beyond academia, opening doors to diverse career opportunities in research institutions, technology companies, and various sectors that rely on data analytics.

Giusarma Receives Praise

Jacek Borysow, interim chair of the physics department, noted that Giusarma’s knowledge and understanding of physics and astronomy allow her to be a role model for female students who aspire to succeed in science and engineering. “Her presence in the classroom enables female students to visualize where they want to go and what is possible to achieve. … Her lectures are full of positive energy and unlimited enthusiasm; she sincerely cares about the students. She is simply an outstanding instructor and mentor.”

Maria Bergstrom, associate dean for undergraduate education in the College of Sciences and Arts, praised Giusarma’s commitment to both undergraduate and graduate education: “Faculty like Dr. Giusarma have a tremendous impact on the success of Michigan Tech students. From inspiring young, prospective students to come to our campus to study astronomy and astrophysics to mentoring graduate students, Dr. Giusarma’s commitment to excellence in teaching is an important contribution to our College, and we are pleased to recognize her achievements.”

About the Physics Department

Physicists at Michigan Technological University help students apply academic concepts to real-world issues. Our physicists take on the big questions to discover how the universe works—from the smallest particles to the largest galaxies. The Physics Department offers three undergraduate degrees and three graduate degrees. Supercharge your physics skills to meet the demands of a technology-driven society at a flagship public research university powered by science, technology, engineering, and math. Graduate with the theoretical knowledge and practical experience needed to solve real-world problems and succeed in academia, research, and tomorrow’s high-tech business landscape.

Questions? Contact us at physics@mtu.edu. Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube for the latest happenings. Or read more at the Physics Newsblog.

Faculty Position

Image of Michigan Tech campus from above
Michigan Technological University
Est. 1885

This position has been filled, thank you for your interest.

Detailed information about research and educational programs in the department can be found at mtu.edu/physics. Information about open positions and the application process can be found at https://www.employment.mtu.edu/.

Current astrophysics research at Michigan Tech includes gamma-ray and cosmic-ray astrophysics, astroparticle physics, cosmology, large-scale structure, galaxy evolution, dark matter, and machine-learning applications in astrophysics. Michigan Tech physics faculty are actively involved in the cosmic-ray and gamma-ray experiments Auger and HAWC as well as in research & development for the SWGO project.

Michigan Tech attracts world-class faculty and staff who enrich the educational experience of smart, motivated, and adventurous students. Applicants who are committed to promoting a sense of belonging and contributing to an equitable and inclusive learning environment for all are strongly encouraged to apply (mtu.edu/diversity-inclusion/).

Chad Brisbois Places Second at Fermi Symposium Poster Session

Fermi SymposiumPhysics graduate student Chad Brisbois presented a poster at the Sixth International Fermi Symposium, which took place in Arlington, VA, on November 9-13, 2015. The poster won second place in the student poster contest sponsored by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA).

NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope observes light in the photon energy range of 8,000 electronvolts (8 keV) to greater than 300 billion electronvolts (300 GeV). It was launched in 2008.

The symposium showcases how the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope continues to revolutionize our understanding of the high-energy Universe. It highlights results from a variety of multi-wavelength and multi-messenger studies.

USRA is an independent, nonprofit research corporation whose mission is to advance the space- and aeronautics-related sciences exploration through innovative research, technology, and education programs; promote space and aeronautics policy; and develop and operate premier facilities and programs by involving universities, governments, and the private sector for the benefit of humanity.

Brisbois’ advisor is Robert Nemiroff.

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).

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.

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.

Associate Professor Huentemeyer Provides Updates on HAWC

Petra Huentemeyer
Petra Huentemeyer

Astrophysics Highlights from the APS April Meeting

HAWC Observatory Online
At a press conference, Petra Huentemeyer of Michigan Technological University gave a status update and early results from the High-Altitude Water Chernkov (HAWC) observatory. HAWC will produce a wide-field picture of the universe in TeV gamma rays and cosmic rays. With just one third of its total planned array online, HAWC has already exceeded the sensitivity of its predecessor MILAGRO.

Read more at the American Physical Society News, by Calla Cofield.