Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fall semester has ended

Today was the December graduation ceremony. The house was full and everyone was happy and cheering. Three of our majors graduate this semester and we are indeed proud of them.

We're at the halfway point of the academic year. At this point we pause to catch our breath and celebrate the season with friends and family. We here in the PandA wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.

In January we are all busy again. Dr. Butner has a full schedule for the spring seminar series already. Among the visitors are James Green the Director of Planetary Science at NASA and Gary White the Director of the Society of Physics Students.

The Saturday Morning Physics program promises to be exciting. Enrollment is at capacity (about 60, last check) and we are preparing for bringing the excitement of physics to many students, parents and teachers in the region. The high school physics video contest is well advertised and we already know of several schools in the area that will have students entering.

We have many dedicated students working on research with our faculty preparing for the spring symposium (last year's is here). Several students will also be using the symposium as a preparation for taking their work on the road to regional and national conferences. We will recognize our outstanding students at the annual honors banquet on Wednesday April 6.

The first installment of our planned applied nuclear physics track will be offered this spring. Dr. Banu will teach a new course in introductory nuclear science and a lab to go with it. The new Madison Radiation Laboratory (the old RMH Cancer Center) is slowing beginning to take shape as we start through the licensing process so we can the turn on our linacs and x-ray machine.

A busy year ahead, indeed. Stay tuned as we move forward with these exciting programs.

Oh yeah. I forgot. We will also be teaching.