Thursday, April 26, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Physics weekend affairs again: the CAA Undergraduate Research Conference

The weekend of the April 13th-15th , [Jimmy Corcoran, a junior physics major] had the opportunity to participate at the Colonial Academic Alliance (CAA) Undergraduate Research Conference [at Old Dominion University in Norfolk].  Initially I wasn't sure I was skeptical about whether or not I would enjoy the experience, but I was quickly reassured.  There were events spaced out throughout the entire weekend, enough so that you always knew you were kept in an academic mindset, but not so many that you felt overwhelmed and didn't have enough time to relax.  Everything over the course of the trip went smoothly, both of the keynote speakers were fantastic speakers and were able to captivate the entire audience, regardless of their academic focus; the spacing out of all of the student presentations, and even all of the meals prepared for everybody were fantastic.  Overall I thought it was really a fantastic experience to be around so many people involved in undergraduate research in their respective fields, and also for the opportunity to share the research I've been doing with my peers from the entire CAA.  

Jimmy  was one of the 3 physics majors representing JMU physics and astronomy undergraduate research (out of a total of 10 JMU selected undergraduates): Jimmy the astronomer was accompanied by Ethan Cummings and Thomas Hoke (both juniors) who presented their findings on some novel materials' behavior at this 10th annual CAA conference.   Here are the three of them ( ...musketeers in quest for scientific answers to how the world works):

and here are some details about their presentations, as described in the Madison Scholar
What can we say, they have their own ways of saving the world!
We heard not once that "they were excellent presenters!"

Monday, April 16, 2012

JMU Physics Helping Out

This weekend students from all around JMU worked on service projects throughout the community as part of the "The Big Event", an annual day of community service. JMU Physics students and faculty give back to the Harrisonburg-Rockingham community in many ways all year long. Some by coaching Little League baseball and others by working with kids to learn about science.

For the second year in a row, Dr. Costel Constantin has organized a NanoDays event for the community at the Explore More Discovery Museum in Harrisonburg. With the help of JMU nanoscientists Drs. Brian Augustine, Kyle Gipson, and Chris Hughes, and a team of local school teachers and JMU students, the doors to the museum were opened for free from 1:00-4:00 pm on Sunday, April 15 for nearly 150 visitors to come learn about the amazing things that happen at the scale of one billionth of a meter. The event even got covered by our local TV station. Plans are already underway for next year's event which should happen some weekend in late March or early April of 2013.

Monday, April 09, 2012

The 2012 Honors Banquet

On April 4, we held the Honors Banquet with 60 faculty, students, parents and friends in attendance. Kim ordered up an excellent selection of the good food we have here on campus. Awards were presented for the best symposium presentations, scholarships and department awards. In addition we have a strong group inducted into the Sigma Pi Sigma.

Congratulations to all. See all the pictures here.

Spring Picnic

We have finally cross over to the other side. This is now what the department picnic looks like!

Invasion of the body snatchers? A paralysis inducing food additive? A new dance? We may never know.

What we do know for sure is that a good time was had and lots of good food was well prepared by Costel Constantin.

More picture found here.

Spring Symposium 2012

The 8th annual Spring Symposium was help in Highlands room of the Festival on March 17, 2012. there was a strong set of papers presented and food and fun was had by all.

The best papers as judged by the faculty this year are:

  1. Anthony T. Chieco, "Digital Reconstruction of a Real Polydisperse Dry Foam"
  2. Anita Jo Vincent-Johnson,"Characterizing the Angular Frequency of Radiative Polaritons using Infrared Spectroscopy"
  3. Anthony Saikin, "Near Infrared Photometry of Nearby DEBRIS Candidates"
Congratulations to all participants. Everyone did a great job.