Although electric cellos are available commercially, senior music major Natalie Phillips-Perkoff and senior physics major Will Hardy wanted to try making one of their own. So they teamed up to make one with the help of a 2010-2011 King Creativity Fund grant. Their work ended up winning them the 2011 Walt Potter Prize, which comes with $2,500. The prize is awarded to the best King Creativity Fund student or project in a given year. Read the full story here.
Steve Alexander, professor of physics, gave an invited talk titled “Nonadiabatic Calculations Using Monte Carlo Methods” on Dec. 16 at the Pacifichem 2010 Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Two Southwestern physics students have been selected to participate in summer research programs sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The programs are all part of the NSF’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Students selected for the program receive travel expenses, room and board, and a stipend of up to $4,500.
Will Hardy, a junior physics major, was selected to work at the Rice Quantum Institute, which conducts research in molecular physics. Although his specific project is still to be determined, he will be investigating properties of metallic carbon nanotubes.
Amanda Jefferies, a junior physics major, will be participating in a physics and astronomy REU program at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. She will spend 10 week working with Peter Frinchaboy, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, on a study of reddened star clusters, which can provide important information about the chemical and dynamical evolution of the galaxy.
Four years of participating in the King Creativity Fund program has paid off for senior physics major Pelham Keahey. Keahey received the program’s first Walt Potter Prize, which comes with $2,500. The prize is awarded to the best student or project in a given year. Keahey received the award at a dinner marking the 10th anniversary of the King Creativity Fund. The program was established in 2000 with an endowment provided by Southwestern alumnus W. Joseph “Joey” King. It is designed to support “innovative and visionary projects” proposed by Southwestern students. King named the new award after Walt Potter, a computer science professor who was his mentor when he was a student at Southwestern. Read more about Keahey and his award here.
Students Mason Cradit, Will Hardy, Andrea Holland, Pelham Keahey and Steven Solis and advisor Gerald Wade have had a paper titled “Selecting Abandoned Industrial Innovations for Senior Student Science Projects” accepted as a virtual presentation at the International Technology, Education and Development Conference in Valencia, Spain, March 8-10. Their paper will be published in the conference journal along with the other papers. The paper stems from the team’s work on a 2009-2010 King Creativity Project.
Bill O’Brien, associate professor of physics, and senior physics major Connor Hanrahan, presented a poster titled “Increased Energy Return from Solar Panel with MPPT Charge Controller” at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco last month. The presentation was based on their research undertaken in June 2009 in Juneau, Alaska, with support of a faculty/student research grant. It examined the applicability of a new class of charge controllers to govern circuits in solar-powered research equipment. The new MPPT charge controllers will soon be tested on glaciers in the Juneau Icefield in scientific instrument stations maintained by the Environmental Science Program at the University of Alaska Southeast under the direction of 1994 Southwestern graduate Matt Heavner.