The Year in Review


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2003 Physics and Astronomy Awards Dinner

On Wednesday, April 23, several dozen faculty, students, and friends of the Department enjoyed the annual Awards Dinner. Join us in celebrating the academic highlights of 2003 by clicking on the links below.

Brian Yulga, Matt Schmidkamp, Matt Loth, Paul Messman, and Mike Janssen

2003 Information

 

 Department Highlights

 
Society of Physics Students
Professor Greg Taft - Advisor
  • Managed a successful recruitment dinner for prospective physics majors early in the fall semester.
  • Arranged a dark-sky observation session for the impressive Leonid meteor showers in November.
  • Sponsored two model rocket launches for grade-school age children throughout central Wisconsin.
  • Toured the UW-Madison Department of Materials Science where several recent UWSP physics alumni have engaged in graduate studies.
Major Field Test in Physics - 2002
Princeton, NJ. This year, the twelve students (mostly juniors) who wrote the exam collectively scored at the 50th percentile nationally.

Academy of Letters and Science Awards
  • Brian Yulga - graduating senior.
  • Joshua Garbe - continuing student.
Student Research
  • Josh Garbe and Nick Petersen co-authored the paper "Cation Mobility in Several Copper-Based Argyrodites" with Professor Bob Beeken in the Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids.
  • Jason Slattery co-authored the paper "How Do Liquid Crystals of Different Molecular Length Mix in Thin Films" with Professor Mick Veum which was accepted for publication in European Physics Journal E.
  • Paul Omerik, Mike Stoneman, and Nea Gouin presented the results of their undergraduate research projects at the College of Letters and Science Research Symposium, the UW System Undergraduate Research Symposium (Eau Claire), and the American Association of Physics Teachers meeting (Austin, TX), respectively.
Curriculum Revision
  • Physics and Astronomy faculty spent much of the 2002-03 academic year revising the curriculum for physics majors. Required courses were streamlined, optional courses in computational physics and electronics were added, and the sequencing of advanced courses was adjusted to accommodate semester abroad or internship experiences for our undergraduates.
  • Significant increases in the number of physics majors at UWSP are reflected in enrollment figures for advanced level course work. Upper division courses now serve 15-20 students each semester.
Astronomy
  • Professors Katie Jore, Randy Olson, Dan Rislove, and David Tamres visited Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, AZ for observation sessions with students Joe Christensen, Jesus Medina, and Matt Schmidkamp.
  • Professor Olson continues to publish a regular column called "Sky Lights" in NewMonth magazine distributed throughout eastern Wisconsin.
  • David Tamres presented "Modeling White Dwarf Stars on a Spreadsheet" at the American Association of Physics Teachers Conference in Austin, TX.
Laser Physics
  • Professor Kameshwar Razdan published the article "Demonstrating Optical Beat Notes Through Heterodyne Experiments" in the American Journal of Physics.
  • Professor Greg Taft contributed the chapter "Practical Issues, Marginals, Error Checks, and Error Correction" to the book Frequency-Resolved Optical Grating: The Measurement of Ultrashort Pulses published by Kluwer Press.
Condensed Matter Physics
  • Professors Brad Hinaus and Mick Veum co-authored "The Hard Drive: An Experiment for Faraday's Law" in the Physics Teacher.
  • Professor Mick Veum co-authored papers appearing in Physical Review E and Ferroelectrics with collaborators at the University of Minnesota.
Wisconsin Teaching Fellows Program
Professor Brad Hinaus has been appointed a 2003-04 Wisconsin Teaching Fellow. Only two representatives from each UW campus are so honored each year. Congratulations, Brad!

Upcoming Professional Travel Plans
  • Professor Kameshwar Razdan will lead a semester abroad group to London during Fall Semester, 2003.
  • Professor Mick Veum will spend the summer months engaged in research with collaborators at the University of Minnesota.
  • Ellynne Kutschera has been accepted as a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) participant to work with Professor Veum in Minneapolis.
  • Jesus Medina has been accepted into a similar REU Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
  • Ryan Ruhland will spend the summer engaged in an REU Program at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
  • Josh Garbe will be involved in an REU Program this summer at Montana State University-Bozema

 
Letters and Science Award recipients Brian Yulga and Josh Garbe share a lighter moment with Chairman Bob Beeken during the L&S banquet on April 26.

 

 Graduating Seniors

 
Mike Janssen - Plans to seek either an industrial position in the Fox Valley or certification in secondary education.
 

 Scholarship Recipients

 
Freshman Scholarship ($500 - $750)
  • Brian Gagnon (Cedarburg, WI)
  • Scott Martin (Oconomowoc, WI)
  • Derek McRoberts (Madison, WI)
  • Henry Rhody (Park Falls, WI)
Monica Bainter Scholarship ($500)
  • Kevin Klapoetke
  • Ellynne Kutschera
  • Brandon Podoll
Arthur Pesja Award ($1000)
  • Mike Stoneman
Monica Bainter Memorial Award ($1500)
  • Josh Garbe
Society of Physics Students ($1000)
  • Josh Garbe - one of just 24 students across the nation to be honored with an SPS scholarship for the 2003-04 academic year. 

Chairman Bob Beeken speaking with Bainter Award recipient Ellynne Kutscher at the 2003 Awards Dinner.