March 2, 2017 at 8:00 am

2015-16 Physics & Astronomy Faculty News

The following is Physics & Astronomy faculty news from 2015-16.

Alexander (Shura) Neiman, who specializes in techniques to separate signals from a noisy background, was promoted to full Professor. Shura co-authored several articles recently on this topic in the prestigious journals Physical Review Letters and Physical Review E. His work with biologists on campus to mathematically model how paddlefish use electroreceptors in their noses, to sense small movements of prey, is remarkable and has resulted in several earlier publications.

L to R: Sergio Ulloa, Rong Yang, Nancy Sandler

L to R: Sergio Ulloa, Rong Yang, Nancy Sandler

Nancy Sandler attended and gave talks at two high-profile conferences in the past year, one at the Aspen Center for Physics in Colorado and the other at Beijing, China. The Aspen Center is a premier research center that hosts a limited number of scientists each week, where they can meet and generate close collaboration in a relaxed atmosphere. She gave a short presentation on work she did with graduate student Dawei Zhai on the topic of light-matter interaction and quantum control in many-body systems. In Beijing, she and Sergio Ulloa were hosted by OU alumni Rong Yang and Wei Zhang at the International Conference on the Physics of Semiconductors, where both Sergio and Nancy gave invited talks.

Carl Brune was voted an Outstanding Referee by the American Physical Society (APS). Carl joins Steven Grimes and Sergio Ulloa, who have received this award in previous years. The APS initiated these awards in 2008 to recognize scientists who have been exceptionally helpful in assessing manuscripts for publication in the APS journals. In receiving the award, Carl noted that “it helps maintain standards in our publications. Besides weeding out sub-standard work, the referee can help make a good paper better or sometimes catch mistakes that would otherwise go unnoticed.”

The search to replace experimentalist Heather Crawford has resulted in the hiring of Zach Meisel, who received his Ph.D. from Michigan State and specializes in the field of nuclear astrophysics. His expertise complements that of Carl Brune and overlaps with the interests of our theoretical nuclear physics faculty members. He will start teaching in the fall semester of the 2016-17 academic year.

After serving a two-year term at the National Science Foundation (NSF) as a Program Director of Experimental Nuclear Physics, Ken Hicks has returned to Ohio University. The NSF employs people in temporary (few-year) positions called “rotators,” who rotate in and out of the NSF to provide advice from active researchers. The allows a fresh perspective at the NSF as well as giving the researcher an opportunity to see how federal funding decisions are made.

In May, 2016, Julie Roche was elected in the Chair line of the Jefferson Lab Users Group Board of Directors. The Users Group consists of approximately 1,200 nuclear physicists from over 200 institutions. The goals are to maintain an effective channel for exchange between users and the Jefferson Lab management on matters affecting access and usage of the facility as well as to promote the advancement of basic scientific knowledge thought the most effective utilization of the facility. Roche will serve on this Chair line for 4 years.

Richard Piccard was recognized for 25 years of Administrative Service at OHIO.

View the complete 2015-16 newsletter as a pdf.

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