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Monday Morning Memo

Here's a brief synopsis of what's going on this week in regards to Physics... and beyond.

Posted by Jill Ackerman at 9:06AM   |  Add a comment

Please join us for a talk with Dr. Scott Franklin Professor of Physics,
Rochester Institute of Technology

Embedding physics concepts in mathematical formalism

To the physicist, the distinction between concept and mathematical formalism seems arbitrary. As one faculty colleague likes to say, "the concepts are the math and the math are the concepts.”  in this talk, I present two studies on how physicists embed conceptual meaning in complex mathematical formalism. The first study involves an analyses of faculty classroom discourse, which involves manipulating mathematical equations to illuminate physical principles. The second project studies how textbooks use the “=“ sign to imply causality, to define new physical quantities, and to assign numerical or variational values to symbols. These meanings are context-dependent, and can change within presented derivations. Both studies unpack the rich meaning physicists associate with math, meaning that is often hidden from students.

Scott Franklin received his Ph.D. from the Center for Nonlinear Dynamics at the University of Texas at Austin. He received a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in STEM Education, at Dickinson College with his mentor, Priscilla Laws. At RIT he maintains two research laboratories: one in soft condensed matter, with a focus on irregular granular materials, and a second in physics education research. His physics education research focuses on issues of identity, metacognition and representation. He is also Director of the Center for Advancing STEM Teaching, Learning & Evaluation and oversees a variety of programs aimed at fostering use of student-centered pedagogies and improving student performance and retention in STEM disciplines. 

Tues., Mar 21 2017
CNS 206B @ 12:10 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Pizza will be provided for $1
Please bring your own cup.
Remember to Recycle, Reuse, Reduce.


Posted by Jill Ackerman at 1:19PM   |  Add a comment

Please join us as Majors in the Department of Physics & Astronomy give talks on their summer research.

Majors in the Department of Physics & Astronomy give talks on their summer research.

Megan Holman:

Communicating Scientific Research to Non-Specialists

Amy Parker:

A Characterization and Toxicology Study of Microplastics

Daniel Santoro:

TBA

Tues., Mar 7, 2017
CNS 204 @ 12:10 p.m.

Pizza and Refreshments will be available for $1.
Please bring your own cup.
Remember to Recycle, Reuse, Reduce.


Posted by Jill Ackerman at 2:31PM   |  Add a comment

You are invited to join the Ithaca College Department of Physics & Astronomy for a Public Viewing of the night sky at the Clinton B. Ford Observatory, Friday, March 3, 2017,  from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

To attend a Public Night
Wait at the vehicle 'turn around' in front of the entrances of Smiddy Hall and CHS (F lot side).  A shuttle van will make regular runs to convey people up to the observatory and back down.  Please note that there is NO parking available up at the observatory and that the access road is NOT lighted.  For your own safety, please do not walk up.

Bad Weather Plan
The "go/no-go" decision for any public night will be made at 3:30 pm on the scheduled date.  Our web page and the recorded message at the observatory will be updated shortly thereafter to reflect the decision for that evening.  So if you check our website or call the observatory at 607-274-3012 after 4:00 pm you will get the final decision for that evening.


Posted by Jill Ackerman at 3:42PM   |  Add a comment

Tuesday, February 21, 2017:

Please join us for a talk with Professor & Chair Dr. Beth Ellen Clark Joseph,

Department of Physics & Astronomy, Ithaca College:

OSIRIS-REx UPDATE: NASA’s Asteroid Sample Return Mission Target: Carbonaceous Asteroid 101955 Bennu

In this talk, I will update the Physics Community on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission progress, and discuss the aspects of the science operations with which I am most heavily involved. Of particular interest are the decision factors for the selection of a sampling site, and the measurements that feed into the data products to be used for decisions.  Our sampling site will need to be boulder-free, cliff-free, show evidence of small-particle regolith, and be approachable safely by the spacecraft.  In addition, the scientific value of the sample is important.  Specifically, we will need to understand the thermal history, the chemical composition, the mineralogy, and the geological context of potential sampling sites in order to select the sampling location with the highest scientific value.  Our target asteroid, 101955 Bennu, is a very dark rock, spectrally similar to the most primitive carbonaceous meteorites.  The mission concept of operations has us conducting global surveys and selecting sample sites – all within the space of a few months.    Given that we have three spectrometers with complimentary wavelength ranges, three cameras with complimentary focal lengths (one of which can observe with broad-band color), and a laser altimeter, what are the best quick analysis methods of the data from our instrument suite?  

Tues., Feb. 21 2017
CNS 206B @ 12:10 – 1:00
Pizza will be provided for $1 Please bring your own cup.
Remember to Recycle, Reuse, Reduce.


Posted by Jill Ackerman at 2:58PM   |  Add a comment

Summer Research opportunities with the Department of Physics & Astronomy

Please join us to learn about the many opportunities to participate in summer research with the faculty of the Ithaca College Department of Physics & Astronomy!

Tues., Jan 24, 2017
CNS 206B @ 12:10 p.m.

Pizza and Refreshments will be available for $1.
Please bring your own cup.
Remember to Recycle, Reuse, Reduce.

 


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