A Message from Prof. Fredrick Olness
Chair of the SMU Physics Department
This has been busy and exciting year for our department. As we begin the Spring semester, we have much to report.
2012 saw the discovery of the Higgs Boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the CERN Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. Science magazine calls this the “Breakthrough of the Year.” To celebrate this momentous achievement, our 2013 Lightner-Sams Symposium will focus on the Higgs discovery, and look at the role SMU physicists played.
Professor Jodi Cooley received a Career Award from the National Science Foundation, and this will provide $1 million of support for her research program on the study of dark matter. Recall that Professor Pavel Nadolsky recently received an Early Career Research Award (ECRA) from the US Department of Energy.
Professor Robert Kehoe was named the SMU Director of Undergraduate Research and will be coordinating with programs across campus to expand the research opportunities for our undergraduate students.
Professor Stephen Sekula received the 2013 Golden Mustang Award. This award is presented annually to junior faculty whose teaching is consistently excellent; whose courses reflect thoughtful curricular development; and whose scholarship makes a meaningful contribution to the discipline and to student learning.
SMU Physics Alumnus Dr. Alonso Gutierrez visited campus last spring to present a seminar on Medical Physics, and then returned in October to receive the prestigious 2012 Emerging Leader Award.
As part of the SMU's Centennial Celebration, Professor Stephen Sekula interviewed Emerti Professors Jeff Chalk and George Crawford, as well as Robert Hyer Thomas (President Hyer's grandson) to collect a video history of Physics at SMU. Excerpts will be released as part of the Mustang Physics Podcasts project.
The Department is pleased to announce that graduate students Huanzhao Liu and Hang Qiu have received the Lightner-Sams Fellowship Award, and Bowen Wang has received the Tittle Award to support their research. Additionally the Department awarded the Wiley Scholarship to Holly Howard, and the Chalk Scholarship to Joshua Abramovitch.
Finally, many activities in the Department would not be possible without the generous support of our friends and alumni. On behalf of our faculty, staff and students, we express our thanks.