Physics Major Bryanne McDonough wins the 2018 John Wiley Jones Award for Outstanding Student in Science
Thursday, May 10, 2018 —
Bryanne McDonough is a final-year Physics major and is also completing minors in Astronomy and Mathematics. She has actively pursued research opportunities since the summer of her freshman year, which she spent working in Dr Michael Pierce's Surface Science Lab. The following summer her interest in Astronomy led her to join Dr. Andy Robinson's Active Galactic Nuclei research group and since then she has continued work within Dr. Robinson's group, both as a research assistant and as an REU student, having been selected for the new Multimessenger Astrophysics REU program in 2017. She is currently completing her Physics Capstone project under the mentorship of Dr. Robinson and his former Ph.D. student Dr. Triana Almeyda ('17). Bryanne's research has focussed on computer simulations of the temporal variations of infrared emission from dusty clouds in Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), which are heated by radiation from the accretion disk around the central black hole. In addition to her research activities, Bryanne has been a highly regarded Physics Learning Assistant and and an editor and writer for the RIT Reporter magazine throughout her time at RIT. In 2017, she was awarded both the Physics Achievement Award and the Outstanding TA/LA Award. Her next goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in high energy astrophysics and she is currently deciding between offers from the Departments of Astronomy at Boston University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Physics Majors visit the Ginna Nuclear Power Plant
AST PhD students helped make Northside’s STEM Night a success
Thursday, March 1, 2018 —
AST Phd students Chi Nguyen, Kristina Punzi and Annie Dickson-Vandervelde were station presenters at local elementary school’s STEM night. Nearly 900 students and families in Fairport attended the successful event.
Physics Major and Physics Faculty collaborate with researchers in Kanpur, India
Friday, February 16, 2018 —
Physics major Wyatt Wetzel, along with Associate Professor Mishkat Bhattacharya, visited the group of Prof. A.K. Jha at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India during Dec 24, 2017-Jan 3, 2018 on a collaborative research visit funded by the National Science Foundation. The research topic centered on the physics of light carrying orbital angular momentum and its interaction with mechanical degrees of freedom. The photograph shows Wyatt (L) discussing experiments in the lab of Prof. Jha (R) and his graduate student Girish Kulkarni (C).
AST graduate students win awards at 231st American Astronomical Society meeting
Friday, February 16, 2018 —
Posters presented by AST Ph.D. students Yashashree Jadhav and Chi Nguyen earned them both Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Awards at the 2018 Winter meeting of the AAS in Washington DC, this January. Yashashree and Chi were among only 6 graduate students selected for these awards. They were part of a large RIT contingent at the meeting, including some 15 students, post-docs, faculty and alumni. As well as the award winners, Jesse Bublitz and Annie Dickson-Vandervelde also presented posters, while Kristina Punzi, Kevin Cooke, Jake Lange and recent alumna Dr. Triana Almeyda ('17) all gave talks. In his capacity as the current chair of the AAS Committee on Employment, Dr. Joel Kastner, interim AST Program Director, oversaw a wide range of career and professional development events and workshops, ably assisted by AST alumnus and fellow committee member Dr. Rudy Montez (’10).
AST PhD student's Mysterious "Winking" Star research published and highlighted by NASA
Friday, December 22, 2017 —
Kristina Punzi, AST PhD Student, published a paper concerning a mysterious "winking" star RZ Piscium, that suddenly dims by a factor of 10-20 in brightness. Her paper describes her research team’s new XMM-Newton X-ray and ground-based (Keck and Lick Observatory) optical spectroscopy results that (a) nail down the youth of the star and (b) provide strong evidence that the star's dimming is most likely caused by the intermittently intervening wreckage of one or more giant planet(s) now being "eaten" by the star.