The Cooperman Award honors the memory of former Physics Professor Ed Cooperman. Peter Ho and Cinthia Padilla are this year's recipients, and they will receive $250 each.
Peter is a graduating senior with a double major in physics and math. In addition to his coursework for both majors, Peter volunteers his time as the Interclub Council Representative for the Math Club and conducts research on the mathematics of Einstein's General Relativity under the supervision of Dr. Bogdan Suceava in Math and on electron collisions in atomic physics under the supervision of Dr. Morty Khakoo in Physics. Following graduation, Peter plans to pursue a doctoral degree in physics or mathematics.
Cinthia is a junior physics major pursuing her goal of attending graduate school in physics. Along with her studies, she is active in the physics club and in research supervised by Dr. Josh Smith. Cinthia will travel to Seoul and to Paris this summer to expand her research experience in gravitational-wave astronomy, and return to us as a worldlier Senior in the Fall.
Eiker-Adams Creativity Award
Cristian Navarro receives this year's Eiker-Adams Award for $1,000 for the design and development of experiments for physics lecture courses to demonstrate a variety of physical phenomena.
Among the demonstrations he has created are: (i) a Curie point demonstration showing that at high temperatures ferri- and ferro-magnetic materials become paramagnetic and lose their magnetization; (ii) a Faraday's Law of Induction demonstration showing that a moving magnet creates a nonuniform magnetic field which induces eddy currents in a nearby conductor; and (iii) the synthesis of a Ferrofluid which interacts with magnetic fields creating fantastic shapes and patterns, and also to show the shape of a magnetic field.
For the past year, he has also assisted Colin Campbell and the department techs in the creation and cataloging of many other demonstrations and posting them to our new lecture-demonstrations webpages.
Norman Nitzberg Award
Masters student Brian Kuper receives this year’s Norman Nitzberg Award in the amount of $200. Over the course of his research to investigate optical scatter from the coatings of diffractive optics, Brian has designed several key components for an imaging scatterometer and worked with CNSM machinist Jon Woodland to have them produced. Brian plans to work as a scientist and/or engineer in industry after graduation. (Yes, Dan-Black Scholar John Kuper and Brian are brothers!)
Robert Kedzie Awards
The Robert Kedzie awards are for students who have improved their performance in physics courses, and Jacqueline Lee and Bobby Wright are this year's recipients and each will receive $200.
Jackie is a graduating senior who learned quickly from her initial struggles with her first upper-division courses, and her physics grades and overall performance have improved dramatically over the past year. She is working in Dr. Joshua Smith's lab on gravitational wave physics, and presented a poster on this work at a national meeting in April. In addition to her academic pursuits, Jackie's extensive experience in the banking industry has helped her to serve the physics club as treasurer. In the fall, Jackie will be entering the MS program in electrical engineering.
Bobby is a sophomore physics major who recently changed majors from business. Bobby 'converted' to physics after taking our algebra-based introductory physics course, which gave him the opportunity to get to know other physics majors, faculty and staff in the department. Last fall, he charged into the calculus sequence as well as our calculus-based introductory physics and has performed extremely well. This spring, Bobby has been teaching in our supplemental-instruction (SI) program helping students in their first-semester of physics in parallel to the course's lectures and labs. Bobby has also committed 10 hours or so per week this spring to work closely with department tech Steve Mahrley to maintain and setup each week the department's introductory physics labs.
Cinthia Padilla is this year's recipient of the Wolfram Award. This award is based on nominations and input from faculty across the college and selected by the dean's office and is a lifetime copy of the symbolic-algebra programming system Mathematica from Wolfram Research. This past year, Cinthia has gone from being 'green' in computational physics to showing a clear aptitude for Mathematica and is well on her way to becoming an exceptional programmer. Cinthia has particularly shown a natural ability to transition from manual to computer aided problem solving, which is an area where many students struggle the first time they are exposed to computer code.