The department closes an eventful academic year.
The department has had four successful hires this year, two full time faculty, Jocelyn Read and Geoffrey Lovelace, a new staff physicist, Shovit Bhari, and a new administrative coordinator, Lynn Washatka.
GWPAC with director Josh Smith. On the heels of Josh's proposal, GWPAC received $15,000 seed resources from the university, and Acting Dean Bob Koch along with the college and the university have added a great deal more to fully renovate MH601 to house the new center including offices for the three faculty along with a teleconferencing facility for international gravitational-wave astronomy LIGO networking.Jocelyn and Geoffrey are theoretical gravitational-wave astrophysicists and will join the department's newly founded Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy Center
Mike Loverude has had a productive first year as director of the Catalyst Center for the Advancement of Research in Teaching and Learning and has been working with his two new postdocs Mary Emenike and Sissi Li on a variety of projects including evaluation of the college SI program and several new grant proposals. Mike's two-year term on the steering committee for the campus 10-year accreditation WASC has ended with Mike receiving strong praise from campus administrators for his service.
Greg Childers has been elected by Academic Senate to serve on the university GE committee beginning in the fall. Greg's upper-division GE offering Physics 301 recognized this spring by the CSU Quality Online Learning and Teaching QOLT program as one of CSUF's five best online courses.
Ionel Tifrea has been granted tenure and continues his research in theoretical surface and condensed-matter science as well as serving as our Masters Program Coordinator. Ionel will be taking sabbatical leave spring semester 2013.
Pat Cheng has received a NASA grant to study the dynamics of stellar atmospheres and will be on leave next year at the Goddard Space Flight Center to collaborate with NASA scientists there on a variety of projects.
College 2011 Distinguished Faculty Member Morty Khakoo was honored this past May as Faculty Marshall to the college at Commencement.
Last August, Shovit became our newest staff physicist, filling the position vacated by Fred Engelhard's retirement, and has had a very strong first year taking over the curation and development of the department's lecture demonstration collection while engaging in a wide variety of community outreach activities. Lynn joined the department June 2012 and will fill the position vacated by Patti (McCarthy) Duncan, who moved to the dean's office of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in early March.
We have essentially completed the cloning of our introductory life science and engineering physics laboratories. This has been a two-year project to expand our 211L/212L and 225L/226L lab courses across four facilities and to allow the department to run all labs concurrently all week long. We have extended these efforts to our introductory modern physics 227L lab to upgrade and expand it with state-of-the-art experiments. We strive thereby to eliminate scheduling bottlenecks, as students are required to take these labs along with their lecture courses.
These service courses are critical to the overall health and growth of the department, and our annualized FTES this past year has shown significant increase from just over 200 two years ago to almost 300. Likewise, our number of physics majors has grown from roughly 50 over the past several years to currently 75. Our full-time faculty number will be 11 this fall with three tenured-track members in the department for the first time since the early 1990s. We're looking forward to the increased faculty resources to better support our growing FTES and our major.
Nine seniors and seven masters candidates graduated this past May. Four are headed to PhD programs across the country, all with excellent financial support. Tom Abbott to LSU, David Green to Notre Dame, Khai Nguyen to Ga Tech, and Kevin Ralphs to Purdue.
Jim Feagin's proposal to the Department of Energy Basic Science Division was funded last fall for another three years. The grant will take Jim to 29 years of DOE funding since joining the physics department in 1984, which according to university records appears to be the longest running continuous funding stretch in CSUF history. Jim Feagin has been elected to another three-year term as department chair.
Roger Nanes is fully retired and the department celebrated his 39 years of CSUF service at a gala event in September.
Dan Black continues to be a strong and longtime friend of the department. We awarded five Dan Black Physics Scholarships for the coming academic year at $4,000 each and a Dan Black Physics-Business Scholarship for $2,500 for a third year of four. We availed ourselves of another $25,000 in Dan's generous support on upper-division lab instrumentation and SMART boards. With Greg Childers and Josh Smith's expertise and effort, our upper-division laboratory for Phys 380 and 481/2 has been transformed into a state-of-the-art facility. Keith Wanser and staff physicist Steve Mahrley utilized Dan Black resources to help upgrade and expand our introductory modern physics 227L lab.
Dan's support has also helped us with a professional renovation of the department website along with the development of new GWPAC and Catalyst Center websites.
We had seven department visitors and colloquiums this past year.