Dan Watson becomes Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy

July 1, 2013

Dan Watson, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, has become the fourteenth Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He succeeds Nick Bigelow, Dubridge Professor of Physics, who has served as department chair since 2007, and who will begin a well-deserved academic leave in January.

Prof. Watson is an astrophysicist whose research is currently focussed on the evolution of protostellar envelopes and protoplanetary disks, and the formation of stars and planets. He joined the UR faculty in 1988.

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Arnab Kar Wins Messersmith Fellowship

May 24, 2013

Arnab Kar, a graduate student working with Professor Rajeev in the area of theoretical high-energy physics, was awarded the University Messersmith Fellowship for 2013-2014. Arnab chose as his area of research, the study of renormalization, which is perhaps one of the most treacherous and intricate puzzles in physics.  The Messersmith Fellowship is an award given to students in Biology, Chemistry, Optics, Physics or the preclinical departments of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. The fellowship is designed to provide stipend support for outstanding students who are in the process of writing their dissertations. Congratulations Arnab!

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Erik Garcell Wins IGERT Fellowship

May 1, 2013

Erik GarcellErik Garcell has won an IGERT Fellowship. Erik is completing is first year as a graduate student in the Physics and Astronomy Department. He received his bachelors degree from the University of Florida in Gainseville. Erik has also been honored as a University of Rochester Provost Fellow. Erik will be a research assistant with Professor Chunlei Guo of the Institute of Optics starting in the Summer of 2013.

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New Sensor Could Help Detect Earth-bound Asteroids

April 15, 2013

A sensor designed to be the eyes of a future asteroid-tracking mission has passed a critical test. The Near Earth Object Camera (NEOCam) sensor is a new infrared-light detector to improve the performance and efficiency of the next generation of space-based asteroid-hunting telescopes. It is the result of a long-term collaboration between the University of Rochester and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), together with Teledyne Imaging Sensors.

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Mark Pecaut Wins Curtis Award for Excellence In Teaching by a Graduate Student

April 8, 2013

Mark Pecaut, a 5th year Ph.D. student with the Department of Physics & Astronomy, was recently awarded the 2013 Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student. The Curtis Award is awarded to up to five full-time graduate students at the University of Rochester each year for excellence in  undergraduate instruction in the classroom or laboratory, and includes a monetary prize of $500. Mark will be defending his Ph.D. thesis this summer on astrophysics research completed with his advisor, Eric Mamajek, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Rochester. Mark has co-authored five refereed astrophysics journal articles during his time at the University of Rochester as a Ph.D. student, and in 2010 co-discovered the unusual eclipsing extrasolar ring system orbiting the young Sun-like star "J1407". Mark has accepted an offer to join the Department of Math and Physics at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO in Fall 2013 as an assistant professor.

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