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Colgate Faculty in the News

July 31, 2015
A student works with laser experiments in Prof. Kiko Galvez's physics lab in Colgate's Robert H.N. Ho Science Center. (photo 2008)

A student works with laser experiments in Prof. Kiko Galvez’s physics lab in Colgate’s Robert H.N. Ho Science Center.

Even as summer temperatures neared the 90’s in Hamilton this week, Colgate’s faculty continued to achieve. Here are this week’s highlights.

The New York Times has called Graham Hodges, George Dorland Langdon Jr. professor of history and Africana and Latin American studies, “a taxi historian.” He recently weighed in on the debate making headlines in the NYC area: is taking a taxi or a car hailed with the smart-phone application Uber better, in terms of the exploitation of workers?

The argument has led to protests, lobbying, and harsh criticism from both sides. In an argument where there’s no clear choice, Hodges shared some insight into the difficult position drivers are in today, bearing the entire operating costs.

Read more about taxi drivers in Hodges’ book and see the full debate on Mashable.

Enrique (Kiko) Galvez, Charles A. Dana professor of physics and astronomy, will be honored as one of the chairs of the Third International Conference on Optical Angular Momentum in New York City August 4-7.

Galvez is recognized as a leading name within the field of optical angular momentum, which has received an increase in attention in recent years. His specialties include physical optics, quantum optics, and experimental atomic physics. While at the conference he will be presenting a paper he co-authored with Kory Beach ’15 and Jonathan Zeosky ’16. Learn more about the project.

Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, with the advent of life insurance, there has been a surge in personal data collection. Dan Bouk, assistant professor of history, combined his interests in modern U.S. history and the history of capitalism to write about the need to quantify our lives in How our days became numbered: Risk and the rise of the statistical individual.

Read the Financial Times’ review: (subscription required.)

 


Warren Dennis ’16: Preparing for NASA’s future by understanding its past

July 13, 2015
Warren Dennis

Warren Dennis ’16 in front of the Space Shuttle Discovery

Editor’s note: In this series, Colgate students share stories about their summer experiences in offices, labs, and open spaces across the world.

This summer, I’m interning for the History Program Office of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Washington, D.C. By providing easy access to information about its past successes and failures, the history office helps NASA to grow and better prepare for future situations. Read more


Professor Kiko Galvez fingerprints monstars

March 25, 2015
Kiko Galvez, Charles A. Dana Professor of physics and astronomy

Kiko Galvez, Charles A. Dana Professor of physics and astronomy (photo by Dylan Crouse ’15)

Some people look at the sunlight wandering across the bottom of a swimming pool and see only glare. Kiko Galvez, Charles A. Dana Professor of physics and astronomy, sees the fascinating effect of electromagnetic beams bouncing and sliding through watery matter.

The innate curiosity that leads Galvez to look beyond the obvious has served him well. Last year, for the first time, he and his fellow researchers intentionally created a light pattern known as a “monstar” by polarizing a beam of light and feeding it through a series of carefully placed lenses.

Read more


New system recovers helium for laboratory use

March 19, 2015
Matt LeGro ’15 and Professor Ken Segall are using helium in their research studying the behavior of Josephson junctions (small electrical circuits) to see if they can model neuron behaviors in the brain. Photo by Andrew Daddio

Matt LeGro ’15 and Professor Ken Segall are using helium in their research studying the behavior of Josephson junctions (small electrical circuits) to see if they can model neuron behaviors in the brain. Photo by Andrew Daddio

Party balloons can no longer be taken for granted: there’s a worldwide shortage of helium. Prices quadrupled between 2000 and 2012, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. But a new helium-recovery system will put Colgate’s science laboratories at the forefront of efforts to conserve the dwindling supply of this increasingly expensive gas. Read more


Professor Aveni co-hosts Stones and Stars symposium

December 17, 2014
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Professor Anthony Aveni recently co-hosted a symposium on Native American ceremonial stone landscapes.

Using the night sky to explain the culture of different societies is a practice familiar to Professor Anthony Aveni. In early December, the distinguished astronomy and anthropology professor co-hosted a symposium intended to spark a dialogue about Native American sacred sites and exploring their connections to cosmic events. Read more


Professor Jeff Bary among group of international astronomers published in Nature magazine

November 5, 2014
This is an artist’s impression of the triple star system GG Tau A

An artist’s impression of GG Tau A.    (Photo courtesy of L. Calcada from EDO)

An international collaboration of astronomers that includes Jeff Bary, Colgate associate professor of physics and astronomy, has published an article about the discovery of a “planet-forming lifeline” in a nearby triple-star system in the journal Nature.

Using the recently commissioned Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) located in the Atacama desert in Chile, the group, led by Anne Dutrey of the Observatoire de Bordeaux in France, found direct evidence of material passing from a large outer disk of material inward toward a smaller, inner disk surrounding the singleton star in the system. Read more


Students gain access to world-class telescope in New Mexico

October 1, 2014
Colgate students will be able to use the Astrophysical Research Consortium 3.5 meter telescope.

The Astrophysical Research Consortium 3.5 meter telescope.

Colgate students will have the opportunity to get closer to the stars thanks to a three-year arrangement that provides them with valuable access to a world-class telescope at the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico. Read more


Light years ahead: Katie Karnes ’17 studying quasars as part of summer research

July 28, 2014
(L to R): Joshua Reding '15, Zachary Weaver '17, Luna Zagorac '16, Anneliese Rilinger (Williams) '17, and Katie Karnes '17.

Students conducting summer research in Colgate’s Foggy Bottom Observatory (L to R): Joshua Reding ’15, Zachary Weaver ’17, Luna Zagorac ’16, Anneliese Rilinger (Williams ’17), and Katie Karnes ’17. Photo by Matt Johnson ’15

Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by Katie Karnes ’17, an astrogeophysics major from Cincinnati, Ohio.

It’s 3:45 a.m. on a Thursday and I’m staring at the four monitors in front of me, trying to focus on saving the files correctly. Although sunrise is still hours away, the sky is beginning to lighten and this night of collecting data is coming to an end. This summer I am spending 10 weeks on campus working with Professor Tom Balonek in the physics and astronomy department. Read more


Brett Christensen ’16 dives into studying barnacles as part of summer research

July 21, 2014
This summer, Brett Christensen '16 has been raising barnacles at various life stages for a biomineralization experiment.

This summer, Brett Christensen ’16 has been raising barnacles at various life stages for a biomineralization experiment.

Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by Brett Christensen ’16, a biophysics and philosophy double major from Marilla, N.Y.

This summer, I’m studying barnacles — impressive little organisms that live in the ocean. As a biophysics and philosophy double major, I found an opportunity in the research lab of Professor Rebecca Metzler in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Read more


Colgate’s Picker Interdisciplinary Science Institute funds two more research projects

March 24, 2014
Colgate professor Jonathan Levine and his collaborators are designing a novel mass spectrometer to try to better determine the ages of rocks on Mars.

Colgate professor Jonathan Levine and his collaborators are designing a novel mass spectrometer to try to better determine the ages of rocks on Mars.

Two interdisciplinary science research projects featuring collaborations among faculty from Colgate and from around the world have been awarded funding by the Picker Interdisciplinary Science Institute at Colgate.

The projects support the core mission of the institute, which aims to foster the creation of new knowledge that is obtainable only through the development of sustained interdisciplinary research.

Read more


Get to know: Jeff Bary, assistant professor of physics and astronomy

December 18, 2013
Photo by Andrew Daddio

Photo by Andrew Daddio

Jeff Bary, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, talks about how his passion for astronomy developed, his research interests, favorite course to teach, and more in this Q&A.

An astronomer is born. When I was nine, a friend gave me a book about astronomy titled What’s Up There? by Dinah Moche, which I read countless times. My dad, a middle-school science teacher, encouraged me to pursue the subject. He organized a series of events celebrating Halley’s Comet’s last visit in 1986. I was hooked. Read more


Teaching moment turns into photo opportunity as aurora borealis makes campus appearance

October 9, 2013
Professor Tom Balonek photographed the aurora borealis Tuesday night on campus.

Professor Tom Balonek photographed the aurora borealis Tuesday night on campus.

Professor Tom Balonek and students in his Solar System Astronomy and his Astronomical Techniques courses were lucky enough Tuesday night to observe the aurora borealis from campus.

Read more


Professor Jeff Bary hopes multidisciplinary series sheds light on mountaintop removal mining

September 18, 2013
Mountaintop removal practices were used on this mountain in West Virginia. The mountain had been covered with trees like those in the background.

Mountaintop removal practices were used on this mountain in West Virginia. The mountain had been covered with trees like those hills in the background.

Appalachia is a region deeply connected to the history of the United States, yet rarely makes the headlines.

Jeff Bary, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, aims to change that by introducing a multidisciplinary series to Colgate honoring Appalachian culture and, more importantly, bringing awareness to what he considers a social and environmental crisis known as mountaintop removal.

Read more


U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna meets with students, faculty, and staff during visit to Colgate

September 17, 2013
U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna (right) talks with Professors Krista Ingram (center) and Randy Fuller (left) Monday.

U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna (right) talks with Professors Krista Ingram (center) and Randy Fuller (left) Monday. (Photo by Andy Daddio)

U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna, R-Barneveld, connected with the Colgate University community Monday, meeting with faculty, administrators, and students, discussing issues ranging from natural-gas fracking to political gridlock and the federal budget sequester.

After hearing Michael Hayes, professor of political science, describe Colgate’s Washington D.C. Study Group, Hanna immediately handed Hayes a business card and said he wants to meet with students when they travel to the nation’s capital for the spring 2014 semester.

Read more


International Digistar conference comes to Colgate

July 29, 2013
Students from across academic disciplines are able to take advantage of the Ho Tung Visualization Lab facility.

Students from across academic disciplines are able to take advantage of the Ho Tung Visualization Lab facility.

Digistar Users Group members from around the world are now gathered at Colgate’s Ho Tung Visualization Lab for their 26th annual conference.

Hamilton, N.Y., joins sites in Germany, Japan, Canada, India, and the Netherlands as a conference host for users of the Digistar projection system, the technological heart of Colgate’s unique visualization lab.

Read more


Summer research between students and professors at Colgate

July 24, 2013
Posters

Stephanie Maripen ’15 explains her research into the genetic factors affecting skull shape and body size in poodles. (Photo by Andy Daddio)

Summer certainly means pool parties, lazy afternoons, and hot dogs on the grill. At Colgate, summer also means time for some serious research.

A sampling of about 150 students conducting summer research on campus presented their findings at the Robert H.N. Ho Science Center last week. The research on display spanned a wide range of disciplines, from biology and neuroscience to geology and sociology, to name a few.

Read more


Professor Anthony Aveni receives national recognition for interdisciplinary work

May 6, 2013

Tony Aveni, Russell Colgate Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy and Anthropology and Native American Studies, teaches a class in the Ho Science Center.

Professor Anthony Aveni has a lot to celebrate.

As students mark their last week of the spring semester, the Russell Colgate Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy and Anthropology and Native American Studies marks the conclusion of his 100th semester teaching at Colgate.

Read more


Colgate physics majors stand out at annual conference

April 22, 2013

“Did you hear the one about the new restaurant NASA is building on the moon? It has great food but no …”

This was the kind of question asked of undergraduates during Physpardy, the “geekiest of competitions” (according to Professor Enrique Galvez) that was held at the annual Rochester Symposium for Physics Students. Colgate placed second in the Jeopardy knockoff, competing against college teams from Houghton, Rochester, West Point, SUNY, and Siena.

A student works with laser experiments in Prof. Kiko Galvez’s physics lab in Colgate’s Robert H.N. Ho Science Center. (photo 2008)

The Colgate contingent was led by physics professors Enrique Galvez and Ken Segall.  Galvez brought the juniors Carrie Brurgess ’14, Fiora Cheng ’14, Brett Ross ’14 to talk about quantum optics. Segall led seniors Matt Brunetti ’13, Sean Guo ’13, and Ryan Freeman ’13, to talk about their research in physics.

“I was really impressed with the research being done by undergraduates at other universities,” said Freeman, “but I have to say that I really think that Colgate’s undergraduate research stands out.” He said that is likely due to absence of graduate students at the university, who would likely draw the attention of professors.

“We, as undergraduates, are a more integral part of the research being done here,” Freeman said.

Galvez, a leader in the field of teaching quantum mechanics, was recently featured in a Scientific American roadshow.

Other questions at the event included:

In the category Alphabet: “Speed of light in a vacuum.”
In the category Newton’s gravity: “The number of “g’s” you’d experience if you’re on a planet with half the earth’s radius and half its mass.”

In the comment field, add your answers — in the form of questions of course.


Faculty appointments and promotions announced

March 20, 2013

Provost and Dean of the Faculty Douglas A. Hicks recently announced faculty appointments and promotions that had been approved by the university’s Board of Trustees. Read more


Making news: Professor Enrique Galvez in Scientific American

March 18, 2013

“The first time I ever saw quantum entanglement for myself was in August 2011 on a road trip to Colgate University,” wrote George Musser in an article called “George and John’s Excellent Adventures in Quantum Entanglement, Part Two.

Professor Enrique Galvez built a machine to observe quantum entanglement, and demonstrated it to Musser and a crew from Scientific American. Watch the video below:

For more Colgate faculty making news, visit the Newsroom.


From lab to lecture, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson tours Colgate

February 26, 2013
Neil deGrasse Tyson (lower left) visited Colgate's Ho Tung Visualization Lab.

Neil deGrasse Tyson (lower left) visits Colgate’s Ho Tung Visualization Lab. (Photo by Andy Daddio)

Seeing Neil deGrasse Tyson deliver an exuberant lecture to a standing-room crowd at Memorial Chapel is an amazing experience, and hundreds of students took advantage of that Monday night. Now imagine being a physics or astronomy major with the opportunity to share your research with the acclaimed astrophysicist.

Read more


Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to speak at Memorial Chapel on February 25

February 12, 2013
Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson will be at Colgate February 25.

Acclaimed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will speak at Colgate’s Memorial Chapel at 7 p.m. Monday, February 25.

Tyson is director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space and a research associate in the department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. He is a highly regarded spokesman for science through his numerous books and TV programs, and he has received the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest civilian honor bestowed by NASA.

His talk at the Chapel will be on “Ten Things You Should Know about the Universe,” and a book-signing reception will follow at the Ho Science Center.

Read more


Colgate professor awarded observing time on Hubble Space Telescope

October 16, 2012

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched in 1990. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

Securing observing time on the Hubble Space Telescope is a highly desirable and extremely competitive process for astronomers. There are hundreds more projects submitted than can be accommodated, and the selection criteria is stringent.

Colgate astronomy professor Jeff Bary and collaborator Tracy Beck of the Space Telescope Science Institute, though, were recently awarded 12 orbits, or about 9 hours worth of observing time, to collect data for their investigations into the formation of binary stars that might eventually host their own planetary systems. Read more


Colgate professors’ view of incoming students: it’s all academic

August 29, 2012

Members of Class of 2016 form new bonds

First-year students spend their first days at Colgate navigating new terrain, organizing their living spaces, meeting classmates, and otherwise adjusting to life in their new milieu. What they are doing intrigues professors of psychology, anthropology, physics, sociology, and many other disciplines.

Read more


Taking quantum mechanics beyond theory

August 13, 2012
Creating physical proof. Professor Galvez’s photon quantum mechanics lab is transforming physics education.

Professor Galvez’s photon quantum mechanics lab is transforming physics education.

While physicists consider the century-old theory of quantum mechanics to be the most successful physical theory ever invented, they have spent the past several decades figuring out the best way to teach it.

Colgate’s Professor Enrique “Kiko” Galvez is at the forefront of a paradigm shift in the way quantum mechanics is taught.

Starting with a grant from the National Science Foundation in 1999, Charles Holbrow, Emeritus Professor, and Galvez embarked in project that seemed far fetched and bold.

Advancing technology and a sound type of physics experiment led them to undergraduate-level demonstrations that only a decade earlier were stunning research discoveries. “By 2005 we had not only satisfied our wildest expectations, but we started disseminating and designing prototypes so others could adopt.”

Read more