Girls in Science Day!
The 5th annual Girls in Science (GIS) Day will be taking place on Friday, April 27th, 2018. GIS Day is an outreach event aimed at tenth grade girls from area high-schools. The event is organized by the Graduate Women in Physics and Astronomy (GWIPA) society at McMaster University. The goal of GIS Day is to encourage young girls to be confident in themselves and foster a love of science by providing a non-intimidating, inclusive event filled with science-related activities. Participants will take part in science workshops, science demonstrations, tour research labs on campus, and hear a keynote presentation from a female faculty member in the Faculty of Science. By encouraging young girls to have a love for science, we are helping to recruit the bright students of the future and we are working towards addressing the gender bias that exists in STEM fields. Grade 10 is a pivotal year for students in Ontario, as students are required to take grade 10 science, but are not required to take any grade 11 science. We hope to inspire more girls to take high school science classes, and to encourage those who are already doing so to remain in the STEM fields.
We look forward to a fun-filled day of science with these young future scientists!
PNAS Cozzarelli Prize Awarded to Ben K. D. Pearce and Dr. Ralph Pudritz
Congratulations to PhD student Ben K. D. Pearce and his supervisor Dr. Ralph Pudritz who were awarded the PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) Cozzarelli Prize for their paper entitled "Origin of the RNA World: the Fate of Nucleobases in Warm Little Ponds". This incredibly prestigious award is given to 6 papers in PNAS each year that are deemed to be of outstanding scientific excellence and originality. Ben will be attending the prize ceremony in Washington, DC at the end of April. A full press release which includes a link to the original paper can be found here: https://brighterworld.mcmaster.ca/articles/mcmaster-researchers-win-prize-for-ground-breaking-paper-exploring-origins-of-life-on-earth/.
Congratulations again to Ben and Dr. Pudritz!
Cliff Burgess and Peter Hayman awarded 3rd place in Buchalter Cosmology Prize
Congratulations to Dr. Cliff Burgess and his PhD student Peter Hayman who were awarded 3rd place in the 2017 Buchalter Cosmology Prize competition for their paper entitled “Magnon Inflation: Slow Roll with Steep Potentials”. The full press release can be found here. Their paper was published in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics and can be found on the arXiv here.
Congratulations Cliff and Peter!
McMaster Undergraduates Win Big at the 2017 CUPC
Another successful Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference has come and gone. This annual conference brings together about 150 of the top undergraduate physics students from across Canada to present summer research, meet peers, network, and much more. The 2017 version took place at Carleton University in Ottawa. McMaster was well represented at the conference. As usual, all McMaster attendees gave incredible presentations and made our school proud. 6 students in particular were able to come away with medals for top talks in their respective presentation categories:
Adree Khondker - 2nd Place, Biological & Medical Physics
Christian DiMaria - 1st Place, Applied & Engineering Physics
Cissy Suen - 1st Place, Quantum & Solid State Physics
Dana Murdoch - 3rd Place, Astrophysics & Cosmology
Karan Chowdhry - 2nd Place, Quantum & Solid State Physics
Leanne Dias - 3rd Place, Applied & Engineering Physics
Congratulations to the award winners along with all of our attendees! We look forward to another successful conference next year.
Congratulations to this year's Graduate Student Symposium Day winners
Each year the physics department holds a Graduate Student Symposium Day where graduate students who have just completed their first year of studies present their research. Talks were given on a wide range of interesting topics and as usual all of the talks were excellent. Prizes were awarded to the top three presenters - in no particular order:
Carmen Lee, supervised by Kari Dalnoki-Veress
Clementine Fournier, supervised by Kari Dalnoki-Veress
Jordan Atchison, supervised by David Venus
Congratulations to Carmen, Clementine and Jordan!
P&A Undergrad Emma Mogus on the Tonight Show
P&A undergrad Emma Mogus recently appeared on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. On the show, she demonstrated the TIC (tongue interface communication). Her invention won her the 2016 Weston Youth Innovation Award from the Ontario Science Centre. You can watch the video here. You can read more in the Hamilton Spectator article.
Congratulations to Gwen Eadie for her first place finish at CASCA!
At the CASCA meeting each year, the Board and students separately judge student oral and poster presentations. At the close of the meeting, these groups each award those presentations they consider to be the best. Our very own Gwendolyn Eadie (supervisor: Bill Harris) placed first for the best student oral presentation as judged by the students and tied for first place as judged by the board. Her title was "Can we correctly infer a simulated galaxy's mass using a hierarchical Bayesian model?" Congratulations Gwen!
Media Numeracy – New Course Offering for Winter 2017/18
“Twice as many people have been murdered in Toronto this year to date, as were murdered in Toronto at the same date last year.”
"New protocol 33% more effective in treating rare blood disorder."
You have seen similar claims. Consider: What role do these statements play in the stories containing them? What story does the quoted numbers tell? How can we evaluate and compare these two claims?
These are the questions that we will attempt to answer in Physics 2NM3 – Media Numeracy: Telling stories with numbers, a new course offered by the Department of Physics & Astronomy.
Designed to give students insight on how numbers can be used and mis-used in the media, Physics 2NM3 will provide students from every academic background with simple, practical and understandable tools to allow them to interpret the vast majority of the quantitative statements that they encounter in media stories.
Media Numeracy: Telling stories with numbers – Physics 2NM3
The course will be offered on Dean's Permission in Winter Term 207/18. More information about the course can be found here..
Bruce Gaulin named to Distinguished University Professor
Yesterday, the McMaster University Senate voted to confer the title of Distinguished University Professor on Bruce Gaulin. This title is the highest honour that the University can bestow on one of its own members. President Deane said that the Senate took note of his reputation as a scholar who has put Canada on the world map in condensed matter physics.
The title will be formally conferred by the Chancellor at the Faculty of Science Convocation on June 15, 2017.
Congratulations to Bruce on this great achievement!
Congratulations to undergraduates Ahmad Mahmood and Diego Martinez on their win at the Western PhUnC
A heartfelt congratualtions to Diego Martinez who won 1st place overall and Ahmad Mahmood who won 3rd place overall at the annual Physics Undergraduate Conference (PhUnC) held at Western University
McMaster Physics PhD Charles-Philippe Lajoie Makes Astronaut Short-list
McMaster Physics and Astronomy PhD Charles-Philippe Lajoie has made the short-list for the next astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency. You can follow our canditate through the extremely competitive process here. The full story is available on the Daily News.
Dr. Cliff Burgess awarded 3rd prize in the 2016 Bulchalter Cosmology Prize Competition
Congratulations to Prof. Cliff Burgess whose paper entitled “EFT Beyond the Horizon: Stochastic Inflation and How Primordial Quantum Fluctuations Go Classical” was awarded 3rd prize in the 2016 Bulchalter Cosmology Prize Competition! The judging committee recognized the work as “a remarkable paper that sheds light on how quantum fluctuations exiting the Hubble scale are rendered into the classical large-scales of our Universe, detailing a process by which gravitational interaction triggers this transition.” You can see a link to this on the McMaster Daily News
. The full announcement can be found here