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The Fall Undergraduate Research Fair will be held on Thursday, October 25

Author: Stephanie Healey

2012 Fall Undergraduate Research Fair

The annual Fall Undergraduate Research Fair will take place on Thursday, October 25 from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. in the Jordan Hall of Science. All science students are invited and encouraged to attend to learn more about the undergraduate research experience at Notre Dame.

Students who are already involved in research will be at the fair to present their original work through poster presentations. The schedule of events is as follows:

  • Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Chemistry – 6:00-7:00 p.m., Room 105
  • Poster Presentations – 7:00-8:00 p.m., Galleria
  • Undergraduate Research Internship Information Night – 8:00-9:00 p.m., Room 105

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New book takes readers on mathematical excursions to the world’s greatest buildings

Author: William G. Gilroy

Mathematical Excursions to the World's Great Buildings

When many of us view a great building, we are struck by the majesty and artistry that spring from its form, function and materials. University of Notre Dame mathematician Alexander J. Hahn sees all this, but also something more. He sees the mathematics that lies at the heart of great buildings and finds in it a beauty of its own.

Hahn examines the mathematics at work in great buildings in a compelling and richly illustrated new book, “Mathematical Excursions to the World’s Great Buildings,” published by Princeton University Press.

“Mathematical Excursions” discuss the pyramids of Egypt; the Parthenon in Athens; the Colosseum and Pantheon in Rome; the Hagia Sophia; historic mosques; great Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance cathedrals; some of Palladio’s villas; the U.S. Capitol; and three icons of the 20th century: the Sydney Opera House, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

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Celebrate Science Indiana educates hundreds of K-12 students

Author: Shelly Goethals

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On Saturday, October 6, the Notre Dame College of Science and Department of Physics were well-represented at the second annual Celebrate Science Indiana (CSI). CSI was a public event held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds intended to demonstrate the importance of studying science and the joy of discovery, the economic value of science, and its significance to society.

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Nanotechnology competition brings top undergraduate researchers from across U.S. to Notre Dame

Author: Arnie Phifer

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Elisabeth Bianco, a senior chemistry major at Ohio State University, received the $3,000 first place award at the second annual Notre Dame Competition in Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, and Campus Tour (NDConnect).

Bianco won for her exploration of the properties of a one-atom-thick layer of the semiconductor germanium, which she synthesized for the first time and then characterized.

“Only a couple of years ago, the Nobel Prize was awarded to the researchers who developed graphene, a two-dimensional material made of carbon atoms,” says Ken Kuno, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Notre Dame.

“Elisabeth’s work moves beyond graphene by looking at a two-dimensional layer of germanium, which has many interesting properties, including advantages in the development of new transistors for computers.”

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Serianni’s Omicron synthesizes molecules other companies use for research

Author: Gene Stowe

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Anthony Serianni was a postdoctoral associate at Cornell University when he and his adviser, Robert Barker, started Omicron Biochemicals in 1982, the same year Serianni joined the chemistry and biochemistry faculty at the University of Notre Dame.

"We had developed some new chemistry that made the synthesis of certain kinds of sugar molecules easier to do," says Serianni, the president and CEO. "At that time, I had intentions of pursuing an academic career. I had already applied to Notre Dame.

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Graduate student Huijing Du is first author on paper published in Biophysical Journal

Author: Gene Stowe

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Huijing Du, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics, was first author on a paper published in the Biophysical Journal in August. The article, “High density waves of the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa in propagating swarms result in efficient colonization of surfaces,” reports how a bacterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, alters its environment as it swarms to colonize surfaces and form biofilms that help it resist antibiotics.

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Notre Dame, Purdue physicists create novel nanostructure that has promise for quantum computation

Author: Marissa Gebhard

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Two Notre Dame physicists, Xinyu Liu; and Jacek Furdyna, have collaborated with Purdue physicist Leonid Rokhinson on constructing a novel nanostructure that has allowed them to observe a long-sought-after particle referred to as Majorana fermion. The existence of this particle was predicted by Ettore Majorana in the 1930s, but until now has eluded observation. Their findings were recently published in Nature Physics.

The long-standing interest in finding the Majorana particle has been twofold. First, from the point of view of fundamentals of physics, the particle has new and completely unique properties that range from its zero mass to the type of statistics to which it conforms. And second, precisely because of its novel statistical properties, it holds great promise for fault-tolerant quantum computation — a field that is expected to revolutionize the way computing will be done in the future.

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New EPA grant will help develop early detection technology for high-risk invasive species

Author: William G. Gilroy

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The University of Notre Dame has received a $599,931 Environmental Protection Agency grant under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to develop technologies for the early detection of invasive species using environmental DNA.

In the present grant, the efficacy of environmental DNA will be tested across a diverse group of high-risk invasive species threatening the Great Lakes region, including mussels, snails, crayfish and plants such as Hydrilla. The research will develop novel genetic markers for environmental DNA detection of these high-risk invasive species.

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College of Science welcomes new faculty

Author: Brian Powers

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The College of Science is proud to welcome eight new teaching and research faculty members to the University of Notre Dame. They are all talented researchers and teachers, and are enthusiastic about being part of the Notre Dame community. To get to know them better, watch each new faculty member explain why they decided to join the Notre Dame College of Science community.

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Observation night attracts 450 students

Author: Grant Matthews

Physics Star Party 1Sept

The 2012 Annual Star Party was held on Monday, September 24.  Over 450 students, faculty, staff and South Bend community members attended the event. The first participants to arrive were treated to exceptional views of the first quarter Moon.  As the darkness grew deeper, attendees observed a few nebulae and globular clusters.

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Notre Dame entomologists help discover new species of malaria-transmitting mosquito

Author: William G. Gilroy and Sarah Craig

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University of Notre Dame entomologists are part of a team of researchers that recently discovered a potentially dangerous new malaria-transmitting mosquito. The as-yet-unnamed, and previously unreported, mosquito breeds in the western areas of Kenya and has an unknown DNA match to any of the existing malaria-transmitting species.

The Anopheles species of mosquitoes, which transmits malaria in Africa, is already widely studied by researchers. It prefers to rest indoors during the day and feed on humans during the night. Current malaria control programs, including spraying of insecticides and using insecticide-treated bed nets, are designed with these behaviors in mind.

Although the new species has never been implicated in the transmission of malaria, new discoveries in its biting habits pose a threat because it was found to be active outdoors and prefers to bite people earlier in the evening, soon after sunset, when people are not protected by current malaria control techniques.

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Event to focus on multidisciplinary research

Author: Gene Stowe

Lab work

The University of Notre Dame’s Office of the Vice President for Research and the Multidisciplinary Research Committee are hosting a public discussion, “Promoting Multidisciplinary Research: Building Successful Teams and Programs,” from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Sept. 27 (Thursday) in the Eck Visitor’s Center auditorium.

The event, the second in a series on multidisciplinary research, focuses on how to promote collaborative groups and approaches. Jeannette Colyvas, an assistant professor of human development and social policy and of learning sciences at Northwestern University; and Nancy C. Andreasen, M.D., the Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry and Director of its Neuroimaging Research Center and the Mental Health Clinical Research Center at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, will speak.

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Research could provide new insights into tuberculosis and other diseases

Author: William G. Gilroy

Champions bacteria research

Researchers Patricia A. Champion and Matthew Champion from the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health have developed a method to directly detect bacterial protein secretion, which could provide new insights into a variety of diseases including tuberculosis.

The Champions demonstrated that their new method is applicable to the study of other bacterial protein export systems that could not be effectively studied under previous methods. Their method could also help in the identification of compounds that can inhibit bacterial protein secretion.

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Notre Dame hosts sixth annual energy week

Author: Claire Stephens

Closeup of a wind turbineThe University of Notre Dame will host its sixth annual Notre Dame Energy Week Sept. 23-27 (Sunday-Saturday) at various campus locations.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame Student Advisory Board (cSEND SAB) and GreeND, Energy Week aims to educate the Notre Dame community about energy research and issues in a fun and interactive way, and will include energy awareness events both on and off campus, including academic talks, networking events and tours.

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Notre Dame astrophysicists publish new approach to cosmic lithium in the early universe

Author: Marissa Gebhard and Gene Stowe

New approach to cosmic lithium

J. Christopher Howk, Nicolas Lehner and Grant Mathews of the Center for Astrophysics at the University of Notre Dame published a paper this week in the journal Nature titled “Observation of interstellar lithium in the low-metallicity Small Magellanic Cloud.” The astrophysicists have explored a discrepancy between the amount of lithium predicted by the standard models of elemental production during the Big Bang and the amount of lithium observed in the gas of the Small Magellanic Cloud, a galaxy near to our own.

“The paper involves measuring the amount of lithium in the interstellar gas of a nearby galaxy, but it may have implications for fundamental physics, in that it could imply the presence of dark matter particles in the early universe that decay or annihilate one another,” Howk says. “This may be a probe of physics in the early universe that gives us a handle on new physics we don’t have another way to get a handle on right now.”

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Notre Dame nuclear physicists receive $1.6M NSF award

Author: Marissa Gebhard

The figure shows an artist conception of the facility as presently planned, consisting of two high-intensity, low-energy accelerators

Nuclear physicists at the University of Notre Dame have received a one-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for continuing research and development of the first U.S.-based underground accelerator laboratory, the Dual Ion Accelerator for Nuclear Astrophysics (DIANA). The purpose of the facility is to directly study nuclear reactions that drive the burning of stars in the laboratory and will complement the experimental program at the newly installed heavy ion machine at the Notre Dame Nuclear Science Laboratory.

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(Real) Irish students flourish in ESTEEM program

Author:

Naughton Fellows Shane McCarthy, Tomas Collins, Shane McQuillan and Conor O'Donoghue stand in their work area at Innovation ParkAdjusting to an unfamiliar program at a university in a foreign country can be stressful for even the most adventurous spirit. But for four Irish exchange students pursuing master’s degrees in engineering, the adjustment to Notre Dame has been seamless.

Adjusting to an unfamiliar program at a university in a foreign country can be stressful for even the most adventurous spirit. But for four Irish exchange students pursuing master’s degrees in engineering, the adjustment to Notre Dame has been seamless.

“If there’s anywhere in America where you can feel at home as an Irishman, it’s Notre Dame,” says Shane McCarthy, a native of The Old Head in County Cork, and recent graduate of the University College Cork (UCC).

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Barger joins Notre Dame on prestigious NSF postdoctoral fellowship

Author: Shelly Goethals

barger_kat_postdoc_fellowKathleen Barger, Ph.D. has joined Notre Dame’s Department of Physics on a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship. A recent Ph.D. graduate of the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Astronomy, Barger will explore the role gas in and around galaxies plays in galaxy evolution in collaboration with Professors Nicolas Lehner and J. Christopher Howk.

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Patricia Clark receives 2013 Michael and Kate Bárány Award for Young Investigators

Author: Stephanie Healey

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The Biophysical Society has selected Patricia Clark, the Rev. John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C. Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and concurrent professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, as the recipient of the 2013 Michael and Kate Bárány Award for Young Investigators. This award recognizes an outstanding contribution to biophysics by someone who has not reached the rank of full professor. Clark was selected for her research on the biophysics of protein folding in the cell, which has provided new directions of research for both experimentalists and theoreticians.

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Paper-based counterfeit drug testing gains attention

Author: Marissa Gebhard and Gene Stowe

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Marya Lieberman, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame, has collaborated with faculty and students to demonstrate advances in paper analytical devices (PADs) to test for counterfeit drugs. The promising low-tech solution has received broad attention in the scientific community. Lieberman’s work was featured in Chemical and Engineering News and presented recently at the American Chemical Society’s 244th National Meeting in Philadelphia.

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Senior Kevin McDermott spends summer at CERN

Author: Stephanie Healey

Kevin McDermott

Kevin McDermott, a senior physics major at the University of Notre Dame, recently returned from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland, where he spent nine weeks as a summer researcher. CERN is home to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), most powerful particle accelerator in the world. McDermott was one of 10 students selected from the United States to work at CERN for the summer.

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Bunker elected as Chair of International X-ray Absorption Society

Author: Shelly Goethals

Bunker

Bruce Bunker, Professor in the Department of Physics, has been elected to a three-year term as Chair of the International X-ray Absorption Society (IXAS). IXAS is an international scientific organization representing all those working on the fine structure associated with inner shell excitation (near edge and extended) by various probes (e.g. x-rays and electrons), and related techniques, and currently has over 1000 members.

 

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Collon named Kaneb Faculty Fellow

Author: Shelly Goethals

Phillipe Collon

Prof. Philippe Collon has been named a 2012-13 Kaneb Faculty Fellow. Each year, the Kaneb Center names faculty fellows in recognition of their records of teaching excellence. Kaneb Faculty Fellows share their teaching abilities and experiences through workshops, discussion groups, research, and individual consultation.

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Strauss named fellow of the Krell Institute

Author: Shelly Goethals

Sabrina Strauss

Recognizing an ever-increasing demand for scientists highly trained in areas of interest to stewardship science, the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration founded the Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE NNSA SSGF) in 2006. Sabrina Strauss, a first-year Notre Dame graduate student, is one of this year's recipients. Strauss received her B.S. degree from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

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Grant from Mexico boosts Notre Dame physics' ties with Mexican universities

Author: Gene Stowe

antonio_delgado_physics  christopher_kolda_physics

Prof. Antonio Delgado, Prof. Christopher Kolda, and Postdoctoral Research Associate Jorge de Blas Mateo have received a grant from the Mexican government that will strengthen ties between the University of Notre Dame and universities in Mexico. The grant, supporting research in models of particle physics relevant for the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, involves Notre Dame, the University of Puebla and the University of Colima both in Mexico, and the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom.

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