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Physics & Astronomy

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University of Southern

News & Events

Physics Professor in the News
October 2001: Anthony F.J. Levi, Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering at USC appeared in the September issue of Technology Review. He has developed a receiver that he says could extend battery life as much as tenfold. The key is a microphotonic disk that converts the microwaves used by wireless networks into light waves. This low-loss optical signal is easily converted to electronic form using existing low-power technology. Conventional all-electronic microwave receivers must consume lots of power to prevent signal loss. While the new receiver is still in the lab, Levi expects commercial applications to emerge by year's end.

Former Dean Nominated by Bush
September 2001: John Marburger III, past dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and currently head of Brookhaven National Laboratory, has been nominated by President Bush for the position of White House science advisor. In the 70's, Marburger was a professor of physics and electrical engineering at USC and served as chairman of the physics department before becoming dean of LAS. In 1980, Marburger became president of State University of New York, Stony Brook. Marburger's appointment now goes before the U.S. Senate for approval.

Exceptional Teaching Assistants Recognized
August 2001: Jeffrey Nuttall was selected as the Outstanding Teaching Assistant of the year. Jeff's work has been exemplary and he is most deserving of this honor. The Most Improved Teaching Assistant was awarded to Kristian Kennaway. This past year, Kris has made great strides in improving his teaching skills and communication with his students. Congratulations and thanks to Jeff and Kris for their superior performance.

Astronomy Department in the News
August 2001: This month USC News published two articles that showcase our Astronomy Department's work at the Mount Wilson Observatory. The first, "Clear sky, stable night air - Mount Wilson is an Astronomer's Dream" focuses on the history of the observatory. In Astronomy: Here comes the sun;USC researchers shed light on solar waves", Professor Ed Rhodes discusses the work he, along with his team of researchers, are performing.

Physics Graduate Named Renaissance Scholar
July 2001: Ricardo Betancourt-Benitez was honored as a USC Renaissance Scholar during the May 2001 commencement ceremony. The honor is awarded to those students who exemplify the objective of the program which is to bring two widely separate fields of thought together in the same mind. Ricardo graduated with a B.A. in Physics and a minor in French. Congratulations, Ricardo. (more)

Physics Instant Update
June 2001: The Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Center to Advance Science Education sponsored a three day workshop for High School Physics Teachers from June 26th to the 28th. Physics Professor Stephan Haas and Ty Buxman, Director of Undergraduate Affairs organized the event along with Bill McComas, USC Associate Professor of Science Education and Dr. Bill Layton from UCLA. About 20 teachers from Southern California participated in the workshop. They found it to be a valuable learning experience and were excited about using what they had learned in their classrooms.

Professor Stephan Haas Receives Award
May 2001: Assistant Professor Stephan Haas has been selected to receive the 2000 - 2001 USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences prestigious Junior Raubenheimer Award for excellence in teaching, research and service. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor!

Undergraduate Symposium
April 2001: Congratulations to our undergrads who participated in the Undergraduate Symposium held April 18th. First place was awarded to Lindsey Bruesch for her "Laboratory Investigations of Europa's Sodium Atmosphere" poster. Linda Carpenter, Matt Behrend, Thomas Lin, Barry Fink and Melissa Dobbins received honorable mention for their work.

Faculty Member in the News
April, 2001: In the April 9th edition of the USC Chronical, an article regarding Assistant Professor Stephan Haas appeared. In it, he discusses his Early Career Development award from the NSF.

Werner Däppen named "Faculty of the Month"
March 2001: The department extends our warmest congratulations to Professor Werner Däppen for being named Faculty of the Month by the Mortar Board.

Hawking Lectures at USC
March 2001: Leading physicist, Stephen Hawking, explained theories about the beginning and end of the universe at a public lecture sponsored by the CIT-USC Center for Theoretical Physics. The full-to-capacity Bovard Auditorium, including President Sample and other top university officials, were completely engrossed in Hawking's examination of the farthest reaches of the universe, in both space and time.

Staff Recognition
March 2001: Congratulations to Ty Buxman, Director of Undergraduate Affairs, for being awarded the Employee of the Month by the USC Staff Assembly. Ty has worked in the Physics Department since 1995 and is a indefatigable and dedicated employee. We are lucky to have Ty and join with the University in congratulating him on this honor.

Robert Hellwarth Appointed University Professor
February 2001: President Sample announced the appointment of Robert W. Hellwarth, Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering as "University Professor". This title is awarded to those professors whose multidisciplinary interests and significant accomplishments transcend any single field of study. Dr. Hellwarth's outstanding accomplishments bring honor to the University and the Department of Physics and Astronomy. We congratulate him and look forward to his continuing achievements.

Featured in LA TIMES
January 2001: D-Star Technologies, based in Long Beach, was featured in the LA Times Business Section on January 3. The firm, founded by USC Physics Professor Jack Feinberg and postdoc student, Dimitry Starodubov, is installing laser equipment to produce light-wave amplifierss for Internet networks. The article "Firms Working in Optics Technology Play to the Southland's Strengths" focuses on D-Star and the budding optics industry.

Department Awarded Funding
January 2001: The Department has received undergraduate research funding by the Undergraduate Research Program in the Office of the Provost, for the 2001 calendar year. The award will help support several undergraduate students while they participate in research groups throughout the year.

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