Events & News
Dr. Hatch and Students to Participate in
Summer Research at Los Alamos
Dr. Duane Hatch, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, has been selected to participate in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Visiting Faculty Program (VFP) at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) for the Summer 2015 Term. Dr. Hatch submitted a proposal in January for the research that he has been working on here at Belmont. This is a highly competitive program that allows faculty to collaborate with some of the most talented scientists in the world. Selected faculty and participating students spend 10 weeks at a DOE national laboratory engaged in a research project under the guidance of a laboratory scientist. Faculty members build collaborative relationships with DOE research scientists, become familiar with DOE sponsored research programs, scientific user facilities, and potential funding opportunities. Students participate in enrichment activities, including career professional development workshops (e.g. technical and scientific writing skills development, poster, or oral presentation activities, etc.), laboratory tours, scientific lectures and seminars. Host laboratories may provide laboratory tours, scientific lectures and seminars, workshops on accessing DOE scientific user facilities. Dr. Hatch’s collaborator at Los Alamos National Lab is Dr. Pete Silks and he will be hosting them in his lab.
Two Belmont undergraduate students, Ryan Agh, Chemistry major - Mathematics minor, and Ambrose Rice, Biology major - Chemistry minor, will be joining Dr. Hatch. They will both be working directly with him on his research and will receive $5,000 each plus travel expenses for 10 weeks this summer. The total value of the proposal is $25,000.
This program is renewable for up to 3 years and opens the door for further student involvement with LANL. Here is a link to information about the program: http://science.energy.gov/wdts/vfp/
PHYSICS DEPARTMENT USES COMPUTERS FOR EINSTEIN@HOME PROJECT
The Physics department is now using the idle time on their desktop computers in their McWhorter labs through the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC). BOINC is a program that lets you donate your idle computer time to various science projects. After installing BOINC on your computer, you can connect it to as many of these projects as you like. The intent of BOINC is to make it possible for researchers to tap into the enormous processing power of personal computers around the world.
Belmont has enlisted its lab computers' idle time by joining the Einstein@Home project to search for weak astrophysical signals from spinning neutron stars (also called pulsars) using data from the LIGO gravitational-wave detectors, the Arecibo radio telescope, and the Fermi gamma-ray satellite. This will put Belmont in the top 1% of BOINC users in the world.
Chocolate: The World's Perfect Food
In honor of Valentine’s Day, the Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS) and Dr. Kimberlee Daus, Chemistry Professor, hosted a convocation event on the chemistry elements of Chocolate. Nutrition researcher Michael Levine, among others, has described chocolate as being the world's perfect food—chemically speaking. During this standing-room-only event, they talked about the six different possible crystalline states that are possible for chocolate – Stage V is desired for the ultimate physical characteristics (shiny with the nice “snap”) and demonstrated how to achieve it through tempering. They also discussed why Hershey’s chocolate has such a distinct taste and looked at the different chemicals responsible for the “feel good” aspects of chocolate. During this fun event, they explored the chemistry of chocolate, what makes chocolate really the perfect food, and had chocolate chemistry fun!
AET Students Build Speaker Cabinet for Physics
Acoustics Lab Isolation Booth
Students in Dr. Scott Hawley’s PHY2010 course, Physics for Audio Engineering, built a ported speaker cabinet for the new isolation booth that was obtained for the College of Sciences & Mathematics Acoustics Teaching Lab. AET majors Ryan Yount, Chris O'Brien, and Ryan Morris are pictured taking measurements of the telescoping speaker cabinet they built as part of a class project. The students built a ported speaker cabinet, for which the resonant frequency (of the port) was tunable by varying the interior volume of the cabinet -- i.e. they created a tunable Helmholtz Resonator. The isolation booth was secured by CSM faculty Drs. Thom Spence, Robert Magruder and Scott Hawley for use with student undergraduate research and class projects which require more precise acoustical measurements than is afforded by a regular classroom environment.
Physics students attend meeting of the Music City Chapter of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA)
Belmont physics students and faculty attended the January Meeting of the Music City Chapter of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), a division of the American Physical Society. The meeting was held at Omega Lab, a studio owned & operated by Belmont alumnus Robert McClain (Music Business with Production Emphasis, ’82). Omega Lab has received worldwide recognition not only for its uniqueness – the structure is a large army tent, powered via car batteries & car amplifiers, and boasts a set of IMAX speakers for 7.1 studio monitoring – but also for producing the Mando Blues radio show and for recently recording two of the Top-10-rated regional albums of 2014 according to the Nashville Bridge magazine. The meeting topic was a discussion on studio calibration for film and cinema production. In attendance were Belmont students Chris Waggy and Austin Arnold, both currently enrolled in PHY2250 “Electronics & Circuit Theory’, and Belmont Physics professor Dr. Scott Hawley, who serves as the Vice President for the organization. Nashville’s ASA Chapter is open to students, scientists, audio engineers and musicians, has monthly meetings in the Nashville area, and has grown to roughly 40 members since its inception in June 2014. For further information, visit http://musiccityasa.org.
Student Presents Research at
Acoustical Society of America Meeting
Graduating senior Benjamin Shaw, mathematics and audio engineering technology double major, recently spoke at the Music City Chapter of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) meeting, held in the historic Nashville recording studio, Columbia Studio A.
Shaw presented his senior research work on acoustical measurements and simulations of the control room for the studio. Ben’s research, supervised by Sal Greco of Belmont’s Ocean Way Studios and Associate Professor of Physics, Dr. Scott Hawley, evaluated the frequency response of the room and made recommendations for improvements. To do this, he used a sophisticated open source acoustical simulation program, run on Dr. Hawley’s 24-processor research workstation.
The talk was attended by members of the ASA and Belmont communities. Those present remarked on the professionalism of Shaw’s presentation and how it was among the finest undergraduate research presentations they have seen.
In May, Belmont University and the Curb Family Foundation announced the completed renovation of Columbia Studio A as a classroom and hands-on learning lab for students in Belmont’s Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business.
Chemistry Students Participate in STEM Poetry Slam Competition
Five students from Dr. Kimberlee Daus’ Organic Chemistry I class competed in the first ever Middle Tennessee STEM Poetry Slam Competition held November 5th at the Bistro at Emma, Nashville, TN. The contest, open to area high school and college students, was presented by the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub. Poems were invited that either explained a challenging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) concept or inspired young people to pursue STEM-related fields. All poetry had to be written and performed by the entrant. All students in Daus’ class were invited to enter the contest as a quiz challenge to address difficult content in organic chemistry. Sydney Gangluff, Angel Brothers, Sarah Cannavino, Miranda West, and Kathryn Hook (L to R in pic) were selected as 5 of the 16 finalists. Kathryn Hook and Miranda West were selected as top winners in the science category. Their entry, entitled “Mechalicious,” explained the difference between SN1 and SN2 reaction mechanisms. Here is a link to their video: http://youtu.be/Jhpzsi1llik
Pharmaceutical Studies students assist with Drug Take-Back Event
On Saturday, September 27th, Belmont graduate and undergraduate students and Belmont Chemistry faculty member Dr. Kimberlee Daus participated in the Dickson County Drug Take-Back event. This event was held on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and was coordinated by Vanderbilt University and the Dickson Police Department. Working alongside faculty and students from Vanderbilt and Lipscomb Universities were 12 Belmont Undergraduate Pharmaceutical Studies students and Belmont Graduate Pharmacy students and faculty. The group cataloged and counted more than 50 pounds of medication. The National Drug Take-Back Day, set by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), provides a service to the community through safe and responsible disposal of unused medication. Additionally, these events help to educate the public about the potential of drug abuse associated with these medications. There were over 5,200 collection sites across the country.
The Pharmaceutical Studies students shown in the group photo are: Front row (L to R) Samantha Perkowski, Jennifer Shin, Heather Stice, Madeline Ricardo, Hiedi Habib; Back row (L to R): Ryan Lipe, Madalyn Chilcutt, Rachael Grussing, Kasey Kolb, Bella Watson, Savannah Bobo-Bressler, Danielle Dauchot.
Daus Receives Chaney Distinguished Professor Award
CAS associate dean of sciences and professor of chemistry, Kim Daus, was named the 2014-15 Chaney Distinguished Professor. The Chaney Distinguished Professor Award, determined on the basis of superior teaching, is presented each year to a faculty member who best represents the vision of the university to be a “premier teaching institution.” Of the honor, Daus said, "For me, receiving the Chaney Teaching award is truly a reflection of the best of Belmont – the amazing students who work so diligently to learn, the wonderful mentors and colleagues who encourage and inspire me in my teaching, and the strong administration who support and value classroom teaching. I am very honored and humbled to be this year's recipient of the Chaney Teaching Award."
Better Eating Through Chemistry
Dr. Kim Daus led a Maymester Junior Cornerstone course titled "Better Eating Through Chemistry: Using Chemistry to Improve Local Cuisine". The course is a great way to get non-science majors excited about organic chemistry while also encouraging better eating habits in college students. The course met five days a week for three weeks and included lectures, readings, problem solving assignments, research, field trips, experimentation and intensive group work and assessment. Each week students received a challenge that set up their research and collaboration for the following days. For example, students ate lunch locally at La Hacienda and Mas Tacos Por Favor and then were challenged to research and prepare a healthy, vegetarian Hispanic meal as one of their group projects. In addition to presenting their plates to the class, each group also had to explain the rationales for the recipes they created before all the participants got to test their research through a class meal. Field trips included visits to Noble Dairy Farm, Delvin Farm, and the Nashville Farmer's Market.
Physics Students Present "Circus"
Members of the Society of Physics Students recently presented a "Physics Circus" convocation event.
The students presented various intriguing and exciting physics demonstrations. Physics students showed and explained the science behind phenomena such as beautiful Chladni patterns, the "ring launcher" device, alien-looking ferrofluid formations, and more. Dr. Scott Hawley, Associate Professor of Physics, serves as the faculty advisor for this student organization.
Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Alison Moore and the Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS) led an interactive crime-solving event for students during a recent convocation event. With a theme reminiscent of the popular CBS TV series “CSI,” students were challenged to play the role of Crime Scene Investigators and draw conclusions about a hypothetical crime based on their research.
Students looked at evidence including fingerprints, DNA analysis and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis, which identifies different substances within a test sample. The students also investigated footprints and the ink chromatography of a note to evaluate suspects in a supposed murder. Evidence was used to include or exclude suspects during the investigation.
Earlier in the week, the “CSI: Belmont” experience also offered a visit from a training specialist from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), who talked about the educational background required to work in crime investigation as well as the training investigators go through after they get the job.