Professor of Physics Greg Voth, at right, will teach a new course, CIS 170, Introduction to Engineering and Design, as part of Wesleyan’s new Interdisciplinary minor in Integrated Design, Engineering, and Applied Sciences.
Amid rising student interest, Wesleyan has announced a new interdisciplinary minor in Integrated Design, Engineering, and Applied Sciences (IDEAS), beginning in 2017-18. It will be hosted within the College of Integrative Sciences (CIS).
The IDEAS minor will introduce foundational skills in engineering and design, and bring together existing arts, design, and applied science courses to create a more formal structure to guide students interested in these fields.
According to Professor of Physics Francis Starr, a co-proposer of the minor and director of the CIS, “The new minor plays into Wesleyan’s unique capabilities and dovetails with Wesleyan’s commitment to prepare students for the challenges facing society today. Our aim is to provide students with practical design and problem solving skills, coupled with the context to understand the social and cultural implications of their work.” The minor passed the Educational Policy Committee (EPC) in April.
Wesleyan is at the forefront of an emerging approach in academia
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The Board of Trustees recently conferred tenure to two Wesleyan faculty and promoted five faculty to full professor. Their promotions take effect July 1.
Victoria Pitts-Taylor, professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, and Charles Sanislow, associate professor of psychology, will receive tenure. Pitts-Taylor will join Wesleyan as a new faculty members and chair of the FGSS program on the same date.
They join four other faculty members who were awarded tenure earlier this spring.
Those promoted to full professor are Martha Gilmore, professor of earth and environmental sciences; Yuri Kordonsky, professor of theater; James Lipton, professor of mathematics and computer sciences; Brian Stewart, professor of physics; and Greg Voth, professor of physics.
Brief descriptions of their areas of research and teaching are below:
Pitts-Taylor will offer courses in feminist science studies, gender theory, and interdisciplinary body studies.
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Guy Geyer Marcus ’13
Guy Geyer Marcus ’13 has won the Leroy Apker award for the American Physical Society, the highest prize offered in the United States for an undergraduate thesis in physics.
Marcus is the second Wesleyan student to win the prize in three years; Wade Hsu ’10 also claimed the prestigious award. In 2008, Gim Seng Ng ’08 was a finalist for the Apker.
“This achievement naturally highlights the quality and seriousness of our undergraduates and our undergraduate program,” said Physics Department Chair Brian Stewart.
Marcus’ Wesleyan advisor was Greg Voth, associate professor of physics.
Marcus is working toward a Ph.D in theoretical physics at Johns Hopkins University. His prizewinning thesis was titled: “Rotational Dynamics of Anisotropic Particles in Turbulence: Measurements of Lagrangian Vorticity and the Effects of Alignment with the Velocity Gradient.”
He also received a Goldwater Honorable Mention award and a Wickham Scholarship for his research in 2011.
Greg Voth, associate professor of physics, received a grant worth $300,000 from the National Science Foundation’s Material Research division to support his study on “Rod Dynamics in Turbulence: Simultaneous 3D measurements of Anisotropic Particles and Velocity Fields” through May 31, 2015.
In a wide range of natural and industrial situations, turbulent flows carry particulate material. For example, clouds are turbulent flows containing water droplets and ice crystals. Papermaking uses turbulent suspensions of fibers. If the particles are spheres, there are a variety of tools available for measuring their motion. But usually the particles are not spheres, and the movement and rotations of non-spherical particles have never before been measured as they are carried by a turbulent flow. Voth’s project will develop experimental tools to make these measurements. Particle rotations are of particular interest because their statistics are expected to be similar in all turbulent flows, and measurements can be compared with theoretical predictions for the universal properties of turbulence. This work seeks to establish a clear understanding of the fundamental characteristics of non-spherical particle motion in laboratory turbulent flows that can be used to understand more complex applications such as icy clouds and papermaking. Education and research training are central to this project, which will support the mentoring of undergraduates, graduate students, and a postdoctoral scientist, as well as training K-12 educators in physical science.
Greg Voth studies turbulent fluid flows and flows of granular materials.
This issue, we ask “5 Questions” of Greg Voth, associate professor of physics.
Q: Professor Voth, what are your primary areas of research and how did you become involved in them?
A: My research group studies turbulent fluid flows and flows of granular materials. These complex systems have a wide range of environmental and industrial applications, but fundamental understanding of these systems has been held back because of the difficulty of measuring rapidly changing flow fields. Advances in high speed digital imaging over the past two decades have opened new ways to measure the trajectories of particles transported by these flows. I started studying turbulence during my graduate research in the mid 1990s, at Cornell Univ. There we built our own high speed imagers out of silicon strip detectors that had been designed for detecting sub-atomic particles in high-energy physics
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