On April 10th members of UWIP, SWE (Society of Women Engineers) and WIC (Women in Computing) met for an afternoon of socializing over refreshments provided of the Women’s Center. We look forward to having more events like this in the future as we strengthen our connections with other STEM groups around campus!
On Feb 23rd Professor Quin Konopacky, an astrophysics professor here at UCSD, gave a presentation on her research to UWIP members. Her work in observational astrophysics focuses on star, planet, and solar system formation and evolution. Her work also involves taking direct images of exoplanets using adaptive optics techniques with ground based telescopes, resulting in images like the one above. Using adaptive optics enables researchers to study planets that are much larger and further away from their stars than can be done with other techniques. If you would like to learn more about her research, you can visit her website here: http://dunlap.utoronto.ca/~konopacky/index.html
On February 19th Michelle Gross, a patent attorney and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University’s law school gave a presentation to UCSD physics, chemistry, and biology students on alternative careers in patent law that do not require a law degree. There, students had the opportunity to learn what about it means to be a patent lawyer, why patents lawyers are in such high demand, why scientists and engineers are so desirable for the position, and about the unique Master’s program offered by ASU (developed in part by Michelle Gross herself) that is designed to prepare students for careers in patent law and beyond.
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Over MLK weekend a group of UWiP members traveled to UC Santa Cruz to attend the western regional Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP). The conference consisted of learning about cutting-edge physics research from both esteemed professors as well as undergraduate peers, panels about post-undergrad pathways into academia and industry, as well as chances to meet other other women in physics from all walks of life with whom attendees could share experiences, advice, and ideas.
This year’s CUWiP was also an invaluable learning experience as the club prepares to host the 2016 western regional CUWiP at UCSD. (WHOOOO!!!!!!one!!)
On December 5th UWiP members had the chance to tour Dr. Keating’s astrophysics lab on campus. Brian Keating’s labs researches the cosmic microwave background and were recently recognized for detecting b-mode patterns that support the existence of gravitational waves. You can read about that discovery here (http://ucsdguardian.org/2014/11/12/ucsd-researchers-collect-cosmic-microwave-data/) and you can read more on Professor Keating’s researchhere: http://physics.ucsd.edu/~bkeating/
Brian Keating and his wife are proud supporters of UWiP, and recently made a very generous donation to the UCSD UWiP Program. We are very excited to have him as a supporter and to have had the opportunity to tour his lab.
On November 21st UWiP members were able to tour Dr. Surko’s positron lab on campus. The Surko group works with positrons, experimenting with annihilation, positron trapping, and positron cooling. If you would like to read more on Professor Clifford Surko’s research, check out his website here: http://www-physics.ucsd.edu/research/surkogroup/index.html
On November 14th, UWiP members had the opportunity to hear a research presentation by Tom Murphy, an astrophysics professor here at UCSD who works on an ultra-precise test of General Relativity using the technique of lunar laser ranging (basically, he shoots lasers at the moon for science!). If you would like to learn more about his research, check out his website here:
On November 5, some of the UWIP members were able to tour Dr. Jun’s biophysics/molecular biology lab on campus. In Dr. Jun’s lab they study the how basic quantitative principles govern the fundamental biological processes during the cell cycle (if you would like to read more on Professor Suckjoon Jun’s research check out his website here: http://jun.ucsd.edu/index.php). The tour was led by a fellow undergrad who described the goal of the team’s project and the various jobs assigned to people working there so those on the tour could see the kind of work researchers at various levels do. They had a general tour of the lab’s facilities along with the descriptions of their applications in the research process so they ended up getting a very detailed picture of the daily work and hands-on challenges that the members of the lab deal with. One interesting aspect noted by members of the tour group was the variety of educational backgrounds of all those working at the lab. Not only were there molecular physicists, but also bio-engineers, condensed matter physicists, chemists, and many other specializations from within the physics field. Overall, combined with some input form graduate students, those who took the tour were able to see the kind of work and effort required in a research job and the importance of collaboration between members in achieving the project’s goals.
The first general body meeting of the 2014-2015 school year went off without a hitch! A presentation was shown which showcased all the amazing things which have come from UWIP in the past and what UWIP is all about. The meeting was well attended with many new faces as well as current members. In the day following the GBM, UWIP had a table set up on library walk to entice more students into joining the club with the most fun physics on campus!
The first UWIP gathering of the year was an Ice Cream Social held in the Keeling Lounge. Sweet treats were enjoyed by UWIP members of all grade levels, including many new freshmen for what was their first interaction with the club. We enjoyed the sunset over the ocean at the end of the Social and hope to have many more fun gatherings throughout the year!