COSAM hosts Dean’s Research Awards
On Wednesday, March 26, COSAM hosted the Dean’s Research Awards ceremony. This year, COSAM honored Professor Mark Liles from the Department of Biological Sciences, doctoral students Justin Havird, from the Department of Biological Sciences, and Branson Maynard, from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and undergraduate students Adam Blumenthal, from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and Ethan McCurdy, from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. During the ceremony, Liles gave the Faculty Research Award Lecture titled, “The emergence of bacterial pathogens.” COSAM congratulates all of the award recipients for their exemplary work and thanks our alumni and friends who have provided the resources for these awards.
Pictured, from left: Branson Maynard, Justin Havird, Professor Mark Liles, Adam Blumenthal and Ethan McCurdy.
Biological Sciences News:
Museum of Natural History to host Junior Curator Camp
For the first time, the Auburn University Museum of Natural History will host a Junior Curator Camp from July 7-18. The camp offers a unique opportunity to rising sixth- through eighth-grade students to participate in hands-on scientific investigations of Alabama’s tremendous biological diversity by working side-by-side with museum staff. Participants will learn about the importance of natural history museums and their role in conserving species while acquiring real-world collection and curatorial experience. Activities include: field expeditions to collect plants, invertebrates, fishes, amphibians, reptiles and more; guided museum sessions to learn correct identification and curation techniques; development of an individual scientific voucher collection to keep; visits from expert field collectors and scientists; graduating ceremony recognizing participants as official AUMNH Junior Curators. The 10-day, non-residential program will take place from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day on the Auburn University campus. Daily activities and lessons align with the Alabama Course of Study Objectives for sixth- through eighth-grade students and will be led by Auburn University Museum of Natural History curators and professional staff. The cost for the program is $475 and includes a junior curator T-shirt and all activities. Register by May 1 to take advantage of the early bird price of $425. Spaces are limited and will fill on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline to register is June 1. For more information or to register visit the website or contact Kay Stone at email@example.com or 334.844.4132.
Liles receives five new grants and contracts
In the past quarter, Mark Liles, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, has received five new grants and contracts including the following:
1. Norwegian Research Council, 600,000 kroners, or $97,000. M. Liles (PI). “Sequence- and function-based screening of oil reservoir metagenomes for thermostable biocatalysts”
2. USDA-AFRI, $227,000 at Auburn ($500,000 total). M. Lawrence (MSU PI), M. Liles (Auburn subcontract PI), M. Griffin, J. Terhune, A. Karsi, and J. Newton. “Genomics, virulence, and detection of emerging pathogenic Aeromonas hydrophila in channel catfish”
3. Bayer Crop Sciences, $120,000. J. Kloepper (PI), K. Lawrence, and M. Liles. “Cooperative R&D on Votivo”
4. Bayer Crop Sciences, $125,000. J. Kloepper (PI) and M. Liles. “Characterization of drought tolerant Bacillus PGPR strains”
5. Agricen Sciences, $18,000. M. Liles (PI). “Microbial strain genome sequencing and analysis”
For more information on Liles, visit his website.
Chemistry & Biochemistry News:
NSF Career Award for Patkowski
Assistant Professor Konrad Patkowski received a $459,273, five-year CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation for his proposal, “Towards an accurate and illuminating theory of weak interactions between open-shell systems.” The Faculty Early Career Development, or CAREER, Program is a foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Patkowski, a theoretical chemist, has been at Auburn University since January 2011 and is an expert on the calculation of intermolecular forces and applications of these computational techniques to a variety of systems of interest in energy research. His research is supported by both the National Science Foundations's Chemical Theory, Models and Computational Methods program and the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. For more information on the grant, see the abstract.
Geology & Geography News:
Department to offer summer college experience to high school students
This summer, the Department of Geology and Geography will offer a three-week summer college experience for high school students in environmental geology. The course, which will be led by geology faculty members Ming-Kuo Lee, Lorraine Wolf and Chandana Mitra, is open to rising high school juniors and seniors and carries with it four hours of college credit.
The study of environmental geology encompasses natural and energy resources, geologic hazards, topical issues of societal concern - such as climate change and water pollution - and provides sound science about how humanity can live responsibly and sustainably. The major themes of the three-week summer class include: earth materials and hazards; water resources and pollution; and human interactions with the environments and climate change. Students completing the course will gain knowledge of the physical processes that shape our planet and of the interplay of the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and geosphere. Participants will learn from university professors and guest speakers who share their expertise and knowledge through lectures, laboratory exercises and field work. Field experiences will include: exploring rocks, minerals and streams; measuring groundwater level, streamflow and water quality; and assessing impacts of land use and land cover on local climate. Laboratory activities will involve: geological materials and processes; building an aquifer; interactive learning of Global Positioning Systems, or GPS, and Geographic Information Systems, or GIS; and online assessments of environmental and climate data. The Summer College Experience Class: Environmental Geology, will take place July 6 – 25 and the application deadline is May 1. For more information or to apply for the course, click here.
Mathematics & Statistics News:
Mathematics faculty invited to serve on editorial boards
Recently, two faculty members in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics were invited to serve on editorial boards. Tin-Yau Tam, chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and Lloyd and Sandra Nix Endowed Professor, was invited to serve on the editorial board of the Journal of Special Matrices; and Professor Richard Zalik was invited to serve on the editorial board of the Poincare Journal of Analysis and Applications.
Richard Brualdi is featured speaker at Mathematics Colloquim
Richard Brualdi, emeritus UWF Beckwith Bascom Professor at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, will give a colloquium talk on Friday, March 28, in in 249 Parker at 4 p.m. Brualdi is an internationally recognized mathematician who serves as the editor-in-chief of two journals, Linear Algebra and its Applications, and Electronic Journal of Combinatorics. He is also the advisory editor of the journal Transactions on Combinatorics and is former president of the International Linear Algebra Society. The title of Brualdi’s talk is, “Permutations, X-rays, Tournaments, Partial Latin Squares, Transversals, and Skolem Sequences,” and refreshments will be served prior to the lecture at 3:30 p.m. in 244 Parker. The colloquium is sponsored by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. For more information, click here.
Department to host combinatorics conference
The Department of Mathematics and Statistics will host the 10th Graduate Student Combinatorics Conference at Auburn University from April 4-6. The conference offers graduate students in combinatorics an opportunity to learn about new topics in the field as well as network with students from across the U.S. The schedule will consist of 20-minute talks given by students, as well as keynote lectures. Topics covered during the conference include design theory, enumeration, graph theory, finite geometry, coding theory and cryptography, algebraic combinatorics, additive combinatorics, probabilistic combinatorics, discrete geometry, and game theory. The conference will take place in Parker Hall and is open to the public. There is no cost to attend. For more information, including a schedule of events, visit the website.
Department to host two colloquia in honor of retiring professors
The Department of Mathematics and Statistics will host two colloquia in spring 2014 in honor of professors who have retired or will soon retire from Auburn University. On Friday, April 18, the department will host a colloquium honoring the retirement of assistant professor Steve Stuckwisch (above), highlighting his contributions to mathematics education, Science Olympiad, outreach, and more. On Friday, April 25, a joint colloquium will be held in honor of the retirements of professor Gary Gruenhage (right) and Professor Emeritus Phil Zenor (below), featuring a special guest speaker, Professor Emeritus Davis Lutzer from the Department of Mathematics at the College of William and Mary. Both colloquia will take place at 4 p.m. in 250 Parker and are open to the public. For a complete list of all the colloquia hosted by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, click here.
Conference held in honor of Minc
The 48th Continuum Theory Session of the 48th Spring Topology and Dynamics Conference held at the University of Richmond from March 13-15 was dedicated to Professor Piotr Minc in honor of his 65th birthday, his contributions to the field, and his dedication to the Spring Topology and Dynamics Conference and the journal Topology Proceedings. Minc gave a plenary lecture at the 47th Spring Topology and Dynamics Conference in 2013.
Topology Proceedings is a journal that is published twice a year. One volume contains all of the papers presented at the Spring Topology and Dynamics Conference and is published by Auburn University. Professors Gary Gruenhage and Minc are on the editorial board for Topology Proceedings, and Beth Fletcher, the department’s webmaster, is a technical editor for the journal.
For more information on the 48th Spring Topology and Dynamics Conference, click here.
Billor receives 2014 Kraska Award
Associate Professor Nedret Billor is the recipient of the 2014 Dr. Marie Kraska Award for Excellence in Teaching (Statistics). The Kraska Award was established to recognize a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics for outstanding teaching in statistics. Awardees must be innovative, challenging teachers who are respected by the faculty and students. Billor teaches Statistics for Engineers and Scientists, Applied Regression Analysis, Applied Multivariate Data Analysis, and SAS Programming.
Lockheed Martin offers internships and job opportunities to Auburn students
On March 6, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics hosted an employment information session for undergraduate and graduate students that gave them an opportunity to learn more about what it would be like working at Lockheed Martin, an American global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technology company. Students learned about summer internships and full-time job positions that are available at the company. For more information, contact Tin-Yau Tam, chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and Lloyd and Sandra Nix Professor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kuperberg awarded NSF grant
The 6th Podlasie Conference on Mathematics, or 6PCM, hosted by the Polish Mathematical Society in cooperation with the Bialystok University of Technology and the University of Bialystok, will be held July 1-4, in Bialystok, Poland. Krystyna Kuperberg, professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, received a grant from the National Science Foundation in the amount of $10,000 to provide support for six researchers from the U.S. to participate in the 6PCM Special Session titled, "Computer-assisted Formalization of Mathematics." Topics covered by the session include: formalization of challenging mathematical problems; interactive and automated theorem proving; development of proof assistants; design of proof languages and techniques; repositories of formalized mathematics; semantic representation of mathematical knowledge; formal tools in program verification; foundations and philosophy of mathematics; and proof assistants in education. For more information on the conference, click here.
Auburn University receives five-Year NSF funding to launch an international collaborative research network in mathematical sciences
Auburn University received a five-year, $415,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to lead an international Collaborative Research Network in mathematical sciences under the Masamu Program. The network consists of more than 40 senior research faculty from the U.S., Sub-Saharan Africa, Canada and Europe. The primary goal of the network is to enhance research in mathematical sciences by producing high-quality new doctoral recipients in the U.S. and Sub-Saharan Africa, high-quality joint research publications, and developing prominent U.S.-Africa research partnerships comprised of researchers from diverse backgrounds. The National Science Foundation award is supplemented by a five-year, $400,000 grant from the Simons Foundation through the University of Botswana.
The Masamu Program was founded in 2011 by mathematicians at Auburn University, University of Sussex and Southern Africa Mathematical Sciences Association, or SAMSA, through a two-year, $200,000 award from the National Science Foundation and additional support from the British Council under the U.K.-U.S. New Partnership Fund as part of the Strategic Alliances and Partnerships strand of the Prime Minister’s Initiative for International Education. The program, which serves as a platform for U.S.-Africa research collaboration in the mathematical sciences, has instituted Masamu Advanced Study Institute and Workshops in Mathematical Sciences as a SAMSA activity.
The International Collaborative Research Network and the Masamu Program are directed by Overtoun Jenda, professor of mathematics and associate provost for the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at Auburn University, and Associate Professor Ash Abebe and Professor Peter Johnson, both of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, serve as co-directors.
For more information, see the February edition of the Office of Diversity and Cultural Affairs’ newsletter.
To read the full story, click here.
Physics faculty awarded more than 80 million core-computer hours at supercomputing centers around the world
A group of scientists from Auburn University lead an international team on various research projects involving large-scale computational atomic and molecular collision calculations. Representing Auburn from the Department of Physics are Professor Michael S. Pindzola, Associate Professor Stuart D. Loch, and Assistant Research Professor Connor P. Ballance. The collision calculations support: synchrotron light source experiments at SLAC in California and PETRA in Germany; free electron laser experiments at FLASH in Germany; controlled fusion experiments at ITER in France; and astrophysical observations using the HUBBLE and XMM-Newton telescopes.
The research projects are made possible through multiple one-year awards of time from the largest supercomputers in the world. In September 2013, they received an award, sponsored by the European Union/Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe/High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart, of 30 million core-hours for a project titled, “Petascale Computations for Atomic and Molecular Collisions.” In October 2013, they received an award from the National Science Foundation/Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment/National Center for Computational Sciences, of 8 million core-hours for a project titled, “Atomic and Molecular Collision Models for Photoionization and Plasma Diagnostics.” In January 2014, they received three awards: the Department of Energy/Energy Research Computing Allocation Process/National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center awarded them 15 million core-hours for a project titled, “Computational Atomic Physics for Fusion Energy"; the team received 500,000 core-hours from the Department of Energy/Energy Research Computing Allocation Process/National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center for a project titled, “Theoretical Atomic Physics for Fusion Energy”; and they received 8 million core-hours from the Department of Energy/National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center’s Initiative for Scientific Exploration for a project titled, “The Quantal Four-Body Problem.” In total, the projects represent more than 60 million core-hours, or an estimated monetary value of more than $2 million. Additionally, two proposals worth 30 million core hours are pending.
Thomas invited to join international advisory committee
Edward Thomas, Lawrence C. Wit Professor, traveled to India for two weeks in February and March. In the first part of the trip, Thomas attended the 7th International Conference on the Physics of Dusty Plasmas, or ICPDP, in New Delhi, India. The triennial meeting is the largest conference in the field and draws participants from countries around the world.
At the meeting, Thomas presented an invited talk, gave a poster presentation and chaired one of the oral sessions. He was also invited to join the International Advisory Committee for the conference series and will contribute to the planning for the next conference in 2017.
After attending the ICPDP meeting, Thomas traveled to the Institute for Plasma Research, or IPR, in Ahmedabad, India. IPR is India’s largest research facility for pursuing experimental and computational plasma science research, ranging from studies of laboratory plasmas to fusion energy research. At IPR, Thomas gave an invited talk titled, “Controlling complexity: studies of waves and instabilities in magnetized plasmas and magnetized dusty plasmas,” which summarized his group’s work on sheared flows in plasmas and dusty plasmas. He also worked with several collaborators and students on dusty plasma experiments in the Basic Plasma Experiments Group at IPR.
Registration now open for COSAM’s Science Matters Summer Enrichment Academy
The College of Sciences and Mathematics is now registering children for Science Matters, a summer enrichment academy for rising first- through sixth-grade elementary students that offers youngsters a cross-curricular, age-appropriate science experience. The program allows participants to explore the world of science through real experiments, technology and art projects, electronic journaling, and hands-on, make-n’-take activities. During the action-packed program, children can participate in courses such as “Ticket to Travel,” “The Hunger Games,” “Hot Wired,” and many more. Parents can choose between the Regular Day option from 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. daily, or the Extended Day option from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. Prices range from $170 - $240 per week, per child. The program will be held six times during the summer, with the first session beginning the last week of May and the final session beginning the week of July 28. Multiple-week discounts are available. Information and registration forms can be found here. Seating is limited and spaces are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The registration deadline is May 2. For more information contact Kristen Bond at 844-5769 or email@example.com.
Registration now open for COSAM’s Robotics Academy
The College of Sciences and Mathematics is now accepting registration for the Robotics Academy, a summer enrichment program for rising seventh- through ninth-grade students who have an interest in robotics. Participants will engage, as teams, in real-world scenarios that will culminate in a friendly competition on the last day of the academy. Students of the academy will be introduced to the design process, the importance of science notebooks, and technical writing, as well as gain hands-on experience programming and building robots using VEX robotics kits. All aspects of the camp are applicable in science, mathematics and other fields. All necessary materials will be available for student use during the academy. The Robotics Academy runs from June 24 – 27, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., daily, with prices starting at $260. Information and registration forms can be found here. Regular registration is open until May 9, but spots are limited. For more information contact, Erin Percival at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arboretum to host plant sale
The Donald E. Davis Arboretum will host a plant sale on Saturday, April 12, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The sale will primarily feature native Alabama plants and grasses, but there will also be a selection of non-native herbs and fruit trees available. The sale will take place at the Davis Arboretum located at 181 Garden Drive. For more information, send an email to Dee Smith, curator of the Davis Arboretum, at email@example.com.
Submissions for Arboretum Photo Contest accepted April 7-11
The Donald E. Davis Arboretum will accept submissions for the 2014 photo contest during the week of April 7-11. All entries must be received by April 11 at 4 p.m. Photographs can be dropped off at the Davis Arboretum, located at 181 Garden Drive, or at Cameragraphics, located at 1625 E. University Drive. Photographs should be 8x10 inches and matted or mounted on an 11x14-inch mat board with the photographer’s name and email on the back. Photos must be taken in Alabama, and all contestants must be amateur photographers. Submissions are accepted in five categories: Davis Arboretum, Birds and Mammals, Other Wildlife, Flora, and Landscape. Each individual may enter up to three photographs. A cash award will be given to the first-place winner in the Arboretum category, and gift certificates to Cameragraphics will be awarded to the first-place winners in all other categories. All entries will be hung on display in Biggin Hall and the Student Center, and will be considered for use in the 2015 Davis Arboretum calendar. For complete contest guidelines and details, click here.
Leadership Council Member Spotlight: Dr. Michael Williams
Dr. Michael Williams, cardiologist and president of Auburn Cardiovascular, P.C., has been a member of the College of Sciences and Mathematics Dean’s Leadership Council since 1998. A graduate of The Ohio State University where he received a bachelor of science in zoology, Williams attended medical school at the University of Michigan College of Medicine. He completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowships in clinical and interventional cardiology at the University of Cincinnati. Williams is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the Society of Cardiac Angiography and Intervention. He is also an associate of the American College of Physicians. Prior to moving to Auburn in 1992, Williams served as an assistant professor of medicine at East Carolina University in North Carolina.
He said that thus far in his career, he is most proud of, “having the ability to make a difference in the outcome of patients based on the education and training I have been able to attain.”
Williams plays an active role at Auburn University, where, in addition to participating in the COSAM Dean’s Leadership Council, he is on the board of the Auburn University Foundation. He is a strong advocate of COSAM’s pre-health programs, and he is often an invited speaker and provider of student shadowing and mentoring opportunities.
“Hopefully, I have the ability to inspire others to pursue their dreams by putting a real face on what can happen and where you can go with a career in sciences and mathematics, particularly for minority students,” said Williams.
In addition to his work with Auburn University, he is also actively engaged in the local community as a member of Greater Peace Missionary Baptist Church and the advisory board for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Lee County.
Williams’ wife, Dr. Patricia Wade Williams, is also a physician, and she specializes in internal medicine. Williams said he and his wife decided to move to Auburn because of the “intellectual environment, entertainment, and academic and athletic events that enhance the quality of living.”
Since moving to Auburn, he and his wife have also been impressed with COSAM.
“COSAM has increased and retained its enrollment of African-American students. COSAM is not only dedicated to the enrollment numbers of minority students, but also to student excellence,” said Williams. “I am incredibly impressed with the quality of the students in COSAM and their academic excellence, as well as the quality of the faculty and the commitment of the dean and administration to make COSAM one of the best colleges in the country.”
COSAM’s ability to recruit, retain and produce excellent scholars is an attribute that reflects specific values the couple holds dear.
“My wife and I both believe in education and that education leads to personal happiness and satisfaction with life,” said Williams. “The whole concept of higher education is pretty central to what we think is important to everyone’s personal and collective development, and science and mathematics are two of the foundations of higher education. With that said, one of our goals is to help further education in the African-American community.”
In addition to offering job shadowing opportunities to COSAM students and serving on the COSAM Dean’s Leadership Council, Williams was the keynote speaker for the Summer Bridge Luncheon in 2011. The luncheon is the culmination of the Summer Bridge Program, a four-week, residential workshop that engages highly motivated incoming freshmen from groups traditionally underrepresented in sciences, mathematics and engineering in activities that facilitate a successful transition from high school to the Auburn University campus.
He and his wife also support COSAM with financial resources and are scholarship donors.
“By giving to COSAM, we are not only furthering our own goals, we are furthering the mission of the college to produce exceptional scholars. The pursuit of excellence is paramount in our minds,” said Williams.
Williams is active in numerous national, state and local professional organizations. He serves on the Research Advisory Board of East Alabama Medical Center, or EAMC, and on the Council of Governors of the Alabama Chapter of the American College of Cardiology. His professional memberships include the National Medical Association, the American Federation of Clinical Research, and the Association of Black Cardiologists. Previously, he served on the Medical Executive Board and as the Chief of Cardiovascular Section, Department of Internal Medicine, at EAMC. He also served on the Governor’s Task Force for Cardiovascular Disease.
When he isn't practicing medicine, Williams said he enjoys reading anything from historical nonfiction to a good novel. He also plays golf, works in the yard, and for the last two-and-a-half years has been learning to play the tenor saxophone.
“I am also a die-hard sports fan, and I pretty much bleed orange and blue these days,” said Williams. “I even found myself rooting against Ohio State last football season when they played Michigan State, which resolved the issue of who would play in the national championship game.”
The Williams have three children. Their oldest child, Jessica, is a 2010 honor graduate of COSAM with a bachelor of science in biological sciences. Jessica is currently a fourth-year medical student at Emory University School of Medicine where she is also pursuing a master’s in public health. His middle child, Michael, is a senior at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta who is majoring in biology. Michael plans to pursue a career in public health as well. His youngest son, Patrick, is a sophomore at Auburn.
Auburn University Foundation names Jernigan to board
Dr. John Jernigan, chemistry '75, was named to the Auburn University Foundation Board. The Auburn University Foundation is a registered nonprofit that solicits and receives charitable contributions for Auburn University and Auburn University at Montgomery.
Jernigan, an internal medicine physician with Mulberry Medical Associates in Montgomery, grew up on a farm in rural Alabama but said he knew from an early age he wanted to pursue a career outside of agriculture. He was named valedictorian of his graduating class in Union Springs, Ala., and enrolled at Auburn University in fall 1971.
Although busy with his studies, Jernigan served as a resident advisor and was inducted into both Phi Lambda Upsilon, which is the chemistry honor society, and Alpha Epsilon Delta, which is the premedical honor society. During his time at Auburn, Jernigan worked in the labs at Funchess Hall and discovered an interest in research that remains active today. After earning a bachelor of science in chemistry, Jernigan pursued his medical degree at the University of Florida, where he was involved with both the National and American Medical Student associations.
A board-certified physician, Jernigan is a partner with Mulberry Medical Associates in Montgomery. Additionally, he serves as clinical instructor in the Nurse Practitioner program for both the University of Alabama and Troy University, and as a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Alabama School of Medicine through its internal medicine residency program in Montgomery, a title he has held since 1984.
As the principal investigator with Mulberry Clinical Research, Jernigan is able to continue research and has conducted a number of medical trials on diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and rheumatoid arthritis. As a result, he is highly sought after on the regional lecture circuit.
In addition to his thriving medical practice, Jernigan makes time to serve his community. He is the current president of the Alabama State Board of Health, the past president of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, and the past president of the Montgomery County Medical Society. Jernigan also serves as a mentor and role model to tomorrow’s health professionals and established a scholarship in the College of Sciences and Mathematics.
In addition to Jernigan, three others were named to the Auburn University Foundation Board. To read more about the newest members, see the story that ran on Al.com.
For more information on the Auburn University Foundation, visit the website.
Trawick inducted into LAMP High School Hall of Fame
John Trawick, applied mathematics '90, is a 2014 inductee to the Lovelace Academic Magnet Program, or LAMP, High School’s Hall of Fame. Trawick is a 1986 graduate of LAMP High School who recently rejoined the Southern Company as vice president of Commercial Operations and Services. Southern Company is the parent company of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Mississippi Power and Gulf Power. In addition to his degree from COSAM, Trawick received a master of science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is a member of the COSAM Dean’s Leadership Council and he and his wife, Tamara, sponsor an annual COSAM scholarship, the John G. and Tamara L. Trawick Scholarship.
Smithers named 2014 Maxine Smith Fellow
Dayna Brown Smithers, mathematics '03, was selected as a 2014 Maxine Smith Fellow by the Tennessee Board of Regents. Smithers is an assistant professor of mathematics at Northeast State Community College in Blountville, Tenn. She received a master of science from East Tennessee State University in 2005, and she recently finished her coursework in ETSU's Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis program and is working on her dissertation. The Maxine Smith Fellowship program is designed to provide professional leadership and career development opportunities for African-American Tennessee Board of Regents employees. Fellows observe and participate in system-wide meetings, projects and workshops.
While at Auburn, Smithers served as a COSAM Leader, an exemplary group of students who serve the college as official ambassadors.
“I think back to my Auburn days often and know that I am where I am today thanks to some special people at the university,” Smithers said in a recent email.
For information about Smithers and the fellowship, click here.
Auburn Library hosts COSAM alumnus, an inventor who is the subject of a new biography ‘Genius in America’
Inventor, physics alumnus, and member of the COSAM Dean’s Leadership Council C. Harry Knowles was the featured guest on March 27, at an Auburn University Libraries event marking the publication this month of his biography, “Genius in America: The Story of C. Harry Knowles, Inventor.”
The author of "Genius in America," Mary Ellen Hendrix, read from the book and Knowles discussed his career and answered questions from the audience.
Knowles recently donated his personal papers and photos to the university. Some of the photos were on display at the event and include glimpses of Auburn life from 1945 to 1951.
Receiving his physics degree from Auburn in 1951, Knowles, a Birmingham native, went on to earn more than 400 patents in transistor, laser and bar code scanning technology. As founder of Metrologic Instruments Inc. in New Jersey in 1968, and head of the global bar code scanning company for nearly 40 years, Knowles introduced some of the earliest handheld bar code scanners, profoundly altering the marketplace for retailers and consumers alike.
Knowles’ scientific contributions include not only innovative scanner technologies, but also transistors that served the nation’s first satellite and computers of the late 1950s and 1960s. His star transistor, universally recognized as the “2N2222” transistor, became an industry workhorse manufactured in the billions. In addition, in 1964, Knowles developed and presented the basic concepts of and precursor to the renowned Moore’s Law forecasting model for the semiconductor industry.
Knowles was honored by Auburn University in 2006 as a College of Sciences and Mathematics Distinguished Alumnus; in 2007, with a Lifetime Achievement Award; and, in 2008, with the university’s highest recognition—an honorary doctorate.
The author of his biography, Hendrix, is an award-winning writer who retired from the university in 2007 after working with alumni for many years in her capacity as associate editor for The Auburn Alumnews and Auburn Magazine. During her Auburn tenure, Hendrix, who holds a dual degree in journalism and English from Auburn, interviewed some of the university’s brightest and most successful alumni, ultimately leading to the book on Knowles.
Diversity & Multicultural Affairs News:
Summer Bridge Program Applications due March 31
The COSAM Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs is accepting applications for the 2014 Summer Bridge Program. The COSAM Summer Bridge Program is an intensive four-week residential program for talented and highly motivated minority students from populations traditionally underrepresented in the sciences and mathematics who want to get a head start in their college career. The program, which takes place on the main campus of Auburn University, emphasizes academic preparedness, development and enhancement of study- and time-management skills, establishment of academic and social support, and career awareness. Summer Bridge provides a foundation that promotes excellence in the sciences, mathematics and pre-professional courses of study, and Summer Bridge students consistently perform better than other minority students who do not participate. Chemistry and mathematics faculty, graduate teaching assistants, counselors, and academic advisors staff the program, and only 25 to 30 students are selected to participate. The Summer Bridge Program is scheduled for June 1-26, and the application deadline is March 31. For additional information, visit the website here.