Saint Mary’s announces new physics major

first_imgTags: dual-degree program, Physics, Saint Mary’s College, STEM The Saint Mary’s department of chemistry and physics will offer majors in the field of physics in addition to the existing chemistry major.Ian Bentley, associate professor of chemistry and physics, said there was a fair amount of student interest in having physics as a major.“Everyone that I would talk to about it knew of a student that was interested,” he said. “You add those all up and see that it’s quite a few students who have been interested in physics, not just one.”According to Bentley, the department discussed the potential of creating a physics major, especially to support the students in the engineering dual degree program with Notre Dame. The program allows Saint Mary’s students to graduate with a degree from Saint Mary’s before transferring to Notre Dame for a fifth year to earn their engineering degree.Chris Dunlap, chair of chemistry and physics at the College, said when Bentley was hired in the fall of 2014, there was no physics major or minor. However, in order to best address the needs of students — particularly those in the dual degree program — the department chose to create a major program instead of just a minor.“A minor was not going to match the needs,” Dunlap said. “Between engineers who wanted a more applied approach to the mathematics and a group of students who were really interested in physics, we at the department decided we would move forward with the major.”Bentley said the department will offer two different degrees with three possible majors as well as a minor. There will be a physics Bachelor of Arts degree, a physics Bachelor of Science degree and a physics and applied mathematics (PAM) Bachelor of Arts degree, Bentley said. The two PAM degrees are offered through the math department while the BS and BA in physics will be through the department of chemistry and physics.Bentley said the Bachelor of Arts degree requires between 34 and 38 credit hours, the Bachelor of Science requires 60 credit hours, and the PAM degree required between 49 and 53 hours. The minor requires between 17 and 18 credit hours.Dunlap said the construction on the science hall was intended to renovate some labs and also to accommodate the new major.“The basement [of the science hall] is all physics space,” Dunlap said. “We have the same amount of space dedicated for physics as before, but now it’s its own floor.”Bentley said there are currently two students declared as PAM majors and one student as a physics major, all three of which are in the dual-degree program. He said there are also about three to four first years who have physics as an intended major.Adding this major may increase enrollment, Dunlap said, specifically in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.“What we’ve done is we’ve filled in a hole in the STEM fields that Saint Mary’s has had forever,” Dunlap said. “We’ve never had a physics major at Saint Mary’s … This is a very exciting time for the STEM departments because it gives us another option for our students to pursue.“We never really knew how many students might have come to Saint Mary’s if this were available because we’ve never had it,” Dunlap said. “We’re really interested to find out now how many students are out there who might be now attracted to physics at a women’s college.”Bentley said this will help students in the duel degree program because it will offer a wider range of applicable majors and will open doors for students to enter the mechanical and electrical engineering fields.“I think it makes it feasible for students who are interested in applying mathematics,” Bentley said. “I think we’re hitting that niche that, to some extent, we missed before. If you’re thinking about mechanical engineering or electrical engineering, the most feasible route was to major in math. Now we have [physics] which is more applied.”Sophomore physics and mechanical engineering major Erin Patterson said she was deciding between majoring in chemistry or in mathematics when she first heard about the physics major and realized that it worked better for the dual-degree program.“I wanted to apply math not just write proofs and definitions,” Patterson said. “I considered the different types of engineering that paired best with these majors. After talking with Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s professors and Saint Mary’s students, I found I shared some of the same interests and disinterests with mechanical engineers, and I knew physics paired well with mechanical engineering.”Rachel Bonek, a sophomore PAM and electrical engineering major, said she originally planned to be a math and engineering major, but with the new PAM major, it made more sense for her degree.“I am excited that another science major is offered at Saint Mary’s,” Bonek said. “I think it’s important to continue to increase the number of women in math and science, and having the physics major here will definitely help.”last_img read more

Camelot puzzler for O’Brien

first_img The Aidan O’Brien-trained colt had a terrific season as a three-year-old, winning three Classics and coming close to landing the Triple Crown, but he was well beaten in the Arc and then suffered colic. This year he appears to be lacking his usual acceleration and an easy comeback win has been followed by defeats in the Tattersalls Gold Cup and at the Royal meeting by the Roger Charlton-trained Al Kazeem. Joseph O’Brien was left scratching his head after Camelot could finish only fourth in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. “It was very disappointing, he’s an exceptional horse,” O’Brien jnr told At The Races. “In all his races last year, until the Irish Derby, he quickened off the bridle all the way to the line. For whatever reason this year he’s come off the bridle and he’s just flattened out. “I don’t know why, he’s been getting checked out after the race, but he’s been disappointing. “It was serious surgery he had. As a two-year-old his turn of foot was unbelievable, at three it was too, but for whatever reason he just hasn’t produced it this year.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Frederick balances top-flight football with computer engineering

first_imgTravis Frederick (72) has played guard and filled in for center for the Rose Bowl-bound Badgers in 2011, all while balancing that with the demands of being a computer engineer.[/media-credit]After meeting Travis Frederick for the first time, three things immediately stand out. The first is his sheer size. As an offensive lineman for the University of Wisconsin, Frederick stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 330 pounds. As big as that seems, those figures place him near the average of a typical UW lineman – after all, one of Wisconsin’s youngest linemen, redshirt freshman Rob Havenstein, is listed at 6-foot-8, 345 pounds.Second is Frederick’s beard. Forming from the sideburns of his fairly standard close-cut haircut, Frederick’s beard matches his light brown hair but extends away from his jaw bone to form a scraggly, seemingly unkempt coat of facial hair. In post-practice interviews, it’s normal to see beads of sweat – more than a few – stream down the beard as he speaks. Along with his large stature, Frederick’s beard makes him naturally exude the stature of a Wisconsin offensive lineman.The third distinct trait becomes clear once he’s talking. Answering even the most generic of clich?, jargon-filled football questions, Frederick takes his time speaking, talking with his hands as if he’s using them to craft his words.It all makes sense, really. When he’s not mauling opposing defenses and opening running lanes for Wisconsin’s vaunted rushing attack, Frederick’s laboring away in Engineering Hall or any number of the university’s labs, working on projects involving computer processors, pipelines and so much other foreign technobabble that’d you’d wonder, how does he have time for Division I football – let alone as a major contributor on the offensive line of the nation’s No. 10 team?“I’m working on a project for a digital design and synthesis class; we’re designing an integer divider co-processor that hooks up to a processor and a serial bus that works in between that,” Frederick said after an evening practice in mid-October. “The higher-up you get, the more projects you have. We’re designing a pipeline processor for another one that would go in your computer, basically a five-stage pipeline processor.”Frederick, a redshirt sophomore and a double-major in computer engineering and computer science at UW, grew up in Sharon, a town of slightly more than 1,500 people 90 minutes from Madison. Developing a clear interest in math and science, Frederick’s academic background formed organically.“I like to play with Legos; I like that kind of stuff that’s inventive stuff and investigative,” Frederick said. “I think that falls into the engineering field. I like the hands-on part of it.”After graduating early – talented high school recruits often enroll in college early to gain an extra semester of training at the Division I level – from Big Foot High School as a National Honor Society member and first-team all-state offensive and defensive lineman, Frederick initially explored aerospace engineering before turning his attention toward computers. He says he is not “one of those crazy mechanical engineers.”“I had known about him since he was a freshman in high school, so it wasn’t one of those deals where he just pops out of nowhere,” UW’s gruff, media-averse offensive line coach Bob Bostad said. “He’s mature beyond his years, there’s no doubt about that.”Frederick came to UW in 2009, one year after a once-promising season that saw the Badgers rise as high as No. 8 in the national polls, but was marred by a midseason four-game losing streak and was capped with an embarrassing 42-13 dismantling at the hands of the Florida State Seminoles in the Champs Sports Bowl.Enrolling early ultimately was beneficial for Frederick, who began his career as a Badger by becoming the first true freshman in school history to start the season-opener on the offensive line. Frederick played center that game, squarely in the middle of the offensive line and responsible for snapping the ball to the quarterback, and started four of the five games he appeared in that year. Frederick’s career as a member of arguably the nation’s most respected offensive line, as well as in the classroom, was off to about as strong a start as he could’ve expected.“[Enrolling early], you have a month or a couple of months that you’re in school before you’re actually starting on [football] stuff,” Frederick says. “That kind of eased me into it a little bit. As for coursework, it gets heavier as you get older. That kind of eases you into it, as well.“When I was taking calculus and chemistry and physics, I thought that it was a really tough course load. Then it kind of evolves again and you see, OK, well this is it and I’m sure it’s going to continue to evolve. You kind of evolve with that.”This is the first in a two-part series. The second piece will run in Thursday’s paper.last_img read more