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New Mexico State University
Department of Physics
College of Arts and Sciences

4CS + TSAPS 2016 | speakers

banquet speaker

Stephen A. CassStephen Cass | Senior Editor, Resources | IEEE Spectrum

Title: Screen Physics, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Hollywood

Stephen Cass is a New York-based science and technology journalist who has specialized in covering physics, aerospace, and electrotechnology stories. He has also edited several sci-fi anthologies and has written extensively on the intersection between real science and science fiction. He is the co-author of the Hollyweird Science series of books, which examine how television and movie storytelling utilize science. He is the currently a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum magazine, and has previously worked for Discover magazine and MIT Technology Review. His writing has also appeared in outlets such as Popular Science, Nautilus, and The Guardian.



plenary speakers

Dr. Raymond BeausoleilDr. Ray Beausoleil | Hewlett Packard Labs
Title: The “Music” of Light: Optical Resonances for Fun and Profit

Ray Beausoleil is a Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Senior Fellow at Hewlett Packard Labs, and an Adjunct Professor of Applied Physics at Stanford University. At HPE, he leads the Large-Scale Integrated Photonics group, and is responsible for research on the applications of optics at the micro/nanoscale to high-performance classical and quantum information processing. His current projects include photonic interconnects for exascale computing, and low-power complex nanophotonic circuits. Ray received the Bachelor of Science with Honors in Physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1980; the Master of Science degree in Physics from Stanford University in 1984; and his Ph.D. in Physics from Stanford in 1986. In 1996, Ray became a member of the technical staff at HP Laboratories. He has published over 300 papers and conference proceedings and five book chapters. He has over 130 patents issued, and over three dozen pending. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and the recipient of the 2016 APS Distinguished Lectureship on the Applications of Physics.


Dr. Robert DoeringDr. Robert Doering | Texas Instruments
Title: A Career from Nuclear Physics in Academia to Semiconductor Technology in Industry

Robert Doering is Research Manager for the Technology and Manufacturing Group at Texas Instruments. He received a B.S. degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1968 and a Ph.D. in physics from Michigan State University (Cyclotron Lab) in 1974. He joined TI in 1980 after several years on the Physics faculty at the University of Virginia. His academic research was highlighted by the discovery of the Giant Spin-Isospin (Gamow-Teller) Resonance in heavy nuclei. His early work at TI was on device physics and process-flow design for memory and logic products. He has also managed R&D on lithography and many other aspects of semiconductor manufacturing, especially single-wafer processing. His current efforts are primarily focused on managing both internal and university research projects on new device technologies, including novel sensors.

Doering is a Fellow of the APS, recipient of the 2016 APS George E. Pake Prize, and Chair of the APS Industrial Physics Advisory Board. He is also a Fellow of the IEEE. He is a former Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Physics and past Chair of the Governing Council of the SRC Nanoelectronics Research Initiative. Overall, he has served on 104 industry/university/government boards and advisory committees. He has also authored/presented 254 publications and invited papers/talks and has 23 U.S. patents.


Dr. Brennan HugheyDr. Brennan Hughey | Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Title: LIGO and the First Direct Observations of Gravitational Waves

Brennan Hughey obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 2007. He then went on to a postdoc position at MIT, where he joined the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. His research focuses on hunting for gravitational wave transients and improving search sensitivity by better understanding the background noise produced by the LIGO interferometers. As part of these efforts, he was involved in the process of confirming the first LIGO detection, GW150914, as a real astrophysical event. Dr. Hughey is an Assistant Professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where he is heavily involved in undergraduate education and student research.



Randall G. HuletDr. Randall G. Hulet | Rice University
Title: Quantum Many-Body Physics with Ultracold Atoms

Randall G. Hulet earned a BS degree at Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Physics at MIT. He was a National Research Council Fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, where he worked on laser cooling of trapped atomic ions. He joined the faculty of Rice University in 1987 and he currently holds the Fayez Sarofim Chair in Natural Sciences. He has received many awards, including the Davisson-Germer Prize and the I.I. Rabi Prize from the American Physical Society. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Hulet is well known for his many important contributions to atomic physics, including early work on the development of laser cooling and trapping of atoms. His most important achievements are the first realization of Bose-Einstein condensation in an atomic gas with attractive interactions, the study of matter wave solitons, and the observation of antiferromagnetic order in the Fermi-Hubbard model using ultracold atoms.


Dr. Albert MiglioriDr. Albert Migliori | Los Alamos National Laboratory
Title: Resonant Ultrasound Spectroscopy: An Odyssey in Measurement Science

Albert Migliori received his B. S. in physics in 1968 from Carnegie Mellon University, his M. S. and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Illinois in 1970 and 1973. He is co-discoverer of acoustic heat engines, Chair of the Science Advisory Council for the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (UF, FSU, LANL), director of the Seaborg Institute for Actinide Science and the Energy Security Council at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and is a leading expert in the use of resonant ultrasound spectroscopy as a solid-state physics tool for which he was awarded an RD100. He was won 2016 the Joseph F. Keitheley award for advances in measurement sciences from the American Physical Society.

Migliori is a fellow of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Acoustical Society of America. He was recently Chair, Physical Acoustics Technical Committee, Acoustical Society of America, and Chair Emeritus, General Instrumentation and Measurement Topical Group, American Physical Society, and is Secretary and Treasurer of the American Physical Society Topical Group on Energy. He holds 25 patents, is the author of about 200 publications, six book chapters, and one book.


David NygrenDr. David Nygren | University of Texas - Arlington
Title: The Matter-AntiMatter Asymmetry of the Universe: Why is there something, rather than nothing?

David Nygren is Presidential Distinguished Professor in the University of Texas at Arlington. His research interests have ranged from electron-positron colliding beam physics, CP-violation in neutral kaon decays, the astroparticle physics of neutrinos, medical imaging, to, most recently, the intersection of nuclear physics, neutrinos, cosmology, and weirdly, biochemistry. The leit motif within this span of research has frequently been the quest for improved experimental techniques. He is the inventor of the Time Projection Chamber, a still widely used particle detection concept used currently for disparate searches such as WIMP Dark Matter, very high-energy nucleus-nucleus collisions and neutrino interactions.

Nygren received a BA in Mathematics-Physics, with Honors, from Whitman College, and a PhD. in Physics from the University of Washington, Seattle. He held post-doctoral and assistant professor appointments at Columbia University before accepting a Position at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. He remained at LBNL for several decades as Senior Staff Scientist and Distinguished Scientist.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and the American Physical Society. His honors include the Breakthrough Prize Award – 2016, American Physical Society Instrumentation Award – 2015, Aldo Menzione Prize Elba, Italy –2015, Lifetime Achievement Award, Berkeley Lab Prize – 2013, Honorary Doctorate, Stockholm University – 2008, Panofsky Prize, American Physical Society -1998 and the US Department of Energy E. O. Lawrence Award,– 1985.


Pearl SandickDr. Pearl Sandick | University of Utah
Title: The Search for Dark Matter

Pearl Sandick is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Utah. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from New York University and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Minnesota. Before her move to the University of Utah in 2011, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Theory Group at the University of Texas at Austin. Professor Sandick is a theoretical particle physicist studying physics beyond the Standard Model. Her specialties include possible explanations for the dark matter in the Universe, the relationship between particle dark matter and theories of new physics such as supersymmetry, and detection strategies for dark matter and/or other new physics. In addition to her research, she’s passionate about teaching, mentoring students, and making science accessible and interesting to non-scientists.


Krister ShalmDr. Krister Shalm | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Boulder
Title: A Loophole-Free Test of Local Realism

Krister Shalm is an experimental physicist specializing in quantum optics. In 2010 he received his PhD from the University of Toronto. He then spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo. Krister now works as a research associate at the National Institute of Standards and Technologies in Boulder Colorado where his research focuses on using quantum states of light to study foundational issues in quantum mechanics. In 2016 Krister was a cowinner of the Paul Ehrenfest Best Paper Award in Quantum Foundations.

When he is not corralling photons in the lab, Krister can be found swing dancing.


Dr. John SpencerDr. John Spencer | Southwest Research Institute
Title: New Horizons Explores the Pluto System

John Spencer obtained a bachelor's degree in geology from the University of Cambridge, England, and a PhD in planetary science from the University of Arizona. He worked at the University of Hawaii and at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona before joining at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado in 2004, where he is an Institute Scientist. He specializes in observational studies of the moons and other small bodies of the outer solar system, using both interplanetary spacecraft and Earth-based telescopes. He has served on the science teams of the Galileo Jupiter orbiter, the Cassini Saturn orbiter, and is now deputy project scientist on the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. He is known in particular for his work on the composition and structure of the atmosphere of Jupiter's moon Io, and his role in the discovery of endogenic activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. In 2016, he received the American Geophysical Union's Whipple award for outstanding contributions to planetary science.


invited speakers (partial list)

Dr. Grant Biedermann
Sandia National Laboratories
Title: Interacting Single Atom Interferometers


Dr. Volker Quetschke
University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley
Title: Status of Lasers for Next Generation Gravitational Wave Detectors with Cryogenic Silicon Optics

Dr. Norm Buchanan
Colorado State University
Title: Latest Results from NOvA

Dr. Kate Ross
Colorado State University
Title Buchanan: Ferromagnetism with Continuum Excitations in the Geometrically Frustrated Pyrochlore Yb2Ti2O7

Dr. Alex Demkov
University of Texas, Austin
Title: Phase Transformations in Transition Metal Oxides for Electronic Device Applications

Dr. Eduardo Rozo
University of Arizona
Title: The Dark Energy Survey

Dr. Charles Durfee
Colorado School of Mines
Title: Sculpting Pulses in Space and Time to Control Ultrafast Dynamics

Dr. Slava Solomatov
Washington University in St. Louis
Title: Why Plate Tectonics is Rare and how it Started on Earth

Dr. Michael Engelhardt
New Mexico State University
Title: Quark Transverse Dynamics and Orbital Angular Momentum in the Nucleon from Lattice QCD

Dr. Denise Stephens
Brigham Young University
Title: Brown Dwarf Binary Systems, The Coolest Pairs Around

Dr. Kent Gee
Brigham Young University
Title: Near-field Acoustical Holography: Understanding Sound Generation from Musical Instruments to Military Aircraft

Dr. Jianwei Sun
University of Texas, El Paso
Title:An Efficient Density Functional Yielding Accurate Structures and Energies of Diversely-Bonded Materials

Dr. Michael Kesden
University of Texas at Dallas
Title: Learning about Black-Hole Formation from Gravitational Waves

Dr. Beth Thacker
Texas Tech University
Title: Large-scale Assessment Yields Evidence of Minimal Use of Reasoning Skills in Traditionally Taught Classes

Dr. Randall J. Knize
Air Force Academy
Title: Diode Pumped Alkali Laser for Defense

Dr. Igor Vasiliev
New Mexico State University
Title: Ab Initio Density Functional Studies of Nanoscale Materials

Dr. Sarah Li
University of Utah
Title: Exciton Spin Dynamics in Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Perovskites

Dr. Anna Zaniewski
Arizona State University
Title: Modifying Carbon Surfaces and Thin Films to Tune Chemical and Optical Properties

Dr. Lloyd Lumata
University of Texas, Dallas
Title: Hyperpolarized Nuclear Magnetic Resonance in Medical Research

Dr. Alexander Zakhidov
Texas State University
Title: Role of Interface in Stability of Perovskite Solar Cells

Dr. Felicia Manciu
University of Texas, El Paso
Title: Label-free Optical Detection of Bioanalytes for Cancer and Neurodisease Monitoring