Department of Physics & Astronomy

Spring 2010 Colloquia


Jon Celesia, faculty member, Contra Costa college

Joseph Farrell, PhD student, Stanford University

Maureen Savage, instrument scientist, Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

Special Panel: Careers in Physics and Astronomy
April 5, 2009, 4PM

This special event brings together four SFSU physics and astronomy alums for a panel discussion of careers in teaching and outreach. Undergraduate and graduate and students who are interested in hearing about career opportunities and pathways are especially encouraged to attend. Time will be set aside for small group discussions with the panelists.

PAC is generously providing pizza... please spread the word!

Biographical sketches

Joseph Farrell:

After some sparse community college attendance in Indiana, I moved to the bay area at the end of the dot com boom in 2000 to work at a marketing company. I decided marketing wasn't for me, enrolled at SFSU in 2001 and stumbled into some physics classes. I found real enjoyment with the material, professors and classmates and majored in Physics in the spring of 2004 with minors in Math and Philosophy. After a one year stint wandering around Europe with some circus people, I started the PhD program in Physics at Stanford. My graduate research field is strong field molecular physics and my group investigates high harmonic generation and it's potential to image the transient electron shape of molecules undergoing femtosecond timescale motion. Our research is funded by the Department of Energy through the PULSE Institute at SLAC. See information about PULSE in general and info on our research> .

Maureen Savage:

1997-Present - NASA Ames Research Center - USRA/SOFIA Science Instrument development manager and instrument scientist Budget/Schedule/Technical planning and over site. Prepare to deply and operate near IR camera for the observatory 1995-1997 - NASA Ames Research Center - SETI Institute Dr. J Davidson research Developed an 8 channel detector array for sub-millimeter work and deployed to Mauna Kea (Caltech Submm Obs). Designed and constructed the helium 3/helium 4 system for cooling a sub-millimeter array for the South Pole Imaging Fabry-perot Instrument (SPIFI) Designed and built the 5x5 array at Goddard Space Flight Center for the Cornell SPIFI instrument. 1990-1994 Boston U - PhD program - Astronomy; Dr. Thomas Bania Dr. Antony Stark Developed and tested the secondary mirror for the Antarctica Sub-millimeter Telescope and Remote Observatory (AST/RO). Includes software and hardware development. Some astronomy research but significant lab work required a lot of time in the lab rather than on any telescope. 1986-1990 NASA Ames Research Center; Dr. Thomas Roellig and Dr. Jacqueline Davidson Using an adiabatic demagnetization refrigerator to test cool down profiles and heat capacity of different materials for the sub-millimeter channel of the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (now Spitzer). Data acquisition/analysis and lab support. 1980-1986 BA Physics 1984 and Graduate studies; Dr. Roger Bland Spent most of the work in the lab helping to run the Quark experiment including making droppers for the Millikin type experiment to measure fractional charges in various different liquids including, water, mercury, niobium etc. Learned basic circuit design and how to put together breadboards, circuits and final circuit boards for the hardware control of the experiment. Lathe work, machining, brazing, indium o-ring While working at SFSU under Dr. Roger Bland, we did considerable work learning about cryogenics, including the design and development of a dilution refrigerator for cooling junctions to 1K. Particle detectors Education MA - Astronomy, Boston University - June 1996 BA - Physics, San Francisco State University- June 1984 AA - Art, West Valley JC - 1980

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