ETSI: In India

I am in India to teach physics to Tibetan Buddhist Monks and Nuns through the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative (ETSI).  This is my 4th summer teaching in this program, and I will be returning to Drepung Loseling Monastic Institute, located in the south of India (in Karnataka).  This year I will be teaching the 3rd year curriculum to the monks, which covers matter, heat/thermodynamics, and waves.  I taught the same material last year.  After teaching the monks, I will be covering the 2nd year material (Mechanics) with the nuns.

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Published: Targeted alpha therapy with 212Pb or 225Ac: Change in RBE from daughter migration

This paper is a follow-up to the Thernostics paper and will appear in the Special Issue of EJMP for the MCMA conference that I attended in the fall.

Targeted alpha therapy with 212Pb or 225Ac: Change in RBE from daughter migration
Nicole L. Ackerman, Liset de la Fuente Rosales, Nadia Falzone, Katherine A. Vallis, Mario A. Bernal

Physica Medica (EJMP) 2018


Advanced Lab (PHY311) in Spring 2019

This coming spring (2019), the “Advanced Lab” course will be offered.  This will be the second time I have taught the course, the last time being 2015.  This course stresses professional experimental skills, such as:

  • Maintaining a lab notebook
  • Rigorous error propagation and uncertainty analysis
  • Non-linear fitting with Minuit (via a Python interface)
  • Utilization of equipment documentation and independently performing lab with minimal supervision/guidance
  • Creating lab reports in the style of publications using LaTeX
  • Peer review publication
  • Reading primary literature
  • Designing experimental investigations

Labs include nuclear spectroscopy, superconductivity, measuring the universal gravitation constant, microwave scattering, measuring the index of refraction of air, and others!  I hope to have a new experiment involving cosmic ray muons available this year.  Students choose the majority of the labs they do, and design their final lab.

This is one of our “Advanced” courses (along with PHY361 and PHY371) that require Modern Physics (PHY210) as a pre-requisite.

ASC Observatory Tour for Tenzin Gyatso Scholars

On Sunday, March 25th, we invited the Tenzin Gyatso scholars to have dinner at Prof. Lovell’s house and then tour our campus Observatory.  The Tenzin Gyatso scholars are monastics in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition who study science at Emory for two years.  The current cohort includes 4 monks and 2 nuns, many of whom I first got to know in India.   While the faculty types provided dinner (largely South Indian food!), the monks helped make Chai at the end of the dinner.  After dinner, everyone saw the historic Beck telescope – though the sky was cloudy so we didn’t get to see any stars through it.  Prof. Lovell then treated us all to a great planetarium show.

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A Teaching Haiku

Agnes Scott College just hosted Cathy N. Davidson for our Founder’s Day Event. There was a workshop for faculty afterward, where she asked us to introduce ourselves with a Haiku that captured our teaching pedagogy. While we were encouraged to share it on Twitter with #AgnesScott #NewEducation, I’m not on Twitter. I want to post – and discuss it – here:

Most physics is hard
The real world is challenging
Team work in Quantum

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My Recommendation Letter Guidelines/Policies

Many students ask me for recommendation letters and I take the responsibility very seriously.  A recommendation letter should showcase a student’s strengths and convince the selection committee that this student will be excellent for the summer program, scholarship, or graduate program.  In order for my letters to do this, I’ve established a few policies to ensure that I have the information and time required to have each letter be as strong as possible.

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