Friday, March 6, 2015

Dr. May-Britt Moser...

Image Source: Nobel Prize link below
Topics: Biology, Diversity in Science, Medicine, Nobel Prize, STEM, Women in Science

Born: 4 January 1963, Fosnavåg, Norway

Affiliation at the time of the award: Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway

Prize motivation: "for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain"

Field: physiology, spatial behavior

"May-Britt Moser - Facts". Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 3 Mar 2015.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Dr. Nadya Mason...

Mayer                                            Mason
Topics: Carbon Nanotubes, Diversity in Science, Nanotechnology, Women in Science

Dr. Nadya Mason

University of Illinois, repost: 2012 Maria Goeppert Mayer Prize recipient

"For innovative experiments that elucidate the electronic interactions and correlations in low-dimensional systems, in particular the use of local gates and tunnel probes to control and measure the electronic states in carbon nanotubes and graphene."
Additional note: The first photograph of a Maria Goeppert Mayor Prize recipient seems to be in 1996 with Dr. Majorie Ann Olmstead, most likely made a part of the site as society got comfortable with the Internet, advances in tools and what could be posted. The prize has been awarded by APS since 1986: "To recognize and enhance outstanding achievement by a woman physicist in the early years of her career, and to provide opportunities for her to present these achievements to others through public lectures in the spirit of Maria Goeppert Mayer." Dr. Mason seems to be - at first brush of the site - the first African American woman awarded this honor.

I attended her talk at the NSBP conference in Austin, Texas. Nobel Prize next, Dr. Mason!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Dr. Maria Goeppert Mayer....

Dr. Maria Goeppert Mayer, Nobel Laureate
Topics: Diversity, Nobel Prize, Nuclear Physics, Women in Science

Born: 28 June 1906, Kattowitz (now Katowice), Germany (now Poland)

Died: 20 February 1972, San Diego, CA, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: University of California, La Jolla, CA, USA

Prize motivation: "for their discoveries concerning nuclear shell structure"

Maria Goeppert Mayer was born on June 28, 1906, in Kattowitz, Upper Silesia, then Germany, the only child of Friedrich Goeppert and his wife Maria, nee Wolff. On her father's side, she is the seventh straight generation of university professors.

She went to private and public schools in Göttingen and had the great fortune to have very good teachers. It somehow was never discussed, but taken for granted by her parents as well as by herself that she would go to the University. Yet, at that time it was not trivially easy for a woman to do so. In Göttingen there was only a privately endowed school which prepared girls for the "abitur", the entrance examination for the university. This school closed its doors during the inflation, but the teachers continued to give instructions to the pupils. Maria Goeppert finally took the abitur examination in Hannover, in 1924, being examined by teachers she had never seen in her life.

Maria Goeppert Mayer - Facts". Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 3 Mar 2015.

Maria Goeppert Mayer Award

To recognize and enhance outstanding achievement by a woman physicist in the early years of her career, and to provide opportunities for her to present these achievements to others through public lectures in the spirit of Maria Goeppert Mayer. The award consists of $2,500 plus a $4,000 travel allowance to provide opportunities for the recipient to give lectures in her field of physics at four institutions and at the meeting of the Society at which the award is bestowed and a certificate citing the contributions made by the recipient. The award will be presented annually.

American Physical Society: Maria Goeppert Mayer Award

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Karen Torrejon...

Still from You Tube
Topics: Biology, Diversity in Science, Nanotechnology, Women in Science

Not sure where she is in the process, but hopefully she's close to completion if not already a PhD. There is no reason at all that there aren't more women in STEM fields except for bias and discouragement along their matriculation K-12 and post secondary. See last month's post: STEM and Other Biases. There are certain things we should discourage, as in our current obsession with living the lives of "reality TV stars," and encourage more of this. Otherwise, as I said in the post, we're shooting ourselves collectively in the foot, and wondering how the hole got there!

CNSE: College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering

Monday, March 2, 2015

Dr. Marie Curie...

Image Source: Nobel Prize - Biographical (link below)
Topics: Chemistry, Diversity in Science, Nobel Prize, STEM, Women in Science


Born Maria Sklodowska on November 7, 1867, in Warsaw, Poland, Marie Curie became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the only woman to win the award in two different fields (physics and chemistry). Curie's efforts, with her husband Pierre Curie, led to the discovery of polonium and radium and, after Pierre's death, the development of X-rays. She died on July 4, 1934.

Early Life

Maria Sklodowska, better known as Marie Curie, was born in Warsaw in modern-day Poland on November 7, 1867. Her parents were both teachers, and she was the youngest of five children. As a child Curie took after her father, Ladislas, a math and physics instructor. She had a bright and curious mind and excelled at school. But tragedy struck early, and when she was only 11, Curie lost her mother, Bronsitwa, to tuberculosis.

A top student in her secondary school, Curie could not attend the men-only University of Warsaw. She instead continued her education in Warsaw's "floating university," a set of underground, informal classes held in secret. Both Curie and her sister Bronya dreamed of going abroad to earn an official degree, but they lacked the financial resources to pay for more schooling. Undeterred, Curie worked out a deal with her sister. She would work to support Bronya while she was in school and Bronya would return the favor after she completed her studies. [1]

Marie Curie, née Sklodowska
"in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel"

Marie Curie, née Sklodowska
"in recognition of her services to the advancement of chemistry by the discovery of the elements radium and polonium, by the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and compounds of this remarkable element"

1. Marie Curie
2. American Institute of Physics: Marie Curie: Her Story in Brief
3. Marie Curie - Biographical

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Mary Graham...

Image Source: Link Below
Topics: Diversity, Diversity in Science, Nanotechnology, Women in Science

I believe her title these days is Dr. Mary Graham. If we want more women in STEM fields, this needs to be encouraged in the K-12 levels and post secondary, not when our collective backs are against the wall as a nation. A quote from "Capital in the 21st Century," Thomas Piketty:

"Over a long period of time, the main force in favor of greater equality has been the diffusion of knowledge and skills."

World News: SUNY NanoCollege welcomes record number of interns

CNSE: College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Point...

Brainy Quotes: Frederick Douglass, above and other quotes at Good Reads
Topics: #BlackLivesMatter, Denouement, Diversity, Diversity in Science, Women in Science

...or, women for that matter!

To the point: it is quite obvious by expectation, (some) low educator motivation that many of us are subtly "herded" into what was once challenged vocations - sports, for example - and away from science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Such puts one in the position to literally "lift themselves [by their own academic] bootstraps" out of poverty, into prosperity, self-worth, and yes: power. "Knowledge IS power," and thus you are not encouraged to take Advanced Placement classes - though anyone can request them - you're stressed out over ACT/SAT/Standardized ________ to graduate from high school. Dr. Lani Guinier's article should be a breath of fresh air and an eye-opener. Such hurdles can be prepared for, and overcome (links below).

Personal note: I have worked in the semiconductor industry since 1989. In 1974, my middle school science teacher - upon my asking him a question on linear expansion - called me a "dummy." My parents asked him to explain himself, which he did in sweaty apology in front of the principal to save his job. In 1979, my high school counselor was pretty adamant that I should "graduate early" and go into the military; that I did not have the academic preparation to major in engineering in college, as it seems she advised most of my African American classmates (only). I visited my high school in 1983 a college AFROTC junior and an alumni Air Force JROTC graduate. I had been a cadet colonel and Brigade Commander of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school district, a position in my high school freshman year in 1976, the BC then said: "your kind will never get to this rank!" (I was also personally threatened by the Klan via passed crude letter: first, for "getting to the rank," then with showing up for the citywide Brigade Review parade, my last function as cadet commander. This was of considerable concern as I wasn't too far in time or mileage from their infamous shootout in Greensboro.) Upon seeing her, I reminded my counselor of our conversation: that she suggested I graduate early; that I wasn't prepared to be an engineering student. I told her I was a in my junior year in Engineering Physics at North Carolina A&T State University, and that I was going to be a commissioned officer. She quickly found something else to do, and like the Neanderthal my freshman year, found herself quite wrong and at a loss for words. How many have been discouraged by words of ignorant and unqualified judges to jettison their dreams? Don't let ANYONE steal your dreams from you.

I have spoken hopefully, to the young and given them pride, a sense of history and accomplishment. I have hopefully spoken to their appreciation of diversity, as many have friends outside of their culture without the overt impediments of previous generations (we could all follow your example).

There is much more to do in astronautics, astrophysics, architectural and civil engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, industrial engineering energy independence, food consumption, medicine, ophthalmology, physics, robotics and nanotechnology. We need your minds; we need your brilliance, we need your energy: we need your confidence. Think of the barriers you've seen over the month surmounted during times when we couldn't even drink at a decent drinking fountain, or voting could get you killed. Look at the archives of previous February postings. Think of your own recent history: Trayvon Martin; Jordan Davis; Renisha McBride; Eric Garner; Michael Brown. Marching and now, posting to social media is a kind of activism that temporarily makes you feel good: the other is to tackle the books. As Richard Feynman and his fellow students did, quiz one other on your understanding of all your subjects, science and math definitely. "Outsourcing" should be a last resort in a global economy, and you don't want to make it easy to do so by not being prepared to compete.

Register to vote when you turn 18, vote in midterm and presidential elections and don't let anyone stand in the way of your well-fought for, blood-spilled for right of citizenship, or tell you "it's not worth it"; "it doesn't matter"; "the election is already decided." Active democracies should have elections decided by mere hundreds of votes in close elections; elected officials should not be cowed by 5:1 lobbyists with wheelbarrows of cash, or violent mobs with torches and pitchforks, but with voter registration cards constituents are willing to use to hold them accountable. It stops mattering when you allow the moneyed few to dictate the direction of the nation, and the dreams of the many: on a personal level, a lot "dreams deferred"* may sadly, (indefinitely) be yours and this nation's. Spend less time on social media and million player games and master science, technology, engineering, mathematics and above all: critical thinking to question those in authority. You can do it! This country needs you: the WORLD needs straighten your backs, and step out into the light.

Ending the month how we began it:

"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent."

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr - and, a seldom-quoted riff (embed) below...

*What happens to a dream differed?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?
Or, fester like a sore, and then run?
Does it stink like rotted meat,
Or crust and sugar over like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load...

...or does it explode? Langston Hughes

Don't explode: ascend, and give light to your dreams!

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