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New Kind of Optical Fiber Developed
01 March 2011A team of scientists led by John Badding, a professor of chemistry at Penn State University, has developed the very first optical fiber made with a core of zinc selenide -- a light-yellow compound that can be used as a semiconductor. The new class of optical fiber, which allows for a more effective and liberal manipulation of light, promises to open the door to more versatile laser-radar technology.
Penn State Astronomy Student's Background in Music Helps him Appreciate the Beauty of Space
25 February 2011When Emmanuel Fonseca first told his mother he wanted to be a cosmologist, she asked, "Why would you want to do people's nails?" Now his family shares his excitement about how cosmological research will impact the world. They ask him about black holes and tease him with the question, "When are you going to take us to the moon?"
Mimicking Photosynthesis May Hold Key to Cheap Hydrogen for Fuel
19 February 2011The production of inexpensive hydrogen for automotive or jet fuel may be possible by mimicking photosynthesis, according to Penn State materials chemist Thomas Mallouk, but a number of problems need to be solved first.
Multiple Approaches Necessary to Tackle World's Food Problems
18 February 2011Researchers need to use all available resources in an integrated approach to put agriculture on a path to solve the world's food problems while reducing pollution, according to Penn State biologist Nina Fedoroff. Changes in national and international regulations will be necessary to achieve this goal.
Dean Wartik Remembers his Early Days at Penn State
17 February 201117 February 2011 -- Thomas Wartik, dean emeritus of the Penn State Eberly College of Science and professor emeritus of chemistry, arrived at Penn State University over 60 years ago. In this interview, he reminisces about Penn State's campus and the city of State College during the early days of his career. Wartik was Dean of the College of Science from 1971 to 1987. He retired in 1987 and continues to live in State College with his wife Louise.
Penn State Students Blow Bubbles in the Milky Way
15 February 2011Our galaxy literally is bursting with newly forming stars, too many for astronomers to count. So they're enlisting outside help: you. Now non-astronomers can go online and log onto the Milky Way Project [www.milkywayproject.org], a website designed for the public with the help of Matthew Povich, a postdoctoral fellow at Penn State University, and the students in his Fall 2010 Astronomical Universe course.
Stephen Benkovic Awarded the 2011 National Academy of Sciences Award in Chemical Sciences
25 January 2011Stephen J. Benkovic, an Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry and Holder of the Eberly Family Chair in Chemistry at Penn State, has been awarded the 2011 National Academy of Sciences Award in Chemical Sciences. He was chosen to receive the award for his groundbreaking contributions to understanding catalysis and complex biological machines -- the purinosome and DNA polymerases -- and for demonstrating the power of chemistry to solve biological problems. Supported by the Merck Company Foundation with a monetary prize, the award honors innovative research in the chemical sciences that contributes to a better understanding of the natural sciences and to the benefit of humanity.
Daniel Matasic Named CEIA 2010 Co-op Student of the Year
24 January 2011Daniel Matasic, of West Chester, Pennsylvania, has been selected as the recipient of the 2010 Cooperative Education and Internship Association (CEIA) Co-op Student of the Year award. This national award recognizes students’ academic achievements and contributions to their co-op employers, the University, the community, and the field of cooperative education. The CEIA will present this award to Dan at their national conference in San Antonio, Texas in April 2011.
Wen Ching Li Awarded the 2010 Chern Prize in Mathematics
20 January 2011Wen Ching (Winnie) Li, a professor of mathematics at Penn State University, has been awarded the 2010 Chern Prize in Mathematics by the International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians for her outstanding contributions to the field. Established in 2001 in honor of Professor Shing-Shen Chern, one of the greatest geometers and Chinese mathematicians of the twentieth century, the Chern Prize in Mathematics is presented every three years to mathematicians of Chinese descent who have made exceptional contributions to mathematical research or to public service activities in support of mathematics.
Largest Color Image of the Sky Ever Made is Released by Team that Includes Penn State Astronomers
12 January 2011The largest digital color image of the sky ever made is being released this week by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-III (SDSS-III). The image has been put together over the past decade from millions of 2.8-megapixel images captured by the telescopes of the SDSS collaboration, creating a color image of more than a trillion pixels that is the most comprehensive view of the night sky ever made. This terapixel image, which is freely available to everyone, is so big and detailed that 500,000 high-definition TVs would be needed to view it at its full resolution.
"The Quantum Monte Carlo Symposium" Held in James Anderson's Honor
12 January 201112 January 2011 -- James Anderson, Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry and Physics at Penn State University, has been honored with an international conference -- The Quantum Monte Carlo Symposium -- in recognition of his many contributions to the fields of chemistry and physics. The symposium is part of Pacifichem 2010 -- a series of conferences organized by the International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies. The series was held in Honolulu, Hawaii, in December 2010.
Six College of Science Faculty Members Named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
10 January 2011Six faculty members from Penn State's Eberly College of Science have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The Fellows are Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology J. Martin Bollinger, Jr., Ernest C. Pollard Professor of Biotechnology and Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Donald A. Bryant, Evan Pugh Professor of Life Sciences and the Verne M. Willaman Chair in Life Sciences Nina Fedoroff, Distinguished Professor of Biology Hong Ma, Professor of Statistics James L. Rosenberger, and Evan Pugh Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics Alexander Wolszczan.
"Epidemic: Infectious Disease on a Changing Planet" is Focus of 2011 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science
07 January 2011"Epidemic: Infectious Disease on a Changing Planet" is the theme of the 2011 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science, which begins on 22 February 2011. This series of six public lectures on consecutive Saturday mornings is designed as a free minicourse for the general public. The lectures take place from 11:00 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m. in 100 Thomas Building on the Penn State University Park campus. No registration is required.
At South Pole, World's Most Extreme Scientific Construction Project
05 January 2011IceCube, the world's largest observatory ever built to detect the elusive sub-atomic particles called neutrinos, has just been completed in the crystal clear ice at the South Pole. Trillions of neutrinos stream through the human body at any given moment, but they rarely interact with regular matter, and researchers want to know more about them. The observatory provides an innovative means to investigate the sources and properties of neutrinos, which originate in some of the most spectacular phenomena in the universe.
C.R. Rao Receives the Royal Statistical Society's Guy Medal Award in Gold
05 January 2011Penn State's C.R. Rao, Emeritus Holder of the Eberly Family Chair in Statistics and one of the world's top statisticians, has been honored with the Royal Statistical Society's Guy Medal Award in Gold for his fundamental and innovative contributions to statistical theory and methodology. The Medal, which will be awarded at a ceremony on 29 June 2011, is the highest award given to a statistician by the United Kingdom.
Undergraduate Researcher Watches Baby Galaxies Grow Up
03 January 2011The Milky Way Galaxy's majestic spiral spans 100,000 light years and holds about 300 billion stars. But it hasn't always looked this way. According to one theory, the galaxy we call home had humble beginnings, forming from the collisions of hundreds of "baby" galaxies, each little more than a lump of gas.
Ashtekar Receives Honorary Doctorate from France
17 December 2010Penn State University Professor of Physics Abhay Ashtekar, Holder of the Eberly Family Chair in Physics and director of the Penn State Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos, has received an honorary doctoral degree from the Universite Mediterranee in Aix-Marseille, France. The presentation took place on 18 November 2010.
88-Year-Old Clarence Kasales Receives B.S. Degree
14 December 2010Clarence J. Kasales, a retired physician who attended Penn State University's School of Chemistry and Physics from 1940 to 1942, will be awarded a Premedicine B.S. degree at the fall commencement ceremony on 18 December 2010 at the Bryce Jordan Center. Kasales is one of many students who left Penn State during World War II, when it was possible to enter medical school without an undergraduate degree. Many of these individuals, including Kasales, went on to receive M.D. degrees and had rewarding careers in the medical profession.
Penn State Joins Major Astronomical Survey
14 December 2010Penn State University has become a participant in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-III (SDSS-III), a six-year project that will expand our knowledge in fields ranging from the planets outside our solar system to the large-scale structure and evolution of the universe. "The SDSS-III is investigating some of the currently most compelling scientific questions," said Lawrence Ramsey, head of Penn State's Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. "This is a great opportunity for Penn State faculty and students."
New Research Sheds Light on How Contagious Diseases Spread through Communities
13 December 2010Any parent knows that colds spread like wildfire, especially through schools. New research using human-networking theory may give a clearer picture of just how, exactly, infectious diseases such as the common cold, influenza, whooping cough, and SARS can spread through a closed group of people, and even through populations at large. With the help of 788 volunteers at a high school, Marcel Salathé, a faculty member in the Department of Biology at Penn State University, developed a new technique to count the number of possible disease-spreading events that occur in a typical day.

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