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I work with undergraduate research assistants to better understand magnetization dynamics in ferromagnetic nanostructures. In the never ending quest to store more information, to read and write data more rapidly, and to reduce power consumption ferromagnetic nanowire devices have the potential to be a transformative technology. An understanding of the magnetization dynamics is necessary for developing techniques to quickly and reliably move information. I recently had an NSF grant renewed to continue this work through 2016 and I will be hiring at least two undergraduate physics majors each summer to participate.
Here in the Physics department at Marquette University my students and I have been developing models necessary for understanding the high speed dynamics of magnetic nanowires and developing techniques to demonstrate the control of information flow. This work has been supported by two grants from the National Science Foundation and one from Research Corporation, and roughly a dozen undergraduate physics majors have participated in aspects of this research over the last eight years. Many of these students have become co-authors on refereed publications and have traveled to national and local conferences to present their work. Specific information about our active program of research can be found at the following link.
For the last several years I have been teaching our PHYS 1013/1014 Introductory sequence which is taught studio style and is designed for students who have an interest in exploring physics as a career. The course is in part activity based, so it is a lot of fun and engages students to help to develop a strong conceptual understanding and good problem solving skills.
I also teach upper division courses, most recently a senior level course in Solid State Physics and sophomore level courses in Modern Physics with an emphasis on computational methods. This includes learning how to program in Matlab and demonstrating that ability in using Monte Carlo methods to visualize common statistical problems such as a Random Walk and the Ising Model.
Outside of the classroom and lab I am a faculty advisor to many physics majors. In 2013 I received the "Excellence In Faculty Advising Award" from the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences. I am the faculty advisor to both our our student groups: The Society of Physics Students and The Women in Physics. Both groups are actively involved in bringing speakers to campus, in participating in outreach events with local students, and in having fun. They have brought in several awards to build demonstration equipment, to participate in rocket competitions and for being an outstanding chapter.
I also have four young daughters and a crazy dog. I enjoy getting outside to play, bike and run. There is rarely a dull moment in my day!
Modern Physics with Math and Computational Methods
Sabbatical Fall 2013