2011 Department News
November 30, 2011
Alexandra Terrana, Honours Mathematics & Physics, was awarded the Chancellor's Gold Medal at the Fall Convocation. The Chancellor's Gold Medal is awarded to an undergraduate student in his or her final year of study who ranks highest in scholarship, leadership and influence.
October 25, 2011
The Department of Physics & Astronomy sent ten undergrad students who did summer research projects at McMaster to the Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference 2011 held at Saskatoon this year with three students receiving awards for their presentations:
2nd place talk - condensed matter and materials physics
category: Paul Fowler (supervisor Dalnoki-Veress)
2nd place talk - theoretical and mathematical physics / particle
physics category: Samantha Benincasa (supervisor Wadsley)
Top overall poster: Casey Marjerisson (supervisor Gaulin)
October 24, 2011
Rob Cockcroft has received the 2011 Dean's Award for Excellence in Communicating Graduate Research. This award recognizes, among other things, Rob's outstanding contribution in managing the McCallion Planetarium, and in designing and presenting many planetarium shows to the public, and to high school classes.
June 3, 2011
At the annual meeting of the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA), our department graduate students had an excellent showing winning three of the four student presentation awards. The CASCA board awarded Best Talk to Tara Parkin, "The unusual environment of Centaurus A as seen by Herschel" and Best Poster to Rachel Ward "Connecting the Dots: Comparing Simulations and Synthetic Observations of Star-forming Clumps in Molecular Clouds". Awarded by the grad students the Best Poster winner was Blair Cardigan Smith, "Comparing the Dark Matter Haloes of Isolated and Group Galaxies".
Congratulations to all.
June 2, 2011
Alison Sillsof the Department of Physics & Astronomy, presented research at the Canadian Astronomical Society Conference (CASCA) that sheds new light on stellar evolutionary models for globular clusters.
April 21, 2011
Caroline Burgess, Outreach coordinator for the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has been chosen to receive aPresident's Award for Outstanding Servicein 2010. This is the highest award that McMaster has for our non-teaching staff.
April 15, 2011
Physics and Astronomy ProfessorBruce Gaulinhas been awarded theCAP/DCMMP Brockhouse Medalby theCanadian Association of Physicists. The medal, named after Nobel prize recipientBertram N. Brockhouse, recognizes outstanding experimental or theoretical contributions to condensed matter and materials physics. Bruce was cited "for his internationally recognized contributions to the field of collective phenomena in magnetic, superconducting and structural systems using X-ray and neutron scattering techniques."
January 29, 2011
A one day Symposium, "Berlinsky Condensed" on May 6, 2011, at McMaster University, will celebrate the 65th birthday and career of John Berlinsky. John has been a distinguished contributor to theoretical condensed matter physics for more than 35 years. He served 10 years as Director of the Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research at McMaster, 5 years as the Chair of Physics and Astronomy at McMaster, and is currently Director of Perimeter Scholars International (PSI) at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics . The Symposium features an outstanding program. Attendance is free and open to all, but we ask you toregister(PDF) by April 15, 2011 so that we can appropriately plan the event.
January 26, 2011
Allison MacDonald, a fourth year Honours Physics Coop student, has been selected as one of only five Canadian students to receive special funding from the Institute for Particle Physics to spend part of Summer 2011 at CERN. Allison will be able to take full advantage of this opportunity as she has also been awarded an NSERC USRA from Simon Fraser University to work under the supervision of Professor Dugan O'Neal, a researcher on the ATLAS project at CERN. Allison will participate in the renowned CERN Summer Student Lecture Program as well as active research.
More details about the program can be found at
January 4, 2011
Physics and Astronomy ProfessorAn-Chang Shihas been elected a Fellow of theAmerican Physical Societyfor "outstanding contributions to the theoretical study of phases and phase transitions of block copolymers." APS Fellowships are awarded after an extensive review and reflect the respect of one's professional peers. Congratulations to An-Chang on his election.