News

4/3/2020
An outdoors photo of Yuke Wang.

By Whitney Hale

The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that sophomore  Yuke Wang has received a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. The UK College of Arts & Sciences student is among 396 students nationwide selected to receive the 2020-21 Goldwater Scholarship.

This year's Goldwater Scholars were selected based on academic merit from a field of 1,343 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of 461 of the nation's colleges and universities.

Wang, who calls Lexington home, is pursuing majors in physics and mathematics in the 

3/30/2020

By Ryan Girves

Before the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 50 outstanding University of Kentucky undergraduate research students learned they were selected to present their faculty-mentored research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. The event was canceled, but UK's Office of Undergraduate Research is noting the achievement. Among them are more than a dozen students in the College of Arts & Sciences. 

The student conference, which would have been held this past weekend at Montana State University, is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity in all fields of study. It provides models of exemplary research and scholarship and strives to improve the state of undergraduate

3/25/2020
This Living Learning Program gives freshmen a mentored head start on the way to majoring in the sciences and mathematics

By Richard LeComte

Started in 2015, the STEMCats Living Learning Program has helped students majoring within the many and varied areas of the sciences or mathematics find their way to success at UK. And STEMCats peer mentors are a big part of that effort. 

“I have a group chat with my mentees about how things are going,” said Keanu Exum, a STEMCats peer mentor majoring in biology and neuroscience. “I want to make myself known to my mentees — that I am a resource for them.” 

Getting students situated in STEMCats is having a positive effect on the academic careers of the participants, says a study conducted by Carol D. Hanley of International Programs in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. STEMCats is a program

3/25/2020
By Julie Wrinn

Robert Stokes (Physics BS '64) came of age in the 1960s as part of a generation of American astrophysicists who were energized by the Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite. He grew up in Ravenna, Kentucky, a tiny city in Estill County built up by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad in 1915.  

His father, a dispatcher for the railroad, passed away when Stokes was 16. Although his parents did not have much formal education, they had always hoped he would be able to go to college, and thanks to his mother’s dedication and a lot of help and encouragement from the close-knit community, Stokes managed to stay on track for college. 

“I had a lot of people who really cared about me,” Stokes said. “I had ‘extra’ parents, scoutmasters, and teachers who had an enormously positive impact on my life. During my junior and senior years in high school, I used to get

12/9/2019

By Ryan Girves

The University of Kentucky Office of Undergraduate Research recently recognized and awarded 19 students with the Oswald Research and Creativity awards. 

The Oswald Research and Creativity Competition was established in 1964 by then President John Oswald as part of the university’s Centennial Celebration. The program is intended to promote creativity in all fields of study and provides annual awards in seven categories. The competition accepts reports, of all forms of creativity, and scholarship by undergraduate students.

Categories include Biological Sciences; Design, including architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design; Fine Arts, including

11/8/2019

By Madison Dyment

After many years working at an institution, many faculty members come to feel like family. Having worked at the University of Kentucky for 30 years, one such family member, Michael Cavagnero of the Physics and Astronomy Department, has retired from UK to accept a position as Dean of the Division of Science and Technology at the City University of New York's Staten Island College.

Cavagnero began studying physics at the University of Connecticut, continuing this course of study at the University of Chicago graduate school. His interest largely lies in the physics of atoms and their interactions with one another and light. This interest began his junior year of undergrad.

“I read a book called ‘Basic Physics of Atoms and Molecules’ by authors U. Fano and L. Fano that was first published in the year I was born,

7/19/2019

By Jenny Wells

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 19, 2019) — Saturday, July 20, 2019, will mark 50 years since human beings first landed and walked on the surface of the moon. Nearly 650 million people around the world watched as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped down from the lunar module and left their footprints on the lunar surface. It was described by "CBS Evening News" anchor Walter Cronkite as "the greatest adventure" in man’s history, and remains one of humankind’s greatest symbols of achievement.

As the United States and the world reflect on this historic moment, the University of Kentucky is remembering its own people who played important roles in making it happen. From working on the Saturn V rocket, to designing the parachutes that deployed when the astronauts returned, to analyzing the

7/10/2019

By  Madelyn Chambers and Jenny Wells-Hosley

Tomorrow evening, the MacAdam Student Observatory at the University of Kentucky will celebrate the 50 year anniversary of America visiting the moon.

Tim Knauer, director of the observatory, will give a presentation as part of the Kentucky SkyTalks program at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 11, in Room 121 Jacobs Science Building. Afterward, attendees will have an opportunity to observe the moon through a powerful 20-inch telescope at the observatory across the street atop the Rose Street parking garage. The event is free and open to the public. Please note, the upper deck of the garage is under repair. Access instructions will be posted on Thursday afternoon at https://pa.as.uky.edu/skytalk.

5/31/2019

By Lori Adams

The University of Kentucky has released its Dean's List for the spring 2019 semester. A total of 6,562 students were recognized for their outstanding academic performance. 

To make a Dean’s List in one of the UK colleges, a student must earn a grade-point average of 3.6 or higher and must have earned 12 credits or more in that semester, excluding credits earned in pass-fail classes. Some UK colleges require a 3.5 GPA to make the Dean’s List.

The full Dean's List can be accessed by visiting: www.uky.edu/PR/News/DeansList/.

5/7/2019

By Whitney Hale

Tom Shelton, of Oregonia, Ohio, is a junior majoring in physics and mathematics.

The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that juniors Angela Jones and Tom Shelton and senior Eura Shin have been awarded Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships. The three UK students are among 496 students nationwide selected to receive the 2019 Goldwater Scholarship.

This year's Goldwater Scholars were selected based on academic merit from a field of 1,223 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of 443 of the nation's colleges and universities.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was

5/2/2019

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

The 2019-20 University Research Professors. Photo by Ben Corwin, Research Communications.

This week, the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees approved 16 University Research Professorships for the 2019-20 academic year.

The purpose of the University Research Professorship program is to recognize and publicize research accomplishments of scholars across the full range of disciplines at UK. The award amount is $10,000 for one year, to be used to further the research, scholarship and creative endeavors of the awardee.  

“It is truly gratifying to recognize these distinguished experts who have made significant contributions in so many different fields of research at the University of Kentucky,” said Lisa Cassis, UK’s vice president for research. “The University Research

4/3/2019

A team of researchers from the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Physics and Astronomy has made a discovery that has changed the "elementary textbook" description of protons.

Professors Keh-Fei Liu and Terrence Draper, along with postdoctoral scholar Jian Liang, are co-authors of a study titled "Proton Mass Decomposition from the QCD Energy Momentum Tensor" that was published this past fall in Physical Review Letters. Since then, the study has gained national attention in the world of physics, as its results have opened doors for more calculations and theoretical understanding.

The team recently explained to UKNow exactly what they learned and what it means for their scientific community.

Protons are made up of quarks, but according to your study, there's more to it than

3/28/2019

By Carol Lea Spence

The University of Kentucky is hosting the third annual Expanding Your Horizons Conference for middle school girls and their parents or guardians from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT Saturday, April 20. This day of hands-on workshops will inform young Kentucky girls and their parents about exciting career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Women continue to be underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, and they hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering, according to a study from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Many higher education institutions like UK struggle against the problem of poor retention of female undergraduates in a lot of science, engineering and math majors,” said Ellen Crocker, assistant professor in

2/28/2019

By Jenny Wells

The University of Kentucky Chemistry-Physics Building is getting a much-needed transformation.

The central campus staple is currently undergoing a two-phase construction project that will result in a renovation of the third floor, as well as a completely new exterior façade of the building, including a three-story entrance/atrium.

The first phase of the transformation — the third floor renovation — is already underway, and will produce 15 research labs, plus support spaces, equipment spaces and offices. The second phase will bring a new exterior façade, which will include a replacement of the building exterior and roof; construction of a new stair tower, a freight elevator, a new loading dock and entrance additions; and mechanical upgrades in the penthouse.

"When the renovation is complete, this building will be a more pleasant, open

2/21/2019

By Ryan Girves

Eighteen University of Kentucky students are making their way to the State Capitol Building in Frankfort, Kentucky, to present their research at the 2019 Posters-at-the-Capitol event. This one-day annual event is held to show Kentucky legislators the importance of undergraduate research and scholarly work in Kentucky. The governor proclaims this day to be Undergraduate Research Day across the Commonwealth.

"Posters-at-the-Capitol is a platform whereby undergraduates from across the Commonwealth’s eight public institutions proudly showcase their undergraduate research projects," said Evie Russell, assistant director at the Office of Undergraduate Research. "Each year, University of Kentucky students look forward to communicating their research achievements to Kentucky Legislators and their peers."

The work presented by students

2/5/2019

By Ellie Wnek

(L to r) SPS students Kris Andrew, Joseph Feliciano, Alston Croley, Lillie Cole, Dany Waller, Tom Shelton and Alex Blose.

The University of Kentucky Society of Physics Students (SPS) chapter has won an Outstanding Chapter Award and a Chapter Research Award from the SPS National Office. The Chapter Research Award is a competitive financial grant for a yearlong research project.

With the Outstanding Chapter Award, SPS chapters are recognized for high levels of interaction with the campus community, the professional physics community, the public and with SPS national programs. The outstanding chapter designation is given to less than 10 percent of all SPS chapters in the United States and internationally. Although this is the second time the UK chapter has received this

1/9/2019

By Jenny Wells and Jordan Raddick

A Hertzsprung-Russell diagram of all stars currently in the MaNGA Stellar Library, showing temperature and brightness (luminosity) of stars, along with information on their chemical makeup. Photo courtesy of SDSS collaboration.

Want to learn everything there is to know about a subject? Go to the library. Want to learn everything there is to know about stars? Go to the stellar library.

Renbin Yan, an associate professor of physics and astronomy in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, along with a team of astronomers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), announced today the opening of a new “stellar library” containing spectra of thousands of stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Having access to this library will help

12/21/2018

By Jenny Wells and Sara Shoemaker

Courtesy of Andy Sproles/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy.

Christopher Crawford, an associate professor of physics and astronomy in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, along with many of his current and former students, are contributing co-authors on a groundbreaking experiment that was recently featured as the Editor’s Choice in Physical Review Letters, the American Physical Society's scientific journal.

In an experiment carried out at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, experimental physicists were able for the first time to measure the weak interaction between protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom. The project culminates decades of work

12/4/2018

By Jenny Wells and Alicia Gregory

(Left to right): Marios Chatzikos, an assistant research professor in the UK Department of Physics and Astronomy; Maryam Dehghanian, a graduate student in the department; Gary Ferland; and Francisco Guzman, a postdoctoral scholar in the department.

With continuous funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA since 1981, Gary Ferland has developed a special computer code to study how light from distant celestial bodies is produced.

"In astronomy, we (have to be) very clever in figuring out ways to analyze the messages that the stars send us, and the light we receive is difficult to interpret; it's not produced in a simple way," said Ferland, who is a professor in the UK College of Arts and Sciences'

11/29/2018

 

Organizers of Expanding Your Horizons are looking for University of Kentucky students who are interested in being workshop leaders for the 2019 conference. Expanding Your Horizons is a one-day conference on April 20 for middle school girls from across Kentucky. The purpose is to expose them to the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics by taking part in hands-on science workshops.

Women make up only 24 percent of the STEM workforce, and women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees.

“Many times, girls lack role models in those fields, so they may not realize the variety of career options and opportunities that exist for women,” said Ellen Crocker, a conference organizer and postdoctoral scholar in the UK Department of Forestry and Natural Resources.

Expanding Your Horizons

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