Sekazi Mtingwa et. al. awarded APS Prize

Sekazi Mtingwa and his colleagues Dr. James Bjorken and Dr. Anton Piwinski have been awarded the 2017 Robert R. Wilson Prize for Achievement in the Physics of Particle Accelerators by the American Physical Society (APS). The prize recognizes and encourages outstanding achievement in the physics of particle accelerators. It consists of $7,500 split between the recipients, a certificate, an allowance for travel, and a registration waiver to attend the presentation meeting.

Dr. Mtingwa is currently Principal Partner at Triangle Science, Education & Economic Development, LLC, providing a variety of consulting services in science, education, and economic development. He is the first African American to receive a top Divisional Research Prize from the APS.

Dr. Mtingwa is invited to give a talk at the APS April Meeting, held in Washington, DC, January 28-31, 2017. The talk is to address “the detailed, theoretical description of intrabeam scattering, which has empowered major discoveries in a broad range of disciplines by a wide variety of accelerators, including hadron colliders, damping rings/linear colliders and low emittance synchrotron light sources.”

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Terrence Blackman has been appointed as a Member at Large to the American Mathematical Society (AMS) Committee on Science Policy for a term of three years.

Founded in 1888, the AMS aims to further the interests of mathematical research, scholarship and education, serving the national and international community through publications, meetings, advocacy and other programs.

The Committee on Science Policy, one of five AMS policy committees, discusses and acts on questions of policy as it affects the discipline. Committee goals are to:

  1. Serve as a forum for dialogue about matters of science policy involving representatives of the AMS, government and quasi-government officials and other interested parties.
  2. Be responsible for the selection of those elements of AMS meeting programs, such as lectures and panel discussions, which bear directly on such policy questions as are within the purview of the Committee.
  3. Provide occasional advice to the Society on matters of broad scientific policy.
  4. As a committee, and individually upon request, to interact with Federal agencies and policymakers.
  5. Provide occasional advice about ways in which the Society can work favorably with other organizations on matters of science policy.
  6. Conduct periodic reviews and appraisals of Society activities in areas of science policy (i.e., policy forums; the Society’s relations with international societies and the international community; scientific policies promoted by the Society, and strategies used to implement them; and the ways in which the Society collaborates with other organizations on matters of science policy
  7. Prepare an annual report on the Committee’s activities and goals for the AMS Council and for possible publication in the Notices.

Dr. Blackman is currently Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Mathematics at Medgar Evers College CUNY. His AMS committee term is effective February 1, 2017 through January 31, 2020.

READ MORE on Blackman’s longtime engagement with the AMS.


 

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Sylvester Gates, Jr. directs the Summer Student Theoretical Physics Research Session (SSTPRS) at the University of Maryland. The annual program offers a summerlong experience for students interested in conducting scientific research.

The SSTPRS traces its beginnings back to 1999, when the idea came to S. James Gates Jr., a Distinguished University Professor and Regents Professor of Physics at UMD known for his pioneering work in supersymmetry and supergravity, areas closely related to string theory.

The goal of the program is not to teach students physics, but rather to allow students to explore areas of theoretical physics and publish refereed journal articles on their research findings. However, as Gates points out, becoming a published author is not guaranteed.

“We engage in real research, so it has all the uncertainty of real research,” said Gates.

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More than 600 attend event emphasizing commitment to “stand together against injustice, intolerance, and hatred.”

Peter Dizikes | MIT News Office
July 14, 2016

More than 600 members of the MIT community met on Wednesday in the Institute’s latest public discussion of diversity, tolerance, and inclusion — matters made all the more salient by the series of high-profile gun killings in the U.S. this month.

The event featured public remarks by a few MIT speakers, while devoting most of its time to private discussions among audience members. Randomly assigned to tables of 10, the participants engaged in extended conversations about values, sources of intolerance, and ways to help MIT sustain an inclusive community during a time of social tension.

The U.S. has been roiled most recently by two incidents in which black men were killed by police officers this month, followed by the killing of five police officers who were serving at a demonstration in Dallas.

“I urge us not to give in to the darkness, the darkness of doubt and fear,” said DiOnetta Jones Crayton, associate dean for undergraduate education and director of the Office of Minority Education.

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Letter from President Reif regarding recent violent tragedies in the United States

MIT News Office
July 10, 2016

The following email was sent to the MIT community by President L. Rafael Reif.

To the members of the MIT community,

Summer scatters us. As our country again suffers incomprehensible tragedy and violence — in Minnesota, Louisiana, Texas and more — I would like to draw us together, across oceans, borders and time zones, so we can mourn together and reflect on how we can respond.

What are we to do?

But I know I am not alone in believing that caring for each other is a fraction of what the moment requires. The terrible images on the news overwhelm us all with pain, fear, outrage and perhaps worst of all, a sense of helplessness. That these events are unfolding in such an overheated political season only magnifies the concern.

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Dr. Jacquelyn Taylor and her colleagues at Yale have written the following op-ed for The Huffington Post (12 July 2016) addressing the ongoing murders of black men by police.

The Power To Serve, The Imperative To Protect: A Letter To Police From Nurses

We know that police put themselves in harm’s way when they don the badge, and some have lain down their lives in the service of protecting society; there is no greater gift.  We saw this when police in Dallas ran toward the shooting and pushed protesters out of the path of gunfire.  As nurses, we see their courage and care when the escort the injured and sick into our emergency rooms.  Yet there is no denying that we are in the midst of a public health crisis that demands a response, including from nurses. Black men are being slain. In the first six months of 2016 alone, nearly 500 people, mostly men of color, have been fatally shot by police. The violence of the killings, now often caught on mobile video cams, shock human decency; they spawn reactive and brutal killings by people who feel hopeless and without recourse.

The public has rated nursing as the most trusted profession year after year, because the public knows that nurses care for the health of all people, regardless of sex, race, age, disease, or other characteristics. Nurses are ethical in their delivery of service, caring for people even when this may imperil our own lives, such as nurses who care for people with Ebola and other communicable diseases.  A public health nursing intervention focused on this epidemic would be for police to be trained to approach black men as nurses approach their patients – as people, not black or white people, young or old, rich or poor.  Most important, police must see black men not as people whom we need to protect ourselves from, but as people who need our care, our protection, our service.

We understand that the police profession involves danger, but as nurses, and nurses of color, we can no longer be silent witnesses to this epidemic. We call upon Congress and state legislatures to provide the funding for training so that all in the law enforcement profession can be equipped to protect and serve all the public equitably and fairly.  Police are in a privileged position of power, just as nurses are, at patients’ bedsides. As one group of professionals dedicated to serving to another, we urge police to use their power to promote equal protection and not more inequality.

Everol Ennis, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, MSN, Yale School of Nursing ‘09
Jacquelyn Taylor, Associate Professor of Nursing, Assistant Dean for Diversity, Yale School of Nursing
Ann Kurth, Dean, Yale School of Nursing
Mark Lazenby, Associate Professor of Nursing, Yale School of Nursing, and author of the forthcoming Caring Matters Most (Oxford University Press)

 

Ta-Nehisi Coates has scripted Marvel Comics’ Black Panther. Issue #3 of 11 was released on June 30, 2016, with illustrations by artist Brian Stelfreeze.

Black Panther follows an African king named T’Challa with superhuman strength and intellect, who presides over the fictional nation of Wakanda. Black Panther was first launched in 1966, just a few months before the Black Panther political party came on the scene (Coates himself is the son of Paul Coates, a former member of the Black Panther Party). But over the years, T’Challa has pretty much played second fiddle to the likes of Daredevil and Captain America. And his storylines often revolve around divided loyalties.

In Issue #3, the Midnight Angels continue the liberation of Wakanda with extreme prejudice, and T’Challa’s indecisions could cost him more than just the throne. The issue includes a few introductory words on writers Toni Morrison, Joel Dias-Porter, Eugene Redmond, and Henry Dumas. In a behind-the-scenes blog for The Atlantic, Coates writes about being stunned by Henry Dumas’ poem “Rootsong” for its use of “black myth to construct a narrative of the diaspora before and after colonialism and enslavement.”

READ COATES’ BEHIND-THE-SCENES IN THE ATLANTIC


Video preview of Black Panther Issue #3

 

Dr. Jacquelyn Taylor is lead author of a recent study published in npj Genomic Medicine, a Nature Publication journal, titled “Lead toxicity and genetics in Flint, MI.” Dr. Taylor and co-authors Michelle Wright and David Housman highlight the interaction of genetics and lead toxicity, specifically among children of African descent, in relation to the Flint, MI lead poisoning crisis. A call to immediate action, the article urges precision genetic-testing as a more effective approach than the current methods being used to assess lead levels in the children exposed to lead-contaminated drinking water in Flint, MI.

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In May 2016, npj Genomic Medicine published another article by the same authors titled “A perspective for sequencing familial hypercholesterolaemia in African Americans.” The paper recommends evaluating genetic variation within minority populations to identify factors that contribute to disparities in cardiovascular health.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates has scripted Marvel Comics’ Black Panther. Issue #2 of 11 was released on May 11, 2016, with illustrations by artist Brian Stelfreeze.

Black Panther follows an African king named T’Challa with superhuman strength and intellect, who presides over the fictional nation of Wakanda. Black Panther was first launched in 1966, just a few months before the Black Panther political party came on the scene (Coates himself is the son of Paul Coates, a former member of the Black Panther Party). But over the years, T’Challa has pretty much played second fiddle to the likes of Daredevil and Captain America. And his storylines often revolve around divided loyalties.

“This is the dude I wanted to read when I was ten,” says Coates on social media. “He didn’t exist (in his own stand-alone) and so we make do. My hope is some kid is reading this now (maybe one of my nieces or nephews) and feeling it, and seeing themselves.”

READ COATES’ BEHIND-THE-SCENES IN THE ATLANTIC

 

Sample pages from Black Panther, Issue #2

 

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Malika Jeffries-EL: Q&A

Malika Jeffries-EL looks to one of the most abundant elements to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems. Boston University’s BU Research recently spoke to Prof. Jeffries-EL about a life in chemistry, her favorite element, and seeing her work in lights.

Her love affair began at science camp. Like many young scientists before her, she fell hard, smitten by the elegance and beauty of the periodic table. “Back then, I was like, ‘Oh my God, there are all these different atoms!’” she recalls. “You can mix them together and make all these different molecules! I could be all day with this.”

Today, Prof. Jeffries-EL is looking for new materials that could fill a pressing need for cheaper, simpler, flexible semiconductors. As the world grows ever hungrier for laptops, iPhones, solar cells, and lights, the race for next-generation semiconductors is on. She is betting on organic polymers—long molecules comprised mostly of carbon.

 

BU Research: What is a polymer, anyway?

Jeffries-EL: A polymer is what we call a macromolecule, with molecules being some of the smallest things that make up, well, everything.

Wait. But no, that’s not true, is it?

Well, okay, yeah, if you want to talk physics, you can break things into particles. But if we go chemistry-style into the periodic table, we have our atoms; and if you can bind atoms together in various fashions, you can make molecules. So H2O is a molecule. It’s composed of three atoms: two hydrogens and one oxygen. A polymer is the type of molecule you get if you string a bunch of smaller molecules together. If you think about a pearl necklace, a pearl would be your molecule but the necklace would be your polymer.

So why do we care about polymers?

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Ta-Nehisi Coates delivered the keynote address at the University’s 149th Charter Day Convocation in Cramton Auditorium on Friday, March 4, 2016.

“There is no geographic quadrant, no place on the globe, nowhere in this world, that I’ve felt is more beautiful than Howard University,” Coates said.

In his remarks, Coates expressed deep appreciation to his predecessors, and encouraged today’s students to revel in the beauty and the empowering aspects of campus life.

“I knew that when I was here that I was not just experiencing a present beauty of an institution. I was experiencing the beauty of a heritage, going way, way back,” Coates said. “That put a pressure on me, a kind of responsibility. Beauty is not free.”

Coates majored in history and studied at Howard from 1993 to 1999. A national correspondent for The Atlantic, Coates published a memoir, The Beautiful Struggle, in 2008, and his New York Timesbest seller, Between the World and Me, in 2015. Coates is the recipient of the National Magazine Award and the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism. He received the George Polk Award for his Atlantic cover story, “The Case for Reparations.” In addition, Coates was presented the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation MacArthur Fellowship in 2015. Coates also received the highly acclaimed 2015 National Book Award for Between the World and Me.

This year’s Charter Day celebration marks the 149th anniversary of the charter enacted by the United States Congress and approved by President Andrew Johnson on March 2, 1867, that established Howard University.

VIEW GALLERY AND LISTEN TO FULL KEYNOTE