e-news october 2017 

The leaders for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) have been awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics for the first detection of gravitational waves. The detection confirmed a major prediction of Albert Einstein's 1915 theory of general relativity and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos. LSU faculty, students and research staff are major contributors to the international LIGO Scientific Collaboration, or LSC. Gabriela González, LSU professor of physics and astronomy, is the former elected spokesperson, who led the LSC during the initial detection. Together with other leaders and founders of the LIGO effort, González made the official statements about the historic detection on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., before gathered national science press.   > More  

More LIGO News:

LSU, ExxonMobil Host Family Math and Science Night at Knock Knock Children's Museum

An LSU Geaux Teach student helps a museum visitor document his "catch" at the Knock Knock museum.

Geaux Teach students helping pass out activity booklets and snacks to students visiting the Knock Knock museum.

More than 300 elementary school students, their families and teachers enjoyed a night of science and math fun at the Knock Knock Children's Museum in celebration of UTEACH's commitment to advancing math and science education in Louisiana. The GeauxTeach Math and Science Program at LSU and ExxonMobil teamed with the museum to host Family Math and Science Night, which included a museum scavenger hunt, prizes and other fun and educational activities to expose students to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) concepts using the power of play.  > More

ChemDemo Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Chill out! Chemistry major Cason Szot shows what happens when a balloon filled with air meets liquid nitrogen.   

The LSU Department of Chemistry celebrated ChemDemo's 20th anniversary with an afternoon of science demonstrations, jambalaya and ice cream (made using liquid nitrogen, of course).   LSU professor George Stanley and Pat Limbach launched ChemDemo in 1997. As part of the program, the duo  began sending LSU students into local schools to teach a thematic set of scientific concepts by using exciting hands-on demonstrations.  Today, more than 15,000 LSU undergraduates have  taught in over 7,000 classrooms impacting over 182,000 K through 12 students.    > More

CxC Launches 'LSU Experimental' Podcast Series
Vince LiCata, Louis S. Flowers Professor in Biological Sciences, kicked off the first episode of LSU Experimental, a postcast series that shares the research and behind-the-scenes stories of LSU faculty and student researchers. During the podcast's October 19 debut, LiCata providing some insight into pursuing a career in biological sciences and his research, which focuses on DNA polymerases from Thermus aquaticus, an enzyme that works near the boiling point of water. 

Read more exciting posts on The Pursuit blog at lsuscienceblog.com.

Upcoming Events:
  • LSU School of Veterinary Medicine Fall Seminar featuring Dr. Enid Neptune, Thursday, October 26, 12 p.m.
  • Super Science Saturday, October 28, 10 a.m., Pete Maravich Assembly Center  > More
  • Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices (CAMD) Open House, October 28, 10 a.m.  More
  • Geaux Pre-Law Week, October 30 through November 3  > More
  • Scientific Articles as Arguments, Wednesday, November 8, 3:30 p.m., Center for Computation and Technology Digital Media Center  > More
  • Museum of Natural Science Special Saturdays 2017-2018  > More
  • Office of Research & Strategic Initiatives Undergraduate Research Conference, Friday, November 17th (Abstracts due: October 25)  > More
  • Going to AGU 2017 or another scientific conference?! Be an official conference microblogger for the College of Science! Click here for more info!


Chris Austin
Prosanta Chakrabarty
Jake Esselstyn
Brant Fairclot h
Paige Jarreau Gestur Olafsso
  • Chris Austin, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and Museum of Natural Science curator of amphibians and reptiles, and Jake Esselstyn, assistant professor in biological sciences and Museum of Natural Science curator of mammals, are principal investigators on a $2.5 million National Science Foundation grant to launch oVert, a new initiative to "teleport" museum specimens from their shelves to the Internet by way of CT scanning technology. Through the oVert project, 20,000 vertebrates will be scanned making the data-rich, 3-D images available to researchers, educators, students and the public. The University of Florida is the lead institution on the grant, which includes the LSU Museum of Natural Science and 15 other research institutions > More
  • An article produced by LSU researchers including Prosanta Chakrabarty, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and curator of fishes for the LSU Museum of Natural Science, and Brant Faircloth, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences,  has made the cover of 
    Systematic Biology. Their work explores  the relationships of the major branches of freshwater fishes. The cover art was created by graduate student Subir Shakya.  See the cover and read the article here.
  • Paige Jarreau, communications specialist in the College of Science, with support from the Rita Allen Foundation, was selected to attend the Science of Science Communication III (SSCIII) conference, Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC. Jarreau landed this opportunity through her work with the Scientists Who Selfie, a  crowd-funded project she created with Becky Carmichael, coordinator for LSU's Communication across the Curriculum (CxC) program and researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, University of Toronto, University of Delaware, 
    California Polytechnic State University.
  • Gestur Olafsson, Julian R. & Sidney Nicolle Carruth Endowed Alumni Professor in Mathematics, has been appointed to a two-year term to the physical sciences and mathematics expert panel of Icelandic National Science Foundation Rannis.


Art Imitates Physics
Alumnus Transforms Particle Physics Plots into Works of Art

Hubert van Hecke_ Stained glass inspired by the Higgs boson

Heavy-ion physicist, stained-glass artist and LSU physics graduate Hubert van Hecke is transforming particle physics plots into works of art. Van Hecke honed his artistry while an undergraduate at LSU. Over the course of two semesters, he learned how to cut pieces of glass from larger sheets, put them together and then solder and caulk the joints.  VanHecke's art was featured in Symmetry magazine, a joint publication of Fermi National Laboratory and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. > More

Science to 'Dine' For
College of Science Hosts 2017 Dean's Circle Dinner

Top (left to right): Dean's Circle members Richard and Judy Haydel enjoy the cocktail hour and student presentations, Michael Strain, IT specialist in the Department of Geology & Geophysics, demonstrates the educational uses of the 3D sandbox (which he built with spare parts), LSU biology professor and PBRC researcher Jackie Stephens shares her latest research findings with guests, and Gabriela González and members of the LIGO team pose for photos.

The College of Science hosted its 11th annual Dean's Circle dinner on October 13 at the Baton Rouge Hilton Capitol Center downtown. More than 170 guests arrived early for cocktails and hors d'oerves, poster presentations by some of the college's outstanding student researchers, and mobile exhibits showcasing some the college's latest discoveries and innovations in teaching and research. This year's speaker was Dr. Jackie Stephens, LSU professor of biological sciences and Claude B. Pennington Jr. Endowed Chair in Biomedical Research.

Just in case you missed the event, we have the photos for you here.

Support Research  
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Join the LSU College of Science 
Dean's Circle

The Dean's Circle (DC) is a loyal group of alumni and friends who share a passion for advancing research and scholarship at LSU. Our DC provides the working capital needed to fund pursuits of the college including scholarships for first-year students, student organizations and educational travel expenses, faculty recruitment and recognition activities, and development initiatives that build alumni and community relations.

Dean's Circle membership recognizes the generosity of alumni and friends who make annual gifts of $1,000 or more to the Science Development Fund. For a gift of $250, alumni who have graduated within the last ten years may also become members.
To join by mail, make your check payable to "LSU Foundation-Science Dean's Circle" and mail your check to:  LSU Foundation,  3838 West Lakeshore Drive,  Baton Rouge, LA  70808.
To join online, go to www.lsufoundation.org/givetoscience

New Dean's Circle Members

The College of Science welcomes the newest members to the Dean's Circle. Thank you for your contribution to the teaching and research activities in the college:
  • Mr. Matthew A. Arnold, September 2017
  • Drs. Scott and Lisa Baldridge, October 2017
  • Dr. O. Carruth and Mrs. Mary B. McGehee, August 2017
  • Dr. Robert F. and Mrs. Josephine M. O'Connell, October 2017
  • Mrs. Sharon V. and Mr. John R. Vercellotti, September 2017
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