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Kopp's Weekly - The Scientific Melting Pot‏

Kopp's Weekly - The Scientific Melting Pot‏

Diversity can bring science together.

Dear students,


This weekend was Family Day. At the Texas Memorial Museum, the College welcomed over 500 family members of students here in CNS. In addition to hearing Professor George Shubeita on behalf of the faculty and student speaker Da'Marcus Baymon, families got to see the many departmental research activities and student organizations going on here in the College. And we in the College had the privilege of meeting the many families from across the state of Texas and beyond.

I have always found this kind of eclectic community very energizing. As a college student, I joined my faculty mentor in a multi-national collaboration of 300 scientists from across the globe working on an experiment near Chicago. Though similar to none of these folks, it was nonetheless inspiring to work with Germans, French, Russians, Japanese, and Italians who brought organization, creativity, mathematical brilliance, teamwork, and constant conversation to the collaboration. As David Asai, Director of Undergraduate Education at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, once wrote, science benefits from diversity when a very hard problem exists whose solution is not obvious, and when solving a problem would benefit from new perspectives.

Our college is much the same. When hard problems in research arise, it is common to see faculty collaborate with their peers in other departments who have complementary skills. When challenging policy issues arise, the leaders whom I've admired instinctively seek advice from diverse and disparate sources. As students, you have access to a range of faculty expertise for your research, alumni who've gone off to a broad set of careers, as well as a breadth of student organizations who can expose you to new questions.

I hope you will challenge yourself, broaden the inputs you receive, and learn from others. In so doing, we set the groundwork for a lifetime of curiosity and discovery.

Best wishes for the coming week,
Sacha Kopp
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education,
College of Natural Sciences
Telephone: (512) 232-0677

PS: Students are encouraged to submit a paper describing their research to the Texas Undergraduate Research Journal, texasurj.com. URJ is a great (and prestigious) way for undergraduates to publicize novel work. Papers will be reviewed by a student panel from across the university with representation from each college.

PPS: The Physics Department invites you to its annual Open House on Tuesday, October 30, from 2-5pm throughout the RLM building. There will be over 20 labs throughout the department open for tours with faculty, postdocs, and grad students on hand to give you tours around lasers, vacuum chambers, and bio-physics labs. A poster session by undergraduates will introduce you to research in physics. At 5:15pm, students will be dropping watermelons from the top of the RLM building to measure the gravitational constant "little g."

PPPS: An Army Scholarship scholarship is available to all interested students who have 3.0 GPA or higher, if you can sign up for and score 240 or above on the Army physical fitness test, and pass a medical physical. The deadline to complete all the paperwork is November 30, 2012. Students that are interested may call Mr. Luis Sandoval, 512-232-5397 or stop by SZB 564 for details, or try www.facebook.com/TexasArmyROTC.

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Tuesday, 11 May 2021

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