Jacob Taylor Wins a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal

Jacob Taylor, a fellow at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), was named one of nine winners of this year’s Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals, also called “Sammies.” The medals, sometimes referred to as the “Oscars” of government service, will be presented by the non-profit Partnership for Public Service at a ceremony in Washington, DC on September 13.

The Partnership describes the Sammies this way: “The Service to America Medals are a powerful illustration of the good that government does, which positively affects our lives every day,” said Max Stier, Partnership for Public Service president and CEO. “We will never get what we want out of our government if we focus solely on its shortcomings and fail to celebrate its successes.”

Taylor will receive the Call to Service Medal. His citation mentions that he “has made pioneering scientific discoveries that in time could lead to significant advances in health care, communications, computing and technology.”

More information can be obtained at servicetoamericamedals.org

Hassan Jawahery Named Distinguished University Professor

Dr. Hassan Jawahery, the Gus T. Zorn Professor of Physics, has been named a Distinguished University Professor. This designation is the campus’ highest academic honor, reserved for those whose scholarly achievements “have brought distinction to the University of Maryland.” It recognizes Jawahery’s efforts in precision measurements of the properties and interactions of subatomic particles, part of the quest to solve fundamental puzzles such as the matter/anti-matter asymmetry in the Universe.

After graduating from Tehran University in 1976, Jawahery moved to Tufts University and received his Ph.D. in 1981. He accepted postdoctoral and research assistant professor appointments at Syracuse University and was named the physics coordinator of the CLEO particle experiment (1987-1988) based at Cornell. In 1987, he joined the University of Maryland, and worked on the Omni-Purpose Apparatus (OPAL) experiment at CERN’s Large Electron-Positron collider (LEP).

Jawahery was one of the founding members of the celebrated BaBar particle physics experiment, designed, built and operated by an international collaboration of over 600 physicists from 10 countries at the Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC). He served as the physics analysis coordinator of the experiment (2001-2002), and for two years (2006-2008) served as BaBar “spokesperson,” a role combining the functions of chief scientist and CEO. BaBar observed a process that violates matter/anti-matter symmetry (and consequently time-reversal symmetry), and the effect was substantial: in 2008, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Kobayashi and Maskawa, whose 1973 prediction of broken symmetry in the framework of the Standard Model initiated the thirty-year experimental verification effort finally achieved by BaBar and a competing experiment in Japan.

Recently, Jawahery has been playing a leading role in the development of future experiments, such as the Super-B experiment at the Frascati Lab near Rome. The aim is to increase the production of bottom/anti-bottom quarks by several orders of magnitude over that produced at SLAC, which will allow for precision measurements that may reveal evidence for new physics, in synergy with the current efforts at CERN’S LHC supercollider.

Jawahery is the Associate Editor of the Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science, the field’s most prestigious journal for summary publications. He was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2004 and the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010.

Jawahery will be recognized at the University of Maryland’s 29th Annual Faculty and Staff Convocation on Tuesday, October 9 at 3:00 p.m. in the Memorial Chapel.

Redish to be Awarded 2013 Oersted Medal

Edward (Joe) Redish will be awarded the 2013 Oersted Medal from the American Association of Physics Teachers, at their national meeting in New Orleans, next January. This prestigious medal recognizes those who have had an outstanding, widespread and lasting impact on the teaching of physics.

Professor Redish joined the department in 1968 after receiving his Ph.D. in theoretical nuclear physics from MIT. For the past 20 years his research effort has focused on physics education with an emphasis on the role of student expectations and understanding the kinds of difficulties physics students have with problem solving from introductory to upper division physics. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the AAAS, and the Washington Academy of Science and has received awards for his work in education from the Washington Academy of Science, the Maryland Association for Higher Education, Dickinson College, Vanderbilt University, and the Robert A. Millikan Medal from the AAPT. 

Johnpierre Paglione Awarded the 2012 Richard A. Ferrell Distinguished Faculty Fellowship

Assistant Professor Johnpierre Paglione has received the 2012 Richard A. Ferrell Distinguished Faculty Fellowship, which recognizes outstanding personal effort and expertise in physics as well as dedicated service to the UMD Department of Physics. The Fellowship, established in 2001, honors Dr. Richard A. Ferrell, a deeply-respected physicist who joined the University in 1953, served 40 years, and remained active in the department even after his retirement. Dr. Ferrell died in 2005 at his nearby University Park home.

Professor Paglione is a condensed matter experimentalist and a member of the Center for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials (CNAM). His research interests include cuprate and iron-based superconductivity and magnetism, quantum criticality and strongly correlated electron phenomena, and the new field of topological insulator research. He will give a physics colloquium on September 18 at 4 pm in room 1410 entitled Quantum Materials: From Superconductors to Insulators... and Back!

Sarah Eno Noted in Washingtonian Magazine

Professor Sarah Eno was noted in the September 2012 Washingtonian magazine, in a column called “Guest List – A monthly roundup of people we’d like to have over for drinks, food, and conversation.” Eno was first on the list, ahead of Robert Griffin III, the Redskins’ new quarterback. Eno was described as “part of a team of University of Maryland scientists working on the complicated machinery that recently discovered the Higgs boson.”