UMD Establishes Jayanth R. Banavar Endowed Graduate Award for Excellence in Physics Research

The University of Maryland College Park Foundation, Inc. has established the Jayanth R. Banavar Endowed Graduate Award for Excellence in Physics Research to support a merit-based award for outstanding graduate students in the Department of Physics. Preference will go to students doing interdisciplinary research on natural phenomena—Banavar’s own research area.

Gerald Wilkinson Named Interim Dean of UMD’s College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences

The University of Maryland announced the appointment of UMD Biology Professor Gerald Wilkinson as interim dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, effective July 1, 2017.  

“A highly regarded scientist and administrator, I am confident Dr. Wilkinson will be an outstanding interim dean,” said Mary Ann Rankin, UMD’s senior vice president and provost. “I am grateful to Dr. Wilkinson for agreeing to serve in this capacity.”

Jordan Goodman Named Winner of Yodh Prize

Distinguished University Professor Jordan Goodman has been named the winner of the 2017 Yodh Prize for “outstanding leadership in the development of water Cherenkov instruments in high-energy gamma-ray astronomy”. The prize was awarded at the 35th International Cosmic Ray Conference 2017 (ICRC2017) in Busan, South Korea.

Goodman is currently the U.S. scientific spokesperson and PI for the High Altitude Water Cherenkov experiment (HAWC) in the Sierra Negra mountains of Mexico. Previously, he was co-spokesperson/PI for the MILAGRO Gamma Ray Experiment in New Mexico, where he and his collaborators developed a detector designed to measure the energy and arrival direction of gamma and cosmic rays via Cherenkov radiation in massive vats of water.

In addition, Goodman has worked on the IceCube South Pole Neutrino Observatory and the Super-Kamiokande Neutrino Experiment in Japan. Physics World named IceCube the 2013 Breakthrough of the Year for making the first observations of cosmic neutrinos. The Super-K experiment proved that neutrinos have mass and was the basis of Takaaki Kajita’s 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics and the 2016 Breakthrough Prize, which was shared by the collaboration including Goodman and UMD Professor Greg Sullivan and UMD Research Scientist Erik Blaufuss.

The Yodh prize was endowed by Gaurang and Kanwal Yodh to the University of California Irvine Foundation in 1998 and is given out bi-annually at the International Cosmic Ray Conference. Professor Yodh, a noted astrophysicist, received his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, working under Enrico Fermi, and before settling at UCI was a professor at UMD, where he oversaw Goodman’s graduate work. Yodh’s many research contributions include extracting rising proton-air cross sections from the analysis of cosmic ray data and developing early transition radiation detectors for particle detection. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the UK Institute of Physics. Yodh is also an accomplished sitar player, and while in College Park offered a course in Indian classical music performance that helped launch the UMD ethnomusicology program. 







Senior Gregory Ridgway, Triple Degree Candidate in Physics, Mathematics and Piano Performance, Named University Medalist

Gregory Ridgway. Photo by John T. Consoli.

From publishing in physics journals to performing at an international piano festival in Italy, Gregory Ridgway’s talents are as diverse as his experiences at UMD.

Gregory Ridgway. Photo by John T. Consoli.
Gregory Ridgway. Photo by John T. Consoli.

Graduating with a 3.98 GPA and three degrees—in physics, mathematics and piano performance—Ridgway’s ability to think both logically and creatively will be the foundation of his ambition to become a theoretical physicist.

“There are so many different ways to look at the world,” he says. “I could never just settle into one.”

Physics Staff Awards

 Chair's Award Recipients:Sibylle Sampson Award Recipients:Staff Excellence Award Recipients: 

2016 Pauline Rirksopa

2015 Tommy Baldwin

2014 Mark Conners

2013 no awards

2012 Jane Zhang

2011 Paulina Alejandro

2010 Nicholas Hammer

2009 Jesse Anderson

2008 Clay Daetwyler

2007 Harold "Tuck" Owens, Dan Margulies

2006 Robert Dahms

2005 Tom Payerle

2004 John Cataldi

2003 Mary Ridgell

2002 Joyce Robinson

2001 Margaret Lukomska

2000 Tom Payerle

1999 Pauline Rirksopa

1998 Lorraine DeSalvo

1997 Maurice Pairel

1996 Loretta Robinette

1995 Cassie Jones, Jesse Anderson

1994 Dawn Leavell

1993 Linda O'Hara, Betty Alexander

1992 Bernadine Kozlowski

1991 Geoffrey Elbo

1990 Pam Solomos, Nono Kusuma

1989 Jan Andrews

1988 Karl Harzer, Brenda Dunn

1987 Rose Otto

1986 Pota Floros, Harriet Husman

1985 Jean Clement

1984 Michele Eastman

1983 Elbert Barrett

1982 Delores Knight

2016 Logan Anbinder

2015 Donna Hammer

2014 Allen Monroe

2013 no awards

2012 Anne Suplee

2011 Xiao Ning Zhao

2010 Pauline Rirksopa

2009 Bonnie Seal-Filiatreau

2008 Doug Bensen, Scott Lasley

2007 Loretta Robinette

2006 Aaron McQueen

2005 Kari Aldridge

2004 Randy Holder

2003 Donna Hammer

2002 Sherri Menoes

2001 Margaret Lukomska

2000 Allen Monroe

1999 Al Godinez

1998 Tuck Owens

1997 Ruth Zerwitz

1996 Delores Knight

1995 Norman Reese

1994 Betty Alexander

1993 Pauline Rirksopa

1992 Pat Byrdsong

2016 Margaret Lukomska, Naomi Russso and Melissa Britton

2015 Eliot Hammer

2014 Amy Streets

2013  no awards

2012 Julie Callis