How scientists search for gravitational waves
October 25, 2018
Dr. Joey Shapiro Key, assistant professor, and Dr. Jeffrey Hazboun, post-doctoral research associate, along with other members of the NANOGrav Collaboration, describe how scientists are trying to detect gravitational waves in a new paper in the American Journal of Physics. Scientists use the observed millisecond pulses of pulsars as a way to measure time very precisely and accurately. Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars, which emit narrow beams of radio waves. From years of observations, astronomers have developed models of radio-pulse arrival times to predict when pulses from a pulsar will arrive at the Earth. By looking at the correlation of radio-pulse arrival times between sets of pulsars, scientists can detect when low-frequency gravitational waves pass by the Earth or the pulsars.
To illustrate the techniques used to search for and detect gravitational waves, the authors developed an educational demonstration using metronomes and a microphone. The paper includes detailed instructions for replicating this demonstration in the classroom.
Read about the Pulsar Timing Array Metronome Demo
Read the paper in the American Journal of Physics
Gravitational wave astronomy headed to new level
October 16, 2018
Dr. Joey Shapiro Key, UWB Physics assistant professor, and Dr. Tyson Littenberg, NASA astrophysicist, describe the exciting growth of gravitational wave astronomy in a new article in American Scientist. Gravitational wave astronomy is only in its infancy—the first detection of gravitational waves and the first observation of the collision and merger of black holes occurred in 2015. The field is growing rapidly with the addition of new detectors and new data handling systems. The twin Laser
Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, which made the initial gravitational wave detection in 2015, will be joined by new detectors such as the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). Beginning in the 2030s, LISA will use laser interferometry in space to observe gravitational waves. These detectors, along with others in Europe, Japan, and India, have placed astrophysicists on the brink of new discoveries of gravitational wave sources.
Read the full article to learn more about gravitational wave astronomy
Introducing Dr. Paola Rodríguez Hidalgo, Assistant Professor of Physics
October 4, 2018
In September, the Physics faculty grew with the welcome addition of Dr. Paola Rodríguez Hidalgo. And now's your chance to get to know our newest faculty member!
What would you like students to know about you? My favorite part of my job is working together with students. I love teaching and learning in all environments: in large and small classes, one-on-one during office hours, and in research groups. I love learning together with my students.
What was your most memorable experience while you were in college? Doing research for the first time. I went to Canary Islands for the last part of my undergraduate program (specialization in Astrophysics) and I loved taking classes with real researchers in the field. During my first visit to the telescopes where we carried out research I realized this was it, this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
What are you excited about living in Seattle/Bothell? Everything! Meeting new people, exploring everything the city has to offer, and getting to know the community at Bothell.
How do you get to campus? I live downtown in Seattle. Some days I drive, some days I take the bus. I love public transportation, and I try to take it as much as possible.
Do you have a favorite new restaurant? I love Szechuan food, but I haven't found my favorite restaurant here yet... I am taking any suggestions...!
Do you follow a sport or sports team? Fútbol! I follow mostly the world cup and the UEFA Euro championship. During the world cup, if you want to watch a game, let me know!
How can students get involved in doing research with you? Please approach me! I have several research groups that I am getting ready for UWB students: in one we study quasars and how super-massive black holes might interact with their host galaxies, in another extrasolar planets' atmospheres looking for trends and biosignatures, and in the last one we study how we can improve Astronomy education through service learning. There is room for all kind of students: from first year to senior, both Physics and non-Physics majors, knowledgeable in computers and newbies. Besides learning to carry out Astronomy research, you will learn a myriad of important skills that are essential in any kind of future job.
Learn more about Dr. Paola Rodríguez Hidalgo on her UWB faculty page
Register now—Pauling Medal Award Symposium, Nov 17
October 3, 2018
Registration for the Pauling Medal Award Symposium ( November 17 at UW Bothell) is now open. The symposium and following reception are free and open to the public. At the event, Dr. Geraldine Richmond of the University of Oregon will be presented with the Pauling Medal for her outstanding achievement in chemistry. The Symposium will include student poster presentations and presentations by featured speakers:
Please register by November 9.
Register for the Symposium and/or purchase Banquet tickets
2018 Linus Pauling Medal Award website
Research by Dr. Raquel Lorente-Plazas and Dr. Eric Salathé describes the effects of atmospheric rivers on regional precipitation
September 26, 2018
Postdoctoral research associate Dr. Raquel Lorente-Plazas and Associate Professor Dr. Eric Salathé investigated how atmospheric rivers, elongated regions of water-vapor transport over the ocean, affect precipitation in the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. These regions are close to each other but approximately one-third of the time do not experience the same extreme precipitation events. Their findings complicate the simple argument that climate change yields a direct increase in heavy precipitation with warming. This research has important implications for climate change projections and local planning directed at reducing flood risk.
This research was recently published in the Journal of Hydrometeorology and will also be featured as a paper of note in an upcoming issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS).
Read the full paper on the journal website.
Summary of the paper (to appear in BAMS):
Local Enhancement of Extreme Precipitation during Atmospheric Rivers as Simulated in a Regional Climate Model
Flooding from heavy precipitation poses significant threats to public health, ecosystems, and economic resources. Globally, extreme precipitation is projected to increase with climate change at about the same rate as global means water vapor following the Clausius-Clapeyron relationship. Atmospheric rivers are an important weather pattern for heavy precipitation and flood risk. These events are elongated regions of water-vapor transport over the ocean occurring in many regions worldwide. As for the global mean, recent modeling studies find that heavy precipitation during atmospheric rivers is likely to become more intense with climate change. However, observational studies find many characteristics of atmospheric rivers affect the regional precipitation distribution. At the decision-making scale, the connection between extreme precipitation, weather systems, and climate is less clear, and for a local planning, it may not be adequate to assert that flooding associated with atmospheric rivers is projected to increase with climate change. The details – how heavy precipitation is distributed across a region for a particular atmospheric river event – could substantially alter this narrative.
To better understand the ways terrain affects the distribution of heavy precipitation, we analyzed regional climate model simulations of the recent past for the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Our first step was to apply objective clustering to identify regions with distinct timing of precipitation within the domain. We found that daily precipitation in the Pacific Northwest is characterized by many small regions of coherent variability. These regions reflect a primary north-south clustering from the atmospheric rivers and finer disaggregation around the terrain. In particular, precipitation events on windward and lee slopes of mountain ranges have distinct timing.
To better understand the mechanisms contributing to these contrasts, we selected one pair of clusters, the Olympic mountains and Puget Sound, to analyze in detail. Of the days with strongest precipitation, approximately 2/3 coincided while 1/3 were unique to each location. Days with coincident heavy precipitation were classic atmospheric river events with substantial integrated water vapor transport extending from the subtropical Pacific. Days with heavy precipitation only over the Olympics were also atmospheric rivers, but weaker and with a less stable vertical column, yielding a stronger rainshadow effect—enhanced uplift and descent passing over the terrain—than the more stable common events. In contrast, days with heavy precipitation only over Puget Sound occurred with more zonal flow and greater stability than typical atmospheric rivers.
Thus, while moisture was comparable for all events, the winds and vertical profile resulted in heavy precipitation in very different regions. This result has important implications for climate change projections since it complicates the simple argument that climate change yields a direct increase in heavy precipitation with warming. In fact, changes in the vertical structure of the atmosphere or in the orientation of storms, which are a reasonable expectation with climate change, may have an important impact on the places most susceptible to heavy precipitation during large-scale events like atmospheric rivers.
Autumn Seminar series, Wednesdays 3:30 pm
September 25, 2018
The Physical Sciences Division 2018 Seminar series kicks off on September 26 with presentations by UWB student researchers. Elyssa Roeder, Anchala Krishnan, and Mikkie Musser will share about the research projects they worked on during the summer. Please join us!
SSG Conservatory Wednesdays 3:30 pm
- Sept 26 Student summer research: Elyssa Roeder—Studying Surface Defects Within Niobium-Doped Strontium Titanate Thin Films; Anchala Krishnan—Post-critically Finite Self-similar Sets; and Mikkie Musser—Student Research Physics Lab
- Oct 3 Natalie Klco, UW
- Oct 10 Meredith Fore, UW
- Oct 17 Kimberly Schlesinger, RealSelf
- Oct 24 Jeff Kissel, LIGO Hanford Observatory
- Oct 31 Erin Hill, UWB
- Nov 7 Gianpaolo Carosi, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
- Nov 14 Jomardee Perkins, EOSpace
- Nov 21 Paola Rodriguez Hidalgo, UWB
- Nov 28 Tyson Littenberg, Marshall Space Flight Center
- Dec 5 Jeff Hazboun, UWB
Dr. Lori Robins lab addresses global sanitation
August 31, 2018
Robins Lab researchers and Briotech employees reviewing research results. From left: David Shur (UWB student), Lori Robins, Joseph McKinley (UWB student), Jeff Williams (Briotech), and Dan Terry (Briotech). (Photo by Marc Studer)
A new Robins lab research project takes aim at the foul odors given off by pit toilets. This work developing a disinfectant that reduces odors could improve sanitation around the world. Earlier this year, Dr. Robins, associate professor of chemistry, received a grant from the National institute of Health to study how to use hypochlorous acid produced by Briotech to target this issue.
Read more about this research on the UW Bothell News website
Research by Dr. Crystal McClure and Dr. Dan Jaffe shows US air quality improves except in wildfire-prone Northwest
August 7, 2018
Recent research published by Dr. Crystal McClure and Dr. Dan Jaffe shows how wildfire smoke is eroding our air quality gains in the Northwest US. Their paper, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), analyzed particulate matter (PM2.5) data from rural monitoring sites across the contiguous US for 1988–2016. They found a decreasing trend in PM2.5, and cleaner air, around the country except for in the Northwest, where there is a positive PM2.5 trend. This positive trend is associated with total carbon, a marker for wildfires.
The figure below shows trends in PM2.5 for 1988–2016 for the 98th quantile, that is, the seven highest days. In most of the Northwest (red and orange areas), these days are getting worse, while most of the country has improving air quality trends (purple, blue, and green areas).
The 98th Quantile Regression of PM2.5 trends. Observed PM trends for 1988–2016 (calculated using QR methods) from IMPROVE sites are shown by black dots with corresponding values in µg·m−3·y−1. Krige-interpolated values (calculated from observed data) are shown by the color ramp. Solid black lines with arrows (indicating direction) show the boundary where the Krige-interpolated PM2.5 trends within have a 90% probability of being positive or negative. Of the 157 sites, 92 show statistical significance (8 positive/84 negative).
This new research has been garnering a lot of press since its publication:
Read the paper's abstract on the PNAS website
Dr. Crystal McClure was a member of the Jaffe Research Group at UW Bothell and recently completed her PhD in Atmospheric Sciences at UW Seattle. She is now postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Davis, where she continues research on wildfire chemistry. Dr. Dan Jaffe is a professor at UW Bothell and chair of the Physical Sciences Division in the School of STEM.
The Pauling Medal winner is announced!
July 30, 2018
The 2018 Pauling Medal Award winner is Professor Geraldine Richmond (http://richmondscience.uoregon.edu/) of the University of Oregon. The 2018 Pauling Medal Award Symposium will take place on Saturday, November 17, 2018, on the campus of the University of Washington Bothell. More details and registration to follow in September.
The Linus Pauling Medal recognizes outstanding achievement in chemistry and is presented annually by the Portland, Puget Sound, and Oregon Sections of the American Chemical Society. The award is named after Dr. Linus Pauling, a native of the Pacific Northwest, because of the inspiration of his example. Information on past Pauling Medal recipients can be found on The Pauling Blog.
See Professor Richmond's website
Research by Andrew Collins and Dr. Peter Anderson reveals binding-folding pathways of intrinsically disordered proteins
July 23, 2018
A new paper in Biochemistry by Andrew Collins, a 2018 UW Bothell graduate in Biochemistry, and Dr. Peter Anderson, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, describes how they used computer simulations to study the binding-folding pathways of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs). The pathways of IDPs are difficult to study using experimental methods but Collins and Dr. Anderson were able to study them at high resolution using molecular dynamics simulations and Markov state modeling. They were able to map the complete binding-folding pathway of a model IDP, the 59-residue C-terminal portion of the DNA binding domain of D. melanogaster nuclear repressor Brinker (BrkDBD).
Individual top five BrkDBD binding−folding pathways from the 70-macrostate Markov state model (MSM). The top five pathways account for 71% of the total folding flux. The numbers on the bottom indicate pathway numbers and flux for each pathway. Blue numbers indicate state numbers within the MSM.
Read the paper's abstract in the journal Biochemistry
Graduates shoot for the stars
July 15, 2018
On June 10, the amazing Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physics graduates of 2018 celebrated their commencement with 1,919 fellow graduates at Safeco Field. This year's graduates numbered:
Biochemistry 21 (an increase of 11 from 2017)
Chemistry 4 (double the number from 2017)
Physics 10 (a fivefold increase from 2017)
Hats and caps off to these outstanding graduates! We wish you great success as you shoot for the stars.
Physics graduate Jomardee Perkins shows off her cap with Mechanical Engineering graduate Urooj Qureshi. (Jomardee will be putting her Physics training to use as a test engineer at EOSPACE!)
Capstone presentations 2018
July 5, 2018
Physics Capstone presenters and Physics advisor
North Creek Events Center was crowded with poster displays and oral presentations could be heard all over campus for the School of STEM Spring Capstone Symposium on June 8, 2018. The Capstone Symposium is a venue for STEM students to present the results of their research projects.
Chemistry Capstone presenters along with Chemistry faculty and advisor
Research posters were presented by 28 Chemistry and Physics students. Ten Chemistry and Physics students gave oral presentations:
- Toxic secret (I): the hunt for carbon monoxide in bull kelp of the PNW, Arielle Benyo, Amy Eunson, Christine Lee, and Melissa Tse; Dr. Hyung Kim, faculty advisor
- Toxic secret (II): exploring for the source of carbon monoxide in the bull-whip kelp of the PNW, Brandon Shibuya and Alex Sullivan; Dr. Hyung Kim, faculty advisor
- Health effects of air pollutants, Rachel McCue; Dr. Daniel Jaffe, faculty advisor
- Trends in air PM2.5 air pollution, Yat Cheung Wu; Dr. Daniel Jaffe, faculty advisor
- European model of pancreaticoduodenectomy procedure validation, Andrew Collins; Dr. Daniel Jaffe, faculty advisor
- The NANOGrav Space Public Outreach Team, Darren Hunt; Dr. Joey Shapiro Key, faculty advisor
Dr. Lori Robins researches an innovative way to improve global health
July 3, 2018
Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Lori Robins has received a grant from the National Institute of Health to develop a remedy for one of the reasons people are reluctant to use toilets and latrines—foul odors. She and her research students will focus on the development of a safe and effective disinfectant that reduces these foul odors and, thereby, encourages the use of toilets and latrines.
Poor sanitation in developing countries contributes to the transmission of human noroviruses. This is due to a lack of toilet and pit latrines in developing countries, the cultural acceptance of open defecation, and the prevailing reluctance to use toilets and pit latrines as a result of foul odors. Human noroviruses are the major cause of non-bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide. Transmission of human noroviruses can occur from person-to-person or via contact with contaminated surfaces, water, food, or airborne processes caused by toilet flushing or bodily excretions.
To date, there are no effective treatments for human noroviruses, which are resistant to common disinfectants and are challenging targets for the development of vaccines. To prevent the transmission of human noroviruses and improve global health, there is an urgent need for a safe and effective disinfectant. Dr. Robins and her undergraduate researchers are working to encourage the use of toilets and pit latrines in developing countries by means of modification of the malodorous compounds found near toilets and latrines by aerosolized hypochlorous acid. This measure will also reduce user exposure to infectious disease hazards and improve and sanitation worldwide.
Outstanding Chemistry graduates
June 28, 2018
The Chemistry faculty with outstanding Chemistry graduates (front row, left to right) Arielle Nicole Benyo, Andrew Collins, and Fong N. Liew.
The Chemistry faculty honored four outstanding Chemistry majors from the 2018 graduating class at the Capstone Symposium on June 8, 2018. Fong N. Liew was recognized for outstanding academics for the highest GPA in the Chemistry graduating class. Arielle Nicole Benyo, Andrew Collins, and Fatima Elwalid were honored as outstanding graduates in Chemistry in recognition of their excellence in scholarship and service. Hats off to Andrew, Arielle, Fatima, and Fong!
Fatima Elwalid, outstanding Chemistry graduate
Chair's 2018 summer undergraduate research awards
June 15, 2018
The 2nd annual Physical Sciences Division Chair's Summer Undergraduate Research Awards have been presented to 3 excellent undergraduates. These grants will enable the students to pursue research over the summer. Congratulations to these outstanding students!
Marisa Brandys, a Biochemistry major mentored by Dr. Hyung Kim, will work on the biochemical characterization of cytochromes involved in the electron transport chain of the nitrification cycle using spectroscopic techniques.
Mikkie Musser, a Physics major mentored by Dr. Joey Shapiro Key, will measure the coefficient of thermal expansion for materials using the laser interferometer. She will master the basics of laser interferometry and connect her work to laser interferometer gravitational wave detector techniques, LIGO, and the UWB Gravitational Wave Astronomy research group.
Tim Xu, a Biochemistry major mentored by Dr. Lori Robins, will overexpress and purify homing endonucleases for gene targeting. He will look at enzyme activity and DNA strand specificity for a variety of wildtype and variant homing endonucleases.
Physics major Jomardee Perkins awarded Founders Fellow Research Scholarship
Jomardee Perkins, a senior Physics major, was awarded a 2018 Founders Fellow Research Scholarship. Ms. Perkins's research project is entitled Classifying Transient Noise in LIGO Data Using Detector Characterization Tools. She is mentored by Dr. Joey Shapiro Key.
The Founders Fellows Research Scholarships recognize undergraduate research students at UWB and allow recipients to focus more time and attention on their research, scholarship, and creative activity.
Read about the 2018 UWB Founders Fellows
New Sigma Pi Sigma (physics honor society) inductees
May 14, 2018
Seven outstanding UW Bothell Physics majors were inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma, the honor society for physics students, on April 23, 2018. The new inductees are Gogo Huang, Cheng Qian, Matthew Marriott, Tija Tippett, Daniel McKnight, Ernie Enkhzaya, and Jomardee Perkins. They are shown in the photo below, along with UWB Physics Lecturer Dr. Erin Hill, who was also inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma.
The UWB chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma began in 2017. Sigma Pi Sigma exists to honor outstanding scholarship in physics, to encourage interest in physics, to promote service, and to provide fellowship.
(Photo, left to right) Gogo Huang, Cheng Qian, Matthew Marriott, Tija Tippett, Daniel McKnight, Ernie Enkhzaya, Dr. Erin Hill, and Jomardee Perkins
Job openings for Chemistry graduates at Brooks Applied Labs
May 1, 2018
Brooks Applied Labs in Bothell has new openings for entry-level chemists. If you are a Chemistry or Biochemistry graduate or graduating senior with an interest in analytical or environmental chemistry, this is a great opportunity for you. Brooks is particularly interested in hiring qualified UWB graduates.
Physics students attend Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics
April 25 2018
Four UW Bothell students were inspired at the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP), January 12-14, 2018, at the University of Oregon. The goal of CUWiP, a program of the American Physical Society, is to help guide undergraduate women in physics with the professional skills, knowledge and support they need about graduate school and professions within the field.
Photo, left to right: Jemini Abides, Elyssa Roeder, Assistant Professor Dr. Joey Shapiro Key, Jomardee Perkins, and Layla Amin
Jemini Abides, Layla Amin, Jomardee Perkins, and Elyssa Roeder participated in poster sessions, panel discussions, and workshops on topics such as how to success in graduate school and overcoming impostor syndrome in a male dominant field. “The most lasting impression from the conference came from the repeated topic of impostor syndrome,” said Abides. “I became more aware of the significance of impostor syndrome in the field of physics and learned new skills to press forward from the fear.”
At the conference, Perkins presented a poster on her research—“Characterizing Transient Noise in LIGO Data.” She summed up the conference: “Throughout this conference, I’ve gained many skills that’ll help me overcome barriers in physics. One is to never stop networking when the opportunity comes. This is why this conference was made for women in such a competitive field, to give women a little bit of courage, empowerment and confidence to know that we too can succeed in science.”
Dr. Dan Jaffe's research group kicks off 2018 with 3 new papers
March 13, 2018
The research group of Chemistry Professor Dr. Dan Jaffe started off 2018 with the publication of 3 new papers in peer-reviewed journals:
March 27—Join Dr. Joey Key at McMenamins to learn about LIGO, black holes & the universe
March 7, 2018
UWB Physics Assistant Professor Dr. Joey Key will be giving the March Pub Night Talk at McMenamins, Bothell. This free event is open to the public and for all ages. Come and learn about peering deeper into the cosmos than ever before!
- Tuesday March 27, 6 pm doors open, 7 pm program
- McMenamins Anderson School, Haynes' Hall
- 18607 Bothell Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011
Dr. Charity Lovitt, keynote speaker at STEM education conference
March 1, 2018
Chemistry Lecturer Dr. Charity Lovitt will take the podium as the keynote speaker at the 2018 Washington Industrial Technology Education Association (WITEA) conference on March 8 in Wenatchee. This year's "for Teachers by Teachers" spring conference is titled "Get Your STEM On." The conference is a venue for teachers to improve their skills and develop new ideas. Lovitt will discuss student engagement in some of the science courses she teaches at UW Bothell.
The WITEA is a professional development organization for teachers in STEM, technology education, industrial technology, and related disciplines.
Learn more about the WITEA conference
Collaboration between Robins lab and industry partners is a win-win
February 27, 2018
The research of Chemistry Associate Professor Dr. Lori Robins has had a solid boost from Jeff Williams at OxiScience and Briotech. For over 3 years, the support from these local companies has enabled Robins to develop a high-performing team of student researchers. In turn, some of their research explores the chemistry underlying the companies' products. "The collaboration is an outstanding example of our school's commitment to engaging undergraduate students in research," says Dr. Elaine Scott, dean of the School of STEM at UW Bothell.
Read more in the UW Bothell magazine (see "Great Chemistry")
Chemistry major Anna Kirchan receives Gates Research Scholarship
February 20, 2018
Anna Kirchan, a Chemistry and Electrical Engineering double major, received a Mary Gates Research Scholarship to support her biotechnology research with Dr. Seungkeun Choi. Kirchan's combination of skills has enabled her to work with Choi on developing small sensors that could monitor glucose in a diabetic's sweat.
"I didn't know organic chemistry and electrical engineering intersected at all. It was really cool to see the two fields I'm interested in being put together in a way I hadn't thought of before . . . It's been the most fun I've had at Bothell—being able to do research—because its really what I want to do with my degrees," said Kirchan.
Learn more about Kirchan's research
Learn more about the Mary Gates Research Scholarship
Dr. Joey Key named 1 of 5 inspiring women in STEM at UWB on Her Campus
February 16, 2018
Physics Assistant Professor Dr. Joey Shapiro Key is named 1 of 5 inspiring women in STEM at UW Bothell on Her Campus at UW Bothell. The authors mention that students find "her classes are fun!" The content on the Her Campus website is written entirely by college journalists.
Read about all 5 inspiring women in STEM at UWB
Learn about the Her Campus club at UWB
Dr. Hyung Kim receives Royalty Research Fund grant
February 14, 2018
Chemistry Assistant Professor Dr. Hyung Kim received a UW Royalty Research Fund grant to support his research on the effects of protein-protein interactions on the electrochemical properties of heme co factors. This research will use spectroelectrochemistry to analyze protein assemblies involved in the microbial process of nitrification, which has implications in the global nitric oxide flux to the atmosphere. Lessons learned in this research can be extended to electron-transfer networks in other organisms. Working with Kim on this project are Fong Liew, a recent UWB chemistry graduate, and Marisa Kemper, a junior chemistry major.
The Royalty Research Fund (RRF) is funded from royalty and licensing fee income generated by the University's technology transfer program. The purpose of the program is to advance new directions in research.
Learn more about the Royalty Research Fund
Physics major Jomardee Perkins receives travel grant
January 22, 2018
Jomardee Perkins was awarded a Gerald A. Soffen Memorial Fund student travel grant. In March she will be using her grant to attend the LIGO collaboration meeting at Sonoma State University.
Physics & Chemistry majors participate in UWB Research Symposium
January 16, 2018
Four Physics majors and two Chemistry majors presented their research at the UW Bothell STEM Autumn Research Symposium on December 15, 2017.
- Saeed Alzahrani, "Discovery of novel inhibitor of Plasmepsin V from Plasmodium vivax to treat malaria," Chemistry, Faculty advisor Dr. Peter Anderson
- Jacob Hesse, "Pulsar signal simulator," Physics, Faculty advisor Dr. Joey Key
- Connor Leupold, "Characterizing LIGO supernova signals," Physics, Faculty advisor Dr. Joey Key
- Fong Liew, "Cloning, expression and purification of a newly discovered cytochrome: Characterization of its spectroscopic properties," Chemistry, Faculty advisor Dr. Hyung Kim
- Jomardee Perkins, "Classifying transient noise in LIGO data using detector characterization tools," Physics, Faculty advisor Dr. Joey Key
- Katherine Reyes, "Detection and characterization of non-gravitational wave noise transients in LIGO data using BayesWave," Physics, Faculty advisor Dr. Joey Key
Dr. Eric Salathé predicts effect of climate change on flooding using UW supercomputer
January 4, 2018
A new article from UW Information Technology highlights UW Bothell associate professor Dr. Eric Salathé's work predicting flood risk in the next century in the Pacific Northwest. He teamed with Dr. Guillaume Mauger of the UW Climate Impacts Group to develop a model that can create regional climate scenarios. This data-intensive work relied on Hyak, the UW's shared cluster supercomputer, to run complex climate simulations that incorporate regional climate dynamics.
King County asked the scientists to use their model to run simulations of precipitation extremes so the county can understand the risk of flooding over the next 150 years. Salathé and Mauger want to use their model to help the county answer tough questions such as how high levees need to be to protect homes in floodplains.
Learn more in A crystal ball for climate change
Student summer research opportunities—Deadlines in Jan/Feb 2018!
December 21, 2017
The National Science Foundation funds student summer research with its Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU). The REU provides support for students to work at hundreds of outstanding research universities and sites around the country and world, providing stipends (pay) and often housing and travel. There are a wealth of opportunities for Chemistry and Physics students.
To find an opportunity, see the NSF's list of all research sites by category using the following link: Search for an REU site
Deadlines are fast approaching! You need to apply to a specific site, and most applications are due in January or February 2018.
UWB to host Pauling Medal Award Symposium in 2018
December 20, 2017
In 2018 UW Bothell will be hosting the Linus Pauling Medal Award Symposium. This annual award recognizes outstanding achievement in chemistry and is presented by the Pacific Northwest sections of the American Chemical Society. On November 18, 2017, Dr. Dan Jaffe and Dr. Charity Lovitt attended the 2017 Pauling Medal Award Symposium at Portland State University. Stay tuned for more information!
2018 Linus Pauling Medal website
UWB Society of Physics Students is recognized as an Outstanding Chapter
December 1, 2017
Because of their accomplishments during the 2016-17 year, the UW Bothell Society of Physics Students (SPS) earned the designation of an SPS Outstanding Chapter from the SPS national office. This is the highest level of distinction that an SPS chapter can achieve, and less than 10% of SPS chapters receive the honor.
Some of the activities of UWB SPS during the past school year included attending the regional SPS meeting at Central Washington University and volunteering at the UWB Inspire STEM festival.
If you would like to get involved with the campus SPS chapter, consider attending the Physics Club—Mondays at 3:15pm , Discovery 368.
Society of Physics Students website
UW Bothell students share in cosmic discoveries
October 26, 2017
Two UWB students experienced the excitement of major astronomical discoveries through their summer research with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). Paul Marsh, an electrical engineering graduate student, and Jomardee Perkins, a senior physics major, are part of the UW Bothell LIGO Scientific Collaboration Group led by Dr. Joey Shapiro Key, assistant professor of physics. Both Paul and Jomardee worked closely with LIGO this summer--Paul as a LIGO fellow and Jomardee as a Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium intern.
On August 14, LIGO had its fifth detection of a merger of two black holes. For the first time, this discovery was confirmed by the Virgo observatory in Italy. Three days later on August 17, LIGO made an amazing discovery--the collision of two neutron stars. This discovery was confirmed by visible light telescopes. "This is what we call multimessenger astrophysics," said Key. "Really, it's new science."
LIGO, the Virgo detector, and partners at other observatories announced this scientific feat on October 16. Key is one of three UW faculty who are part of the LIGO-Virgo collaboration. "Today's announcement marks the first time that we have detected gravitational waves from the merger of two neutron stars," said Key. "In addition, this is the first time that other observatories detected electromagnetic waves emanating from the astronomical event that generated these gravitational waves." Key and the UWB LIGO Scientific Collaboration Group analyze data from these detection events.
Read more about UWB students' work with LIGO
Read more about LIGO's detection of the collision of neutron stars on UWNews
PSD Seminar series, Wednesdays at 3:30
September 28, 2017
The Physical Sciences Division 2017 Seminar series kicked off yesterday with excellent presentations by 3 student researchers. Please join us each upcoming Wednesday for more chemistry and physics presentations that will inform and excite you. All are welcome!
PSD 2017 Seminar Schedule
Wednesdays at 3:30 pm
UW2 Room 211--New Room!
Refreshments after the presentations
- Sept 27—Student summer research presentations
- Oct 4—Gwynne Crowder, Bellevue College: Gravitational Wave Stochastic Background
- Oct 11—Paul Marsh, UWB Electrical Engineering: LIGO Control Systems
- Oct 18—Rachel Scherr, Seattle Pacific University: Fixed and growth mindsets in physics graduate admissions
- Oct 25—Krishna Venkateswara, University of Washington: Experimental Gravity
- Nov 1—Jeff Hazboun, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley: Pulsar Signal Simulator
- Nov 8—Holly Gummelt, Planetary Resources: Asteroid Mining
- Nov 15—Michael Park, University of Washington: Large Hardon Collider (LHC)
- Nov 22—Kiyo Masui, University of British Columbia: Large-scale Structure of the Universe
- Nov 29—Dan Jaffe, UWB: Direct Demonstration of the CO2 Greenhouse Effect
- Dec 6—Subramanian Ramachandran, UWB: Experimental Physics Research
Student summer research presentations, September 27
September 21, 2017
Learn about the summer research projects of 3 Physics and Chemistry students at the Physical Sciences Division (PSD) seminar series kickoff. This is a great opportunity to learn about the student research that takes place on campus, meet other students and faculty, and enjoy snacks. All students are invited! PSD students and faculty are especially encouraged to attend.
September 27, Wednesday
Discovery Hall Room 368
Refreshments after the presentations
The student presenters and their topics are:
- Anchala Krishnan Persistent Homology and Random Models of Gaussian Primes
- Katherine Reyes Detection and Characterization of Non-Gravitational Wave Noise Transients in LIGO Data Using BayesWave
- Jomardee Perkins Characterization of Transient Noise in LIGO
The seminar series will continue each Wednesday at 3:30pm in Discovery 368. Everyone is welcome!
First Physics graduates
June 13, 2017
The UW Bothell class of 2017 includes two graduates in Physics. We celebrate these graduates and this milestone in the new Physics degree program. "The best part about building a new physics program at UW Bothell is working with our inspiring physics students," said Dr. Joey Shapiro Key, assistant professor in physics. Our two stellar grads, Josh Christensen and Holly Gummelt, have truly left their mark on campus and in the Physics program. Congrats, Holly and Josh!
Read more about Josh and Holly on the UWB News page
Dr. Erin Hill, Physics, recognized for innovative use of technology in the classroom
June 8, 2017
Dr. Erin Hill, Physics lecturer, was recognized as an "Innovator among Us" in the UW provost's latest edition on teaching with technology. In her classroom, Hill has focused on using technology to help students learn how to learn. She has incorporated the use of Doceri, an interactive whiteboard app, in her classes. Doceri has improved students' classroom experience. It allows Hill to move throughout the classroom, interacting with students, and displaying their work, as well as her notes and examples, in real time. As the Innovators article states, "For Hill, the tool is doing exactly what she hoped. Hill finds that when she can easily interact with students in this way, she is effectively using their learning processes to teach the course material. 'It shifts the dynamic,' she said, 'to put the emphasis more on the learner than on the teacher—and learning begins and ends with the learner.'"
Read more about Dr. Hill's use of technology here
Read the June 2017 edition of Innovators among Us
Aerobiology workshop organized by Jaffe Group
May 4, 2017
The Jaffe Group (specifically, Dr. Dan Jaffe and Dee Ann Lommers-Johnson) along with Dr. Andrew C. Schuerger of the University of Florida, Space Life Sciences Lab, organized a NASA-funded workshop in Bend, Oregon, at the beginning of May. This workshop gathered researchers from several universities and agencies to discuss a future experiment in "Aerobiology." This is the study of the transport and biology of microbes in the atmosphere. Researchers plan to use Mt. Bachelor as a key sampling location to study the long-range transport of microbes in the global atmosphere. Dr. David Smith, now at NASA Ames Research Center, was one of the workshop participants. He is a UW alum (PhD Biology) and previously did ground-breaking work on aerobiology at Mt. Bachelor Observatory (see his publications in 2011-2013). Look for a future project studying microbes in the sky!
In addition to PI Andrew Schuerger, David Smith, and Dan Jaffe, other participants were Co-PI Dr. Dale W. Griffin (US Geological Survey), Dr. Susannah M. Burrows (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory), Dr. Brent C. Christner (University of Florida), Dr. Cristina Gonzalez-Martin (University of La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain), Dr. Erin K. Lipp (University of Georgia), Dr. David G. Schmale (Virginia Tech), Dr. Boris Wawrik (University of Oklahoma), and Dr. Hongbin Yu (University of Maryland and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center).
Mt. Bachelor Observatory is a UWB research site on the summit of Mt. Bachelor in central Oregon. It was started in 2004 by UWB Professor Dan Jaffe.
Learn more about Mt. Bachelor Observatory.
New UWB physics honor society inducts 4 students
May 1, 2017
The newest chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma, the physics honor society housed within the Society of Physics Students, was installed at UW Bothell. Sigma Pi Sigma exists to honor outstanding scholarship in physics, to encourage interest in physics, to promote service, and to provide fellowship. Dr. William DeGraffenreid, past president of Sigma Pi Sigma and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at California State University, Sacramento, participated in the installation ceremony. While at UW Bothell, DeGraffenreid also gave a research talk titled "Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy: Kilometer Pathlengths on a Tabletop."
The four outstanding physics majors who were inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma are Tyler Gilbert, Holly Gummelt, Connor Leupold, and Katherine Reyes.
Tyler Gilbert signing his name in the membership book.
Holly Gummelt with UW Bothell Professor Emeritus Dr. Warren Buck.
Connor Leupold is congratulated by UW Bothell Assistant Professor Dr. Joey Key.
Katherine Reyes with Dr. William DeGraffenreid, past president of Sigma Pi Sigma.
Division Chair's Summer Undergraduate Research Award winners
April 12, 2017
Three outstanding undergraduates in the UWB Physical Sciences Division received a Physical Sciences Division Chair's Summer Undergraduate Research award. These awards of $2000 each will support the students' summer research. Congratulations to these remarkable students!
Fong Liew, a Biochemistry major, will be working with Dr. Hyung Kim on a project titled "Protein-protein interactions on Heme cofactors.”
Ryan Peffer, a Chemistry major with Math and Physics minors, will be working with Dr. Lori Robins on a project titled “Kinetic isotope effects in Thiolactones.”
Katherine Reyes, a Physics major, will be working with Dr. Joey Key on a project titled “Identification and characterization of glitches in LIGO data.”
New research maps Glucose-6-Phosphate Isomerase—A Rheumatoid Arthritis autoantigen
April 10, 2017
In a newly published paper in Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics, UWB Assistant Professor Dr. Peter Anderson and his German colleagues describe how antibodies bind to glucose-6-phosphate isomerase (GPI), a known antigen in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. In collaboration with a research group at the University of Rostock (Germany), Anderson's research group combined computational and experimental work to map the epitope regions on GPI for two specific monoclonal antibodies, 11H3 and 46H9. The computational and experimental results of the research groups agree well with one another and provide insight into a fundamental immunological process with clinical significance.
Read the paper here
American Chemical Society Undergraduate Research Symposium at UW Bothell on April 29
February 27, 2017
This year's Undergraduate Research Symposium of the American Chemical Society Puget Sound chapter will be held at UW Bothell on Saturday, April 29, 2017. Plan to attend!
- The deadline to submit a research abstract is March 31, 2017.
- The registration deadline is April 7, 2017.
Registration and abstract submission form
Download a flyer here
New research describes how a "blob" of warm seawater increased ozone levels
February 15, 2017
In a new paper published in Geophysical Research Letters, UWB Professor Dr. Dan Jaffe and postdoctoral researcher Dr. Lei Zhang describe how a "blob" of unusually warm seawater influenced air quality in the western US. Their research shows how this strong offshore pattern led to elevated ozone levels at Mount Bachelor Observatory, a University of Washington research site, and other monitoring sites in the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Dan Jaffe describes the blob as "the most unusual meteorological event we’ve had in decades."
Read more on UW Today
Read the paper here
Physics major Holly Gummelt awarded Founder's Fellow Research Scholarship
Holly Gummelt, a junior Physics major, was awarded a Founder's Fellow Research Scholarship for 2016-17. Ms. Gummelt's research project is entitled Stochastic Radiation in Gravitational Wave Astronomy. She is mentored by Dr. Joey Key.
The Founder's Fellow Research Scholarships recognize undergraduate research students at UWB and allow recipients to focus more time and attention on their research, scholarship and creative activity.
Read about the 2017 UWB undergraduate scholars awards
New book by UWB Chemistry lecturer Dr. Kim Gunnerson
Dr. Kim Gunnerson, UWB Chemistry lecturer, is a coauthor of a new laboratory manual for general chemistry, Exploring General Chemistry in the Laboratory. This lab manual has the goal of simplifying an often challenging subject with applications to students' everyday lives. Because of her years of experience teaching the general chemistry sequence at UWB, Gunnerson possesses a solid knowledge of how to successfully teach introductory chemistry. When not in a general chemistry classroom, she can be found teaching introductory-level computer courses or enjoying the outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.
New faces of Physics at UWB
"Some people have never looked in a telescope before," says Dr. Joey Key as she displays one in a UW Bothell lab. "To see the rings of Saturn, that's big because they're really beautiful."
Like a master tour guide, she mentions other visible highlights of the solar system: the polar ice caps on Mars, Venus in a crescent phase, the Great Red Spot on Jupiter and its four biggest moons – the ones first seen by Galileo.
"Astronomy is great because people who might think they don't like science might still like astronomy. Space is cool," says Key, assistant professor in the School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics.
The astrophysicist who came to UW Bothell in September also has her eyes on the sky through one of the biggest science projects in the 21st century, LIGO (pronounced LY'-go) or the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory. Key is one of the hundreds of researchers on the project that made headlines in February 2016 when it announced the detection of a gravitational wave from the collision of two black holes. The discovery proved Einstein's general theory of relativity.
Read the full UW Bothell news article
New book by UWB Chemistry lecturer Dr. Charity Lovitt
UWB Chemistry lecturer Dr. Charity Lovitt is one of the editors of Integrating Information Literacy into the Chemistry Curriculum, a new book in the American Chemical Society Symposium Series. This book was a collaboration between Lovitt and librarians from the Colorado School of Mines and James Madison University. To quote from the book's preface, "information literacy, the ability to find, evaluate, and use information resources, is an important skill for future chemists." This collection provides concrete ways that Chemistry instructors can incorporate the teaching of information literacy in their courses in ways that also advance chemistry content knowledge. The book includes case studies of Chemistry instructors teaching information literacy and provides examples of assignments that teach information literacy skills as a key component of the curriculum.
In addition to teaching, Lovitt is faculty advisor to the Science and Technology Living Learning Community and was a 2015-16 UWB fellow in Community-Based Learning and Research, helping to develop partnerships between the School of STEM and the Pacific Science Center.
Students aid in breakthrough against dementia
University of Washington Bothell biochemistry professor Dr. Lori Robins and two of her students share in the credit for ground-breaking research on dementia disorders. Their research helped Briotech, a local bio-tech company, prove that its product, HOCl or hypochlorous acid, is effective in destroying prions, the proteins that cause dementia disorders. These findings contribute to the research to prevent and treat disorders such as mad cow disease, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's. Research conducted for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) confirmed the results in mice. The research findings were recently published in the journal PLOS Pathogens.
Read the full UW Bothell news article
Read the full journal article in PLOS Pathogens
UWB joins LIGO Scientific Collaboration
The University of Washington Bothell (UWB) is a new member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), joining 83 institutions in 15 countries working to observe gravitational waves with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory (LIGO). UWB Assistant Professor of Physics Dr. Joey Shapiro Key serves as the Principal Investigator for the group with new LSC members Physics Lecturer Dr. Matthew DePies and Physics major Holly Gummelt.
Celebrating Dr. Warren Buck
Everything will change. Nothing's permanent. Warren Buck
This quote is true for the School of STEM as Dr. Warren Buck moved from Professor to retired Professor Emeritus. In June, Dr. Warren Buck was recognized for his tireless work for the university and our students as he began his retirement. Buck began his long service to UWB as Chancellor and Dean in 1999. Later he became Chancellor Emeritus and then returned to the classroom full time as a Professor to share his love of science and the beauty of physics. Buck was instrumental in making the Physics degree at UWB a reality.
In November 2014, Buck was honored as a History Maker—one of a select group of African Americans who have made substantive contributions in their fields. His oral life story is permanently housed at the Library of Congress.
See his History Maker video and read more about him
Among other things, Buck will be devoting some of his free time to serve on the Board of Visitors of his alma mater, The College of William and Mary. He also won't be able to keep his passion out of the classroom and will continue to teach some physics classes, as well as assist with some committee work, at UWB.
We are grateful for his service to UWB and for instilling passion in the future generation of scientists.
Celebrating Buck's love of art, science, and collaboration
In recognition of his service to UWB, the School of STEM declared May 2016 the Warren Buck Physics and Arts Month. During the culminating celebration, Buck was presented with an art piece that incorporated bark taken from felled trees on campus. Designed and created by Ni Nguyen and Ivan Owen, this art contains fractal patterns created with high-voltage electricity and laser engravings of images significant to Buck. It unites three of Warren's passions—art, science, and collaboration.
New Society of Physics Students chapter on campus
Physics students at UW Bothell will now be able to participate in the activities and events of the new Society of Physics Students (SPS) chapter on campus. Students will be able to connect with the broader physics community through SPS and the activities and resources it provides. SPS, an organization of the American Institute of Physics, offers career resources, publications, and events, including regular conferences and meetings. PhysCon, the 2016 Quadrennial Physics Congress, will take place November 3-5, 2016, in the Silicon Valley.
Learn more about SPS
First global model of atmospheric arsenic uses data from Mt. Bachelor Observatory
The intercontinental transport of arsenic is the focus of a new paper published by Drs. Wai, Wu, Li, Jaffe and Perry in Environmental Science & Technology. This paper used data from Mt. Bachelor Observatory (MBO), a central Oregon research site of UWB Chemistry Professor Dr. Dan Jaffe. In this groundbreaking research, the authors developed the first global model of atmospheric arsenic in order to understand intercontinental transport of arsenic, an extremely toxic pollutant. They used the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model to simulate the concentrations of atmospheric arsenic and compared the model results with arsenic measurements from MBO and other sites. In order to reduce global arsenic pollution it is essential to understand its sources and transport. Wai et al. found that arsenic emissions from Asia are the dominant source of atmospheric arsenic in the Northern Hemisphere, contributing 38% of total arsenic deposition over North America. Arsenic measurements from the MBO figure prominently in the paper.
See the full paper here.
This figure shows arsenic concentrations measured at MBO for Spring 2011 compared with the results predicted from the model.
Paws-On Science exhibit inspires third grader's science fair project
UWB Chemistry lecturer Dr. David Sommerfeld, along with other UWB Physical Sciences Division faculty, staff and students, guided young scientists through an experiment on ocean acidification at the UW Paws-On Science weekend at the Pacific Science Center. Participants blew through a straw into a cup filled with water and a few drops each of sodium hydroxide and bromothymol blue (a pH indicator). After a few seconds of blowing, they could see the liquid change from blue to yellow. The liquid changes color because CO2 in breath combines with the water to form a weak acid. In a similar manner, CO2 in the air mixes with water in the ocean to make ocean water more acidic. Ocean acidification stresses marine life, especially shell-forming species, and makes it more difficult for them to grow and reproduce. The cause of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is humans' use of fossil fuels.
When one of the Paws-On Science participants needed a project for her school science fair, she jumped on the idea of ocean acidification and recreating the blowing-in-water experiment. Her mom contacted Dr. David Sommerfeld, and he gladly shared the recipe for recreating the experiment and some leftover ingredients. Her science fair project was a hit!
Read and see more.
Dr. Eric Salathé serves on editorial board of new magazine
UWB Climate Science Associate Professor Dr. Eric Salathé is serving as one of the founding editorial board members for Northwest Climate Magazine, a new publication devoted to climate issues in our region.
See the inaugural issue here.
May 20, 2015
UWB Chemistry student Taryn Meacham won a scholarship at the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium of the Puget Sound chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Four UWB students also presented the results of their research in Biochemistry and Environmental Chemistry at the symposium.