Woman Physicist of the Month - 2013
MayHeide Doss, Consultant and Education Specialist
For more than a decade, Heide Doss has been devoted to promoting science and education and, most recently, has worked as a visiting professor, PreK-12 substitute teacher, and consultant—all at the same time. Doss holds a BS, MS, and PhD in Physics and an MEd in Curriculum & Instruction, and although her career path has been outside the “norm” for the physics community, she has created and found opportunities that allow her to work on what she loves.
During the 50th anniversary of the laser, Doss—whose graduate research focused on quantum optics and laser physics—created and conducted outreach programs for the general public and K-12 students on the laser. She also assisted with the development of high school curricula involving laser physics, as well as conducting teacher workshops on the material.
Dr. Doss is an excellent role model for physicists who want to pursue career opportunities in science education and outreach, and she was recognized for her outreach ideas in 2012 with an APS Public Outreach Grant. She is using the grant to develop her own science outreach program, Science on Cards. Doss aims to create a self-sustaining micro business that will design and distribute items, such as cards and bookmarks, which disseminate scientific information to the general public.
AprilValerie Otero, University of Colorado at Boulder
Valerie Otero is a physics education researcher and associate professor of Science Education at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She was a first-generation college student from a Chicano family who has lived in New Mexico for over six generations. Her academic career has paved a path for many members of her extended family and friends to attend college and work toward earning higher degrees.
As an academic, she has helped CU Boulder develop a nationally recognized presence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education research and STEM teacher preparation, and has been the driving force behind the development of the Colorado Learning Assistant Model, a program now emulated by over 30 universities throughout the nation. In addition, she is author of two nationally recognized physics curricula, a leader in Boulder’s teacher education program, “CU-Teach,” and a dedicated and active proponent of projects that bring access to education including Vamos Buffalos and the I Have a Dream Foundation, which focus on students like herself, who are traditionally underrepresented in science.
MarchSultana Nahar, Ohio State University
Sultana Nahar, an atomic astrophysicist at the Ohio State University, received her B.Sc.Hons in physics and M.Sc. in theoretical physics from Dhaka University, standing the first position in rank in both and holding the record for the first woman to achieve them. She received her M.A. in Quantum Optics and Ph.D. in atomic theory from Wayne State University. At Wayne State, she received the Knoller Fellowship in Physics, the Thomas Rumble University Graduate Fellowship, and the Daniel Gustafson Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student. After a postdoctoral position at Georgia State University, she moved to the Ohio State University with a fellowship from the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.
Dr. Nahar’s research focuses on atomic processes of photoionization, electron-ion recombination, photoexcitation, and collision. Her contributions include development of the unified method for total electron-ion recombination, theoretical spectroscopy for the Breit-Pauli R-matrix method, and the resonant nano-plasma theranostics (RNPT) method for cancer treatment. She has published around 140 scientific articles and is the co-author of the textbook "Atomic Astrophysics and Spectroscopy". She also has an online database titled NORAD-Atomic-Data.
Dr. Nahar is a very effective research advisor to her group of students and postdocs, as well as researchers in developing and Arab countries. She was recognized by her university with the Outstanding Research Mentor Award. She is also involved in promoting physics research and education in several Asian and Arab countries and is the founder of International Society of Muslim Women in Science. She is an APS Fellow, recipient of the highest honour gold medal from the Topical Society of Laser Sciences, and recipient of the 2013 John Wheatley Award.
FebruaryLaura Reina, Florida State University
When Dr. Laura Reina joined the faculty at Florida State University in 1998, she was a recognized expert on b-quark physics and CP violation, having written numerous papers on b-quark decays while a graduate student in Italy and during postdoctoral positions at Brussels and Brookhaven National Lab. At that point, she became excited by the possibility of new results from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), changed research directions and became a world expert on the phenomenology of the Higgs boson. Knowing that the LHC offered the best chance of detecting the Higgs, she began working closely with the LHC experimenters, doing high precision calculations of the expectations for Higgs searches. This has paid off, with the announcement of the discovery of the Higgs boson last July.
Dr. Reina’s research will be particularly important in the next few years, as the Higgs boson’s properties are studied. She specializes in the effects of perturbative QCD corrections to Higgs phenomenology, and these corrections are vital in determining the interactions and decays of the Higgs. She has developed a number of analytical and numerical algorithms for implementing these corrections, and they have been part of the particle phenomenologist’s toolbox. Her work has had an enormous impact matched by few others, and she currently has an extraordinary average of 83 citations per paper.
Dr. Reina has helped educate a generation of particle theorists through her well-received TASI (Theoretical Advanced Study Institute) Summer School lectures, which she has given several times during the past decade. She is an excellent teacher, having won teaching awards at Florida State, and is a successful mentor. Her first two PhD students now have faculty positions at research universities, and most of the others are continuing in the field.
JanuaryLiubov Kreminska, University of Nebraska-Kearney
Dr. Liubov Kreminska is an outstanding individual who has done—and is doing—outstanding work in research, service, and teaching. She serves as an example for women science students and has been instrumental in bringing outstanding women in science to speak to students at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. She involves students in her research and has won the College of Natural and Social Sciences Research Mentoring award for her mentoring efforts. Dr. Kreminska’s students have received NASA Fellowships, undergraduate fellowship awards, and have been chosen to participate in Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs), as well as other accolades.
Dr. Kreminska has an extensive list of publications, and she has collaborated with physicists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, as well as faculty from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. She has served on several committees and has been a judge for the Nebraska Junior Academy of Sciences, Central Region. Students, the University of Nebraska-Kearney, and the Department of Physics and Physical Science have benefited greatly by her efforts and are grateful to have a faculty member of her caliber.