The Happy Scientist

Moon on Halloween 2012 at Cooper Wilson

Halloween full moon setting by Cooper-Wilson Center for the Life Sciences.Can you find the moon among the lights?
Click on the image to see the same view at the same time one day earlier. Can you find the moon in this earlier image?

The devastation that super storm Sandy delivered shows both the power of nature and how far civilization has progressed. Certainly nature can deliver even more powerful events such as a large asteroid strike or a near star going super nova; and hopefully science, engineering, and civilization can progress much further than we presently have. It is our goal in the School of Sciences to advance that civilization as much as we can.

As important as advancing civilization is, the real goal is to make it possible for people to be happy. Here I don’t mean that being happy is simply being giddy. When are you most happy? For me, it is when I am doing my work and when I am interacting with my family, both immediate and extended (including those at CBU). Science is hard work, but science is also fun. I am often surprised at how much I enjoy teaching (and preparing for) my classes. I am also continually surprised at how tired I am after class. It is one of the things I try to include in my teaching: the learning of science is hard work and valuable, but it is also fun!

Our featured major in this issue is Computer Science. It can be a challenging major, but it can also be a very interesting major with great job prospects even in this market.

I hope you are enjoying these newsletters, and I look forward to sharing more of our work with you in February, after the holidays and after the start of the spring semester. If you have comments, questions or reactions, you may please contact me.

Note From the Dean

It is now fall (autumn). The sun is falling lower in the sky, and we are approaching winter. But this falling is usually accompanied by really nice weather. Not stormy like spring, not extreme like winter or summer. It is also FALL BREAK! Students have completed half of the fall semester and now have a week to re-energize. Some students, especially freshmen and sophomores, have received a wake-up call about what college is really about. Other students, especially the juniors and seniors, are starting to get deeper into their subjects and their majors. It is my hope and my expectation that all students are realizing how great and wonderful and full of promise the world is. It does take hard work, even for the brightest students. It does take disciplined thinking and time management. But it can be so, so rewarding! I personally love physics, and I want to share the beauty and power of my subject just like all of the professors wish to share their love of their subjects with their students.

In this issue we feature the Biology Department. In terms of majors it is the largest department. To complement the department’s health orientation, the newest member, Dr. James Moore, brings some youth and vigor to our environmental biology options. We have two feature articles in this issue: one on the Minority Health International Research Training (MHIRT) program which provides a tremendous opportunity for students to do, and get paid for, research in a completely new environment; and a second featured article on a couple of the tutors in the Math Center.

I hope you are enjoying these newsletters, and I look forward to sharing more of our work with you next month. If you have comments, questions or reactions, you may send an e-mail now to jholmes@cbu.edu .