CCT Weekly, March 22, 2011

NanoDays at the Highland Road Park Observatory and the Louisiana Arts & Science Museum!

Saturday, March 26, 2:00-6:00 p.m. at the Highland Road Park Observatory
Saturday, April 2, 10:00-4:00 p.m. at the Louisiana Arts & Science Museum

Learn about nanoscale science and technology during a nationwide festival celebrating the science of ultra small matter. Two family friendly events will take place at the Highland Road Park Observatory on Saturday, March 26, and at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum (LASM) on Saturday, April 2, as part of NanoDays, a national event of educational programs about nanoscale science and engineering.

When reduced to the width of a human hair or smaller, ordinary materials often take on extraordinary properties. For example, the iridescent colors in butterfly wings are not created by pigments but, instead by tiny patterns on the wings. Similarly, tinted glass in old cathedrals was made by mixing different sizes of gold particles to create a wide variety of colors. We are just now beginning to understand the fascinating phenomena of nanoscale materials and their potential uses in every day life. Nanotechnology promises advanced information processing and storage, new medical treatments, and much more.

NanoDays in Baton Rouge will feature several hands-on activities for children of all ages. Participants will be able to see how big they are compared to nanoscale objects, understand how a scanning probe microscope allows scientists to explore the nanoworld, experience the effect of reducing the size of regular objects by trying to pour water out of a nano-cup, and learn about nanomaterials used in the manufacture of stain-free clothes. Children and adults will also have a chance to build model nanoscale structures, play with liquid crystals, and make some fluids magically part in the middle by applying magnets to them.

In parallel with the demonstrations, public talks will provide overviews of the nanoscale world and the tools that allow us to "see" it. On Saturday, March 26, at 4:00 p.m., at the Highland Road Park Observatory, Associate Professor Jayne Garno, LSU Department of Chemistry, will present "Nano Theater," in which she will show images of nano-objects captured in her lab. On Saturday, April 2, at the LASM, Garno will present "Molecular Nanofabrication" at 12:30 p.m. Professor Phillip Sprunger, LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy, will present "Through the STM Looking-glass: Nanoland" at 1:30 p.m. Associate Professor Jost Goettert, LSU-CAMD, will present "Nanotechnology: How to Make Small Things" at 2:30 p.m. Assistant Professors, Martin Tzanov and Juana Moreno, LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy, will display a Scanning Tunneling Microscope that measures the surface of objects at the atomic level.

Faculty, students and staff from LSU’s Center for Computation and Technology, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Department of Chemistry, the Society of Physics Students, the Superfund Research Center, and the National Science Foundation-funded Louisiana Alliance for Simulation–Guided Materials Applications (La-SiGMA) are volunteering their time to make these events a success.

NanoDays, organized by the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net.), takes place nationally March 26–April 3, 2011, at more than 200 science museums, research centers and universities across the country. For more information please visit the LSU Nanosciene & Nanotechnology website (http://www.pir ealps.org/nano/) or contact Juana Moreno at moreno@lsu.edu. The event at the observatory is free. Regular museum admission applies at the LASM. Come be part of NanoDays!

CCT Spotlight: Kathy Traxler

Kathy Traxler is the Education, Outreach and Training Specialist at the CCT. She has been at the CCT since June 2003.

Kathy is from Laurel, Mississippi and is married to fellow CCT employee, IsaacTraxler. She has two daughters, three grandsons and one granddaughter.

One of many projects that Kathy is currently working on is a free summer workshop called "Alice in Computation Land."  It will be a five day workshop sponsored by the CCT for girls entering grades six though eight who are interested in learning more about computational science and technology.  She is also involved in the CCT Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), a nine week program where students work collaboratively on a wide variety of computational science projects.

Kathy is involved in the ACM student organization as an advisor and as co-director for the ACM Regional Programming Contest. She is also a team coach for the Supercomputing and TeraGrid parallel programming contests.

Kathy says about herself, "I love students, teaching and helping people and I'm a busybody."

Her prescription for life is to "pay it forward," as well as "don't make the same mistake for the same reason".

In her spare time, Kathy enjoys reading, walking, water aerobics, canoeing, hosting board game parties and playing Settlers of Catan online. Her favorite thing to is to spend time with her family and friends. Her ideal vacation is going to the beach with her grandkids. Some of Kathy's favorite movies are Ghost, With Six You Get Eggrolls, and Yours, Mine & Ours (the old version).

An interesting fact about Kathy is that she used to be shy, but teaching CSC at LSU cured her of it eventually. She also ran the LSU CSC undergraduate program and was the main advisor for 10 years before moving to the CCT. She was a keypunch operator at Texas Instruments, where she kept getting promoted because she took machines apart and put them back together. Punching Fortran and Pascal cards are the reason she became interested in computer science.

CCT in the News:

LSU Civil Engineering Professor Works to Develop the Coastal Hazards Collaboratory in the Northern Gulf Coast
  LSU College of Engineering 


Please Note:

•    Registration is now open for “Alice in Computation Land Summer Camp,” July 18-22, 2011. The camp is a five-day workshop, sponsored by CCT, for girls entering grades 6-8 who are interested in learning more about computational science and technology. For more information and to register, visit http://www.cct.lsu.edu/CampAlice

•    Registration is now open for “Stop Motion Summer Camp,” July 11-15, 2011. This exciting summer education opportunity offers high school students a unique opportunity to build upon their interests in animation. Registration fee is $125. For more information and to register, visit http://www.cct.lsu.edu/StopMotion

•    Prior approval is required for Special Meal Requests. Employees who make meal purchases without prior approvals may find that they must cover the cost of any monies spent for an unapproved event out of pocket, especially now that state funds are under a spending freeze.  Please contact Susie Poskonka (susie@cct.lsu.edu) prior to any special meal with visitor(s) to file the appropriate request for approval.  Prior approval could take up to one week, so please plan accordingly.

•    Please remember to send your news concerning grants, awards, conferences, or other pertinent information to CCT Event Coordinator Jennifer Claudet at jennifer@cct.lsu.edu

•    Follow CCT with social media to access photos and see news, events or updated information. These pages are public; you do not need an account to view the information.  
o    Facebook group : LSU Center for Computation & Technology
o    Twitter :  LSUCCT
o    YouTube channel : LSUCCT

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