Kudos

Winter 2010

The findings of Department of Physics professor Dr. Andreas Warburton, are the first to come from the ATLAS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest high-energy particle accelerator located in a tunnel 175 metres underground near Geneva. Warburton’s results, concerning the mass of a theoretical particle known as an “excited quark,” were published in the journal Physical Review Letters in October.

Meanwhile, a team of researchers led by Physics Professor Peter Grütter, Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education, has developed a unique sensor that allows individual electrons to be removed and added to a quantum dot, an achievement that represents an important step towards the development of a replacement for the silicon chip in computers.

Pat Kambhampati

McGill’s strength in quantum research was further enhanced by Dr. Patanjali Kambhampati of the Department of Chemistry who discovered a way to manipulate the piezoelectric effect of quantum dots, opening the door for the development of a vast range of new applications.

Associate Physics Professor Guy Moore has been awarded a coveted E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship for his research in quantum physics. Moore won for his research into the theory of quantum chromodynamics, a component of theoretical physics that explains the interactions of quarks and gluons, the fundamental elements that make up matter.

Astrophysicist Matt Dobbs has been awarded a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship. Dobbs, a Canada Research Chair in Astro-particle Physics, investigates a big subject: the origins and evolution of the universe.
Dobbs does this by studying cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation to shed light on the fundamental structures governing the universe.

Geography professor Bernhard Lehner is putting McGill on the cartography map with his detailed digital map of the world’s rivers. The results of his seven-year effort, using data gathered in 2000 by NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission—a space shuttle flight dedicated to measuring the topography of the Earth’s surface—as his starting point for the map, was published this past summer in National Geographic.

McGill honoured two retiring Faculty of Science professors this past spring by awarding each of them the inaugural McGill University Medal for Exceptional Academic Achievement, created to recognize retired members of the academic staff. The award was given to Adi Eisenberg, Otto Maass Professor of Chemistry and one of the world’s foremost polymer chemists; and Lawrence Mysak, Canada Steamship Lines Professor of Meteorology in the Department of Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences.

Four Faculty of Science doctoral students were amongst the 174 recipients of Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships: Antoni Tekiel (Physics) in Condensed Matter Physics, Felipe Dargent (Biology) in Evolution and Ecology, Mathieu Lavallée-Adam (Computer Science) in Information Technology, and Graham Hamblin (Chemistry) in Organic Chemistry.

The Association for Computing Machinery has named School of Computer Science Professor Laurie Hendren a fellow for contributions to program analysis of procedural, object-oriented and aspect-oriented programming languages.

Gregory Dudek, Director of the School of Computer Science, has been named the recipient of the 2010 Prix Acfas – J. Armand Bombardier for technological innovation. Dudek does research on sensing for mobile robotics including vision, robot pose estimation (position estimation), recognition and path planning. In 2010, Dudek was also awarded a Fessenden Professorship in Science Innovation for his work with the underwater AQUA robot.

A second Fessenden Professorship in Science Innovation—established in 2008 by John Blachford in honour of his great-uncle, Reginald Aubrey Fessenden, a Quebec-born trailblazer who was the first to transmit speech wirelessly—to Chemistry Professor Masad Damha.

Chemistry Professor and Canada Research Chair in Green Chemistry C.J. Li was awarded the inaugural 2010 Canadian Green Chemistry and Engineering Award (Individual category), sponsored by the Canadian Green Chemistry and Engineering Network, (CGCEN) and the Chemical Institute of Canada.

Associate Professor of Psychology James C. MacDougall, was named a Member of the Order of Canada for his contributions to advancing and improving the quality of life, as well as promoting the rights of deaf and disabled persons in Canada.

Ronald Melzack, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, won the 2010 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology for his research that broadened the understanding of how we experience pain. His “gate control” theory of pain suggests people can change or control their suffering by using emotional and personal processes to block, increase or decrease the feeling of pain.

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