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Tabitha Buehler Receives College of Science Award for Teaching Excellence

Dr. Tabitha Buehler

The College of Science's 2017-2018 Award for Teaching Excellence has been awarded to Dr. Tabitha Buehler, an Assistant Professor (Lecturer) in the Department of Physics & Astronomy. This award recognizes Tabitha's accomplishments in challenging and stimulating the intellectual curiosity of her students.

The department congratulates Dr. Buehler for her accomplishments, as well as commends her for her ongoing dedication and enthusiasm for teaching, education, and outreach!



Science Night Live with Dr. Stefan Patrikis

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 @ 6:00 p.m. - Science Night Live with Dr. Stefan Patrikis! "Symmetry And The Primes" at Keys on Main (242 South Main Street) in downtown Salt Lake!


"Science Night Live public lectures offer a casual social and educational event in downtown Salt Lake. All events are held at Keys on Main (242 South Main Street), beginning with a social at 5:30 and a lecture at 6:00 p.m. Free and open to the public! Must be 21 years of age or older. Right across the street from the Gallivan TRAX station."

with Dr. Stefan Patrikis,
Department of Mathematics, University of Utah

Symmetry And The Primes

Date & Time: Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at 6:00pm (Social begins at 5:30pm)

Location:Keys on Main (242 South Main Street)
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First we learn to count; next we learn to multiply. From the interaction of these two elementary operations emerge the prime numbers, the building blocks of the integers.

The patterning of the primes continually reveals itself to be richer than mathematicians could ever have expected. A well-placed application of 18th century number theory exploits the richness of this patterning to build the public-key cryptography algorithms that secure many of our electronic communications. Number theory in the 21st century, while still grounded in the study of the primes, takes form through surprising connections with geometry, topology, algebra, and analysis, and even suggests bizarre and tantalizing analogies with fundamental physics.

These astonishing connections express previously hidden symmetries in the prime numbers, which we are only in the very first stages of understanding. In this talk we will explore how elementary questions of arithmetic lead us to this strange mathematical landscape.

Science Night Live is free and open to the public 21 or over. Please arrive early, as seating and parking will be limited. Click here to learn more about the Science Night Live lecture series.



Frontiers of Science with Dr. Dan Nocera

Thursday, March 30, 2017 @ 6:00 p.m. - Frontiers of Science with Dr. Daniel G. Nocera! "The Global Energy Challenge: A Moral Imperative for the University" in room 220 of the Aline Wilmot Skaggs Building (ASB) on the U of U Campus!


with Dr. Daniel G. Nocera,
Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy Harvard University

The Global Energy Challenge: A Moral Imperative for the University

Date & Time: Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 6:00pm

Location: 220 Aline Skaggs Building at the University of Utah
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Climate change is an existential threat to society as we continue to meet energy demand with carbon-based fuels. Energy demand is set to grow in the coming decades, mostly driven by 3 billion people currently without access to reliable energy and an anticipated 3 billion new inhabitants of our planet by mid-century. Increasing global living standards, expanding access to education, and improving health outcomes are all inextricably linked to a need for greatly increasing access to affordable, reliable energy. Meeting this future global energy need for 6 billion new energy consumers, together with current energy users, with the expanded use of fossil fuels is inconsistent with a low-risk climate pathway; and yet, those fuels often remain the most affordable and widely available despite continued declines in the costs for zero-carbon energy technologies.

Frontiers of Science is free and open to the public. Please arrive early, as seating and parking will be limited. Click here to learn more about the Frontiers of Science lecture series.


Consortium for Dark Sky Studies

Consortium for Dark Sky Studies receives Formal Recognition

The University of Utah has awarded formal recognition to the Consortium for Dark Sky Studies (CDSS), the first academic center in the world dedicated to discovering, developing, communicating and applying knowledge pertaining to the quality of the night skies.

The CDSS is an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional research group based in the College of Architecture and Planning at the U. The consortium of over 25 university, industry, community and governmental partners will research the global issue of light pollution, and the public health, economic and environmental impacts of the so-called “disappearing dark.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Bettymaya Foott

View of the sky glow of Salt Lake City, taken from Rockport. The stars fade as the light pollution gets brighter.

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“The importance of this issue reaches far beyond Utah’s borders. The consortium addresses the global issue: how to preserve dark skies and reduce the planet’s seemingly relentless increase, with multiple impacts, in light pollution,” remarks Stephen Goldsmith, co-director of CDSS and associate professor of city and metropolitan planning at the U. “The related trans-disciplinary subjects of research, both abundant and complex, make the consortium a critically important resource for communities in the developed and developing world.”

A member of CDSS, the Natural History Museum of Utah recently earned a new International Dark-Sky Association Lighting Design Award, making the museum Utah’s first dark sky-designed public building. The museum is located at the University of Utah and housed in the Rio Tinto Center, nestled in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountain Range.

“We so appreciate receiving this recognition for our dark-sky lighting design. The museum was conceived as an extension of the natural environment with integrated architecture, site and exhibitions,” said Sarah George, executive director of the Natural History Museum of Utah. “From the start of design, we knew we wanted our lighting to have minimal impact on our site, and today it is a great place to set up telescopes and stargaze in the city.”


The Natural History Museum of Utah is the first public building in Utah to win an International Dark-Sky Lighting Design Award.

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“The Wasatch Range is a national laboratory. You have light from the metropolitan area in the front, but the backside is really dark. It’s like a night and day comparison,” says Dave Kieda, dean of graduate studies and professor of physics and astronomy at the U, and co-director of the CDSS. “There’s a philosophical aspect to the night sky. Faced with the beauty of it all, you ask those big science questions to understand the world around you.”

Utah is uniquely positioned to host studies of the dark sky. The vast tracts of public land and concentration of national parks and monuments provide substantial night skies unpolluted by man-made light that represent a boon of research opportunities. The consortium’s official status has already spurred international collaborations; the CDSS will partner with the leading international research group, ALAN (Artificial Light at Night,) to host the largest global conference to date examining the many aspects and impacts of artificial light. The ALAN conference will convene at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort in November 2018.

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