Physics and Astronomy Department

Physics students awarded best poster awards at New York State Section of the American Physical Society Conference

Publication Date

Union students won 1st (Jillian Guthrie '20), 2nd (Sam Kemp, '21), and 3rd place (Tommy Gagliardi, '19) poster awards at the 120th Topical Symposium on “The Physics of AI” meeting of the New York State Section of the American Physical Society was held at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center on April 26.

The meeting draws professional physicists and students from New York state and surrounding areas. The Union group included: Seyfollah Maleki, professor and chair of Physics and Astronomy; Samuel Amanuel, associate professor of physics and astronomy; Owen Connolly ’21;Jacob Feinstein ’21; Thomas Gagliardi ‘19; Jillian Guthrie ‘20; Christos Kakogiannis ‘22; Samuel Kemp ‘21; Jessica Matli ‘21; Martin Pargiello ‘22; Daniel Resnick ‘21 and Zihui Zeng ‘20.

Guthrie presented a poster, “Computational Modeling of RNA as a Branched Polymer,” supervised by Jef Wagner, assistant professor of physics and astronomy. Kemp presented, “Calculation of Forces Between Inclusions on a Fluid Membrane,” also supervised by Wagner. Kakogiannis and Feinstein presented their poster describing the analysis of exoplanet transit data gathered using the Union College Observatory, which was co-authored by Georgia Marz ‘21 and supervised by Francis Wilkin, senior lecturer and observatory manager, and Jenn Carter, visiting assistant professor of physics and astronomy. Gagliardi presented his poster, “Coffee Chemistry: Monitoring the Degradation of 5-Caffeoylquinic Acid During Roasting,” supervised by Amanuel and Joanne Kehlbeck, associate professor of chemistry.

The judging committee awarded first place to Jillian Guthrie, second place to Sam Kemp and third place to Tommy Gagliardi.

Dr. James Hannon, a researcher at IBM, wrote to congratulate the Union group and mentioned, “I was extremely impressed with the Union delegation. The students were knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and they all did a very nice job presenting their work. Coming up with appropriate projects for undergraduates can't be easy, but nearly all of the Union research topics hit the mark nicely.”

See also Union College Chronicle article.