Recreating Clusters of Stars with Computer Simulations

Researchers have unlocked the way clusters of stars came into being. Corey Howard, Ralph Pudritz and William Harris, Physics & Astronmy, have shown that these clusters were all created the same way. Their work, published last June in Nature Astronomy, used highly-sophisticated computer simulations to re-create what happens inside gigantic clouds of concentrated gases known to give rise to clusters of stars that are bound together by gravity.

The state-of-the-art simulations follow a cloud of interstellar gas 500 light years in diameter, projecting 5 million years’ worth of evolution wrought by turbulence, gravity and feedback from intense radiation pressure produced by massive stars within forming clusters.

The research shows how those forces create dense filaments that funnel gas into what ultimately become super-bright clusters of stars that can merge with other clusters to form vast globular clusters.

Pudritz and Harris, both professors of Physics and Astronomy at McMaster, were Howard’s Ph.D. thesis supervisors and guided his research. Howard recently completed post-doctoral research at McMaster.

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Remembering Former Dean Robert McNutt

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Robert (Bob) McNutt, Professor Emeritus, Department of Geography & Earth Sciences. Dr. McNutt held a wide range of senior university positions throughout his career, including acting provost, dean of the Faculty of Science, interim dean of the DeGroote School of Business and acting dean of Humanities. He will be remembered as a dedicated leader, researcher and professor, as well as an honoured colleague.

Dr. McNutt received his Bachelor of Science at the University of New Brunswick and his Ph.D. in Geochemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He came to McMaster in 1965, joining the then Department of Geology. A respected isotopic geochemist, his most recent research explored the use of strontium isotopes as a tracer in water/rock systems, from surface water to brines.

Over his career here, he also served in many crucial administrative roles. He was also Principal at Erindale College, today known as the University of Toronto Mississauga, from 1995 to 2003. In 2014, he was awarded an honorary doctor of science degree by McMaster.

He is fondly remembered by his colleagues at the University and elsewhere. For more information on Dr. McNutt’s life, please see The Daily News.

Science Co-op Student of the Year Winners Recognized

The Science Career and Cooperative Education (SCCE) office proudly announces the winners of the 2017 Science Co-op Student of the Year Awards.

Top awards were presented to Rahul Sharma, Biochemistry Co-op – Year 3 winner; Jacob Pierscianowski, Chemical Biology Co-op – Year 4 winner; and Victoria Marando, Chemical Biology Co-op – Year 5 winner.

The SCCE invited Science Co-op employers to nominate students who had gone above and beyond during their work terms over the past year. Winners were chosen based on academic achievement, the strength of their employer nomination letter, the student’s personal statement, and contributions to cooperative education and extracurricular activity at McMaster or in the community. The SCCE manages 13 unique cooperative education programs for the Faculty of Science. Each year they help students secure over 400 work terms across a variety of sectors. All programs start in year 3 and follow CEWIL accreditation standards and guidelines.

Nominees and award winners were recognized at a reception at the Skylight Room in March 2018. There, the Acting Associate Dean of Science, Robin Cameron, SCCE representatives, employer supervisors, and guests of nominees, gathered to celebrate the achievements of the winners and nominees.

In addition to the award winners, the following students were nominated for their excellent work by their co-op employers:

  • Year 3 nominees: Christine Pham (Molecular Biology & Genetics), Mina Sadeghi (Biology & Pharmacology), Mehreen Tariq (Mathematics & Statistics), Shira Weiss (Life Sciences) and Angeli Li (Life Sciences).
  • Years 4 and 5 nominees: Danielle Cimino (Life Sciences), Briony Lago (Chemical Biology), Natalia Ogrodnik (Chemical Biology), Ana Portillo Martinez (Biochemistry), Achini Da Silvi (Life Sciences), Michelle Wiskar (Actuarial and Financial Mathematics), Megan Hartwell (Mathematics & Statistics), Jordan Thiessen (Actuarial and Financial Mathematics) and Laila Omar Nazir (Medical and Health Physics).

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Faculty’s Newest CRC, José Moran-Mirabal

The Faculty of Science congratulates its newest Canada Research Chair, José Moran-Mirabal, Chemistry & Chemical Biology. Moran-Mirabal was recently awarded Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Micro- and Nanostructured Materials. His research focuses on developing new, more efficient methods for patterning and structuring thin films used in everything from electronics to biosensors. We also congratulate Carmel Mothersill, Biology, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Radiobiology and Aimee Nelson, Kinesiology, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Sensorimotor Neurosciencerecent CRC whose CRCs were renewed.

Read about other McMaster CRCs in The Daily News.
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