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Laureate and USF Eminent Scholar Ivar Giaever (Physics, 1973)
lecturing on "The Strange Case of 'Global Warming'."
Flemming/Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

Physics Ph.D. students represent USF at Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings

TAMPA, Fla. -- This week, three University of South Florida physics graduate students are in Lindau, Germany for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, a series of discussions and events that bring together hundreds of young researchers and more than 25 Nobel Laureates.

Joseph Fogarty, Evan Lafalce and Aaron Landerville applied and were nominated last fall, and they finally received their formal acceptance letters in March. More than 20,000 graduate students from around the world apply for the prestigious opportunity to attend. Only 580 young researchers are selected to attend these meetings.

"It is a testament to the outstanding quality of Joe, Evan and Aaron, and their faculty mentors, that they have received this highly selective honor,” said Pritish Mukherjee, chair of the Department of Physics. “We are thrilled at their well-deserved success and the international recognition that they will bring to our university, the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and to USF Physics.”

The students left for Washington, D.C., June 28 to meet with 80 other students being sponsored by Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. From there, they flew into Zurich and traveled to the 25,000-person island town of Lindau. The meetings began July 1 and end July 6.

“This is the greatest honor that’s been bestowed on me academically,” Lafalce said.

All three of these USF Ph.D. students are from Florida, though they have taken different paths to get to where they are now. Fogarty graduated from the University of Notre Dame, where he received a bachelor’s degree in management information sciences. After gaining some work experience, Fogarty came to USF for a second bachelor’s in physics, and has chosen to continue his research as a graduate student at USF.

Landerville started at USF as an engineering major but said he decided it wasn’t what he wanted to study. Instead, he took some time off from school and gained valuable work experience. He returned to USF in 2005 and began his studies in physics. Landerville completed his bachelor’s and master’s at USF, and said he was so impressed by the growth of the physics Ph.D. program that he has continued his education at USF.

Lafalce came to USF after graduating from Gaither High School, only 8 miles away from the USF campus. He said he always has studied physics and has greatly enjoyed his academic career at USF.

“The longer I’ve been here, the more I appreciate what this university has to offer,” Lafalce said.

Lafalce said his faculty mentor, Assistant Professor Xiaomei Jiang, has made a huge impact on his educational experience.

“Aside from being an adviser and mentor in terms of education and helping me in my research, she has really gone out of her way to find opportunities to open doors for me after I leave this university,” Lafalce said. “This conference is a great example.”

Among the Nobel Laureates who will be speaking at the meetings is USF eminent scholar Ivar Giaever, who is known for his controversial views on climate change. Landerville said he is looking forward to hearing him speak in Lindau.

At the meetings, these students will be introduced to not only the Nobel Laureates, but to hundreds of other young physics researchers from around the world.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity,” Landerville said. “You never know what’s going to come out of something like this--research collaborations or jobs.”


Filed under:Arts and Sciences School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Physics Student Success  
Author: Jordan Smith