Physics and Astronomy Department Collects Fifth NSF CAREER Award

Posted: September 3, 2009 at 12:01 am, Last Updated: September 2, 2009 at 1:35 pm

By Tara Laskowski

Jessica Rosenberg, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, recently received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, making her the fifth physics faculty member in recent years to attain such an honor.

The prestigious CAREER program provides funding to early-career faculty members to develop both research and educational programs at their home institutions.

Rosenberg’s research will use two large overlapping surveys at different wavelengths to study approximately 40,000 galaxies. The goal is to take a census of both the gas and stars that make up the systems to provide the most unbiased look at the “normal” matter in the local universe to date.

In addition, the project aims to increase the number of students being certified to teach physics and to increase the number of women and minority physics majors at Mason. If fully funded, Rosenberg will receive an award of up to $869,000.

Previously, physics faculty members Rita Sambruna and Merav Opher received CAREER grants for their work in astronomy and astrophysics. A fourth grant was awarded to Karen Sauer in the nuclear magnetic resonance area, and a fifth to Ernest Barreto, who is also affiliated with the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, in neuroscience.

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