School of Science and Engineering launches 2004-2005 Colloquium Series with astronomer
NEW PALTZ -- The School of Science and Engineering at the State University of New York at New Paltz will launch its 2004-2005 colloquium series on Thursday, Sept. 23, with a lecture titled "Hubble Optics, Astronomy and Mars," presented by NASA astronomer Dr. H. John Wood.
As Optics Lead Engineer for the Hubble Space Telescope project, it was Wood who oversaw the design of the corrective optics that rescued the Hubble Space Telescope shortly after its launch.
"This year's series starts early with a well known speaker whose heroic efforts have had a major impact on modern astronomy," said David Clark, SUNY New Paltz mathematics professor and associate dean of the School of Science and Engineering. "Our current series will feature four other cutting edge scientific topics over the course of the year: game theory, sustainable agro-ecology, computer software agents and stem cell research, all presented by leading scientists in these fields."
These lectures have been designed for a general scientific audience and are given by leading scientists who are available to meet faculty and students on the days of their visits.
The lecture series will take place in the Coykendall Science Building on the New Paltz campus. Each lecture will begin at 4 p.m. and will be followed by a reception in the CSB Lounge. The public is invited to these colloquia at no charge.
Astronomer Wood works for the Optics Branch at Goddard Space Flight Center, where he has been Optics Lead Engineer on the Hubble Space Telescope Project since 1990. In addition to the Hubble Project, Wood is currently assigned to the Next Generation Space Telescope Team and in the past was lead optical engineer on the Mars Observer Laser Altimeter and the Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment aboard the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE). He was the recipient of the 1992 NASA exceptional service medal as well as the 1994 NASA exceptional achievement medal for his work on Hubble and Mars Exploration.
Wood will relate the story of the Hubble launch in 1990, where it was found that the telescope could not be focused correctly because the tool used to polish its mirror was mis-calibrated. He will discuss how he oversaw the successful development of the necessary corrective optics for Hubble and show some of the outstanding astronomical images produced by the corrected telescope, explaining the discoveries made by Hubble astronomers. In addition, Wood will describe the latest results of the Mars orbiters and rovers.
Future lectures scheduled for the series are: "Games People Don't Play," on Nov. 4; "Agent Based Systems the Future of Computer Science?" on Feb. 10; "Sustainable Agro-Ecology: Feeding the World with Minimal Environmental Impact," on March 17, 2005; and "Stem Cell Research: Controlling Heart and Blood Development," on April 21, 2005.
The School of Science and Engineering was established in 2001 to bring a mathematics and science focus to the SUNY New Paltz campus. It offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in Chemistry, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Geology, Mathematics and Physics. For more information or directions, contact David Clark at (845) 257-3728, or visit the School of Science and Engineering on the Web at www.newpaltz.edu/sse.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.