Faculty Notes, Oct. 22, 2012

Please send submissions for Faculty Notes to pr@chapman.edu.

Christopher Kim, Ph.D., associate professor, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, on Oct. 4 gave an invited lecture as part of the Shell Colloquium series at the University of Oklahoma’s School of Geology and Geophysics entitled “Arsenic Distribution, Speciation, and Bioaccessibility in Mining Environments.”

Tatiana Prytkova, Ph.D., assistant professor, School of Computational Sciences, Schmid College of Science and Technology, has received a prestigious research grant from one of the nation’s oldest science foundations, Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA), to study “The Protein Structure and Mobility Control of Electron Transfer Reactions in Ru-Modified Proteins.”

Prytkova’s work may one day have broad implications for solar energy production.  The two-year grant is $35,000 with a $10,000 match from Chapman University.

At the very heart of solar power technology is the ability of an electron, the tiny particle “orbiting” the center of an atom, to absorb the energy of a photon, the tiniest packet of light energy. When trillions upon trillions of photons from the sun strike billions of electrons in the atoms that make up the leaves of trees, photosynthesis occurs. But to power machines efficiently with clean, inexhaustible sunlight, researchers must concentrate on the basics – they must better understand precisely how those photons in sunlight interact with the electrons in atoms.

Prytkova is focusing on what happens in the instant after an electron is “excited” by contact with a photon. She is studying “electron transfer reactions.”

Ramesh P. Singh, Ph.D., professor, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Schmid College of Science and Technology, attended an international workshop on Electromagnetic Phenomena Associated with Earthquakes and Volcanoes during October 1-4 in Shizuoka, Japan and presented a research paper titled, “Perturbations  in Extra-Terrestrial  Magnetic Fields Prior to Major Earthquakes.” His French collaborator presented a paper on Taal Volcano in Philippines, for which Dr. Singh was one of the co-authors contribute in satellite monitoring of CO emissions from this volcano.  He chaired a scientific session on October 2 and also attended business meetings as one of the members of the EMSEV Bureau.

Vernon Smith, Ph.D., professor, Argyros School of Business, will be the keynote speaker at the naming ceremony for the Centro Vernon Smith de Economía Experimental at Universidad Francisco Marroquín, to be hosted by the Antigua Experimental Economics Workshop and Conference, in Antigua, Guatemala, on October 23-24.  The event marks the 10th anniversary of Dr. Smith’s Nobel Prize.  Experimental economists from around the world and experimentalists from, or doing research in, Latin America, will present at the conference, which has as its goal the strengthening of ties in the experimental economics community within Latin America, and between Latin America and the rest of the world. Other keynote speakers for the conference include Pablo Brañas (Middlesex University, U.K.), and Dan Houser (ICES, George Mason University).

Richard Sudek, Ph.D., assistant professor, Argyros School of Business and Economics, and director of the Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business, authored a chapter in Basic Berkonomics.

Dawn Bonker

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