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VAAS 2017 CONFERENCE SPEAKERS

Virginia Association of Astronomical Societies Convention

The Back Bay Amateur Astronomers would like to thank all of the guest speakers for generously donating their time and efforts to ensuring that the VAAS 2017 Convention is a huge success. The exciting educational opportunities available during VAAS 2017 would not be possible without them.

Dr. Joseph Zawodny

Senior Research Scientist in the Science Directorate

at NASA Langley Research Center

VAAS 2017 ATTENDANCE STATUS: CONFIRMED

Dr. Joseph Zawodny

Dr. Joseph Zawodny worka as a Senior Research Scientist in the Science Directorate at NASA Langley Research Center by day. In his free time he enjoys photography, especially astrophotography, radio control aircraft, HO model railroading, and software development. He is also an Extra class amateur radio operator.

Dr. Michelle Shinn

Program Manager

at U.S. Department of Energy

VAAS 2017 ATTENDANCE STATUS: TENTATIVE

Dr. Michelle Shinn

Dr. Michelle Shinn was born and raised in Oklahoma, and received her Physics degrees at Oklahoma State University. After receiving her PhD, she joined Lawrence Livermore National Lab in 1984, working in the Laser (Y) Division, until 1990, when she left to join the faculty at Bryn Mawr College as an Associate Professor of Physics. In 1995, she started at Jefferson Lab as a staff scientist. From 1996-1999, she led the design, procurement, and installation activities for the IR Demo free-electron laser (FEL) optical cavity, transport and diagnostics, and from 1999 to 2006 performed the same duties on the Upgrade FEL, which is still the world’s highest power tunable ultrafast laser. For her work at Jefferson Lab and earlier work on the use of lasers in society, in 2012 she was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society. In August of 2013 she started a 1 year assignment at the DOE Office of Nuclear Physics Facilities and Project Management Division, and finding she liked the environment, joined the Office in January of 2016. She is the Program Manager for Industrial Concepts, responsible for the NP Small Business Innovative Research program and is working to strengthen ties with industry in order to foster the development of commercial applications from nuclear physics research.

Dr. Eugene Tracy

Chancellor Professor and Chair of Physics

at College of William and Mary

VAAS 2017 ATTENDANCE STATUS: CONFIRMED

Dr. Eugene Tracy

Dr. Gene Tracy is Chancellor Professor and Chair of Physics at William & Mary. He is also the Alfred Ritter Term Professor, and a (founding) Fellow with the Center for the Liberal Arts. He received his BS in physics in 1980 from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, where he helped to design a novel ultraviolet spectrograph for fusion energy research, working in the plasma spectroscopy group of Professor Warren Moos. Upon graduation, he migrated forty-five minutes south to the University of Maryland, College Park, where he did his PhD research on soliton theory under the direction of Professor Hsing Hen Chen. He defended his thesis in early August 1984 then immediately headed south once more, this time to join the faculty at William & Mary. He has been there ever since. A theoretical physicist, his research interests include alternative energy (from fusion machines to the sustainable production of algal biofuels), nonlinear dynamics, Hamiltonian methods in wave theory, and time series analysis for complex systems (including pattern recognition methods for cancer diagnostics). He has eighty publications and two patents. His book Ray tracing and beyond: phase space methods in plasma wave theory was published by Cambridge University Press in 2014. He has taught throughout the physics curriculum, and believes that physics has a natural home in a liberal arts environment. In addition to courses for physics majors and graduate students, he has taught and designed many courses for non-scientists, such as: Great Ideas of Physics, Time in Science and Science Fiction, The Strategic Arms Race: a Scientific Viewpoint, Astronomy, and Cosmology and the History of Wonder. He is a winner of the William & Mary Alumni Prize, which recognizes excellence in teaching. He believes in the importance of shared governance of the University, and has served in a wide variety of positions both as a member of the Administration, and in positions elected by the Faculty. Most recently he served as Interim Dean of Arts & Sciences, and before that President of the Faculty Assembly.

George Reynolds

Retired

VAAS 2017 ATTENDANCE STATUS: CONFIRMED

George Reynolds

George Reynolds was born at the victorious end of World War II, and grew up in a time of great optimism and boundless enthusiasm. He always wanted to be a scientist and in high school started learning about computers. George graduated from Michigan State University in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science degree, and immediately went on duty in the U. S. Army as a medical supply officer. Although his scientific career was sidelined, his curiosity and love for technology were not diminished. George took an electronics course and built his own color television set, oscilloscope, and digital multimeter. He continued to read extensively about computers, science, and technology, and devoured science fiction. After twelve years on active duty George went to graduate school and earned a Masters degree in radio and television broadcasting. He then went to work in the fledgling cable TV industry in 1981, and shortly thereafter was instrumental in computerizing videotape scheduling on the mainframe. Along the way George married his college sweetheart, and together they raised five children. Now that his own children are grown, and 12 grandchildren are on the scene, George has been able to indulge his scientific curiosity once again, in amateur astronomy. He enjoys sharing his love of the skies with others.

Bob Beuerlein

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VAAS 2017 ATTENDANCE STATUS: CONFIRMED

Bob Beuerlein

BIO COMING SOON