A virtual seminar, “Good Vibrations: The Interplay of Music and Physics,” with University of North Carolina physicist Laurie McNeil, PhD, is scheduled on Friday, Apr. 1, beginning at 9 a.m.
The Zoom seminar is being sponsored by the Greenbrier Valley Chapter of Sigma Xi, the Jackson River Governor’s School, and Dabney S. Lancaster Community College. The public is invited to join the Zoom meeting by following this link: https://vccs.zoom.us/j/86364725586?pwd=UDZObk53WTFzdGRFdjJVa3Nwa2pBQT09. The meeting ID is 863 6472 5586 and the passcode is 965546. To dial in, call (301) 715-8592.
Dr. McNeil has been on the faculty at UNC in the Department of Physics and Astronomy since 1984, and she is a materials physicist who uses optical spectroscopy to investigate the properties of semiconductors and insulators.
She has worked throughout her career to enhance the representation and success of women in physics, and led the transformation of the teaching of the introductory physics courses in her department to use research-validated, student-centered pedagogy. Together with a colleague in the Department of Music at UNC she teaches a course for first-year undergraduates on the physics of musical instruments. Students in the course build their own unique instruments and give a public performance of their own compositions for ensembles of those instruments. She also sings with the Choral Society of Durham directed by Professor Rodney Wynkoop of Duke University.
At noon the same day, Dr. McNeil will give another talk that will be a Microsoft Teams meeting. The topic of the second virtual seminar is “Changing the Climate for Women in Science.” At the time that Dr. McNeil became an Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at UNC in 1984, she was the only woman with a tenure track position in the department, and she was promoted to full professor in 1996. She chaired her department from 2004 to 2009, and acted to significantly increase the number of women faculty in the department.
She was the Chair of the American Physical Society Committee on the Status of Women in Physics and participated in studies of ways to improve the climate for women in physics departments. She has been a member of the USA delegation to the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics Conference on Women in Physics.
The second talk is sponsored by the Greenbrier Valley Chapter of Sigma Xi and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.
For more information, contact the Jackson River Governor’s School at DSLCC at 540-863-2872.