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Simon’s Rock Students Win Prize for Physics Research

For the third year in a row Simon’s Rock students took home top prizes at the Meeting of the New York State Section of the American Physical Society (NYSS-APS). Lindsey Tensen ‘14, Lucy Jiang ’15, and Oscar Hernandez ‘13 won second place in the undergraduate research contest at the Fall 2016 meeting for their summer research on “Analog Artificial Neural Networks.”

Lindaey Tensen and Lucy JiangThis year’s symposium, “Physics of 2D Materials,” held November 11-12, was sponsored by the Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy, at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. The NYSS-APS encourages graduate and undergraduate students to present posters related their research at the symposium. For their research, Lindsey, Lucy and Oscar constructed electronic neural networks and studied their dynamics under advisor Harold M. Hastings, adjunct faculty in Science, Mathematics & Computing. “Artificial neural networks are physical systems (mathematical and computer models) designed to mimic the dynamics of real, biological neural nets, and are a major tool in machine learning and artificial intelligence,” explains Harold.

Previous Winners

In the Fall of 2015, Nicholas Vandruff ‘14, June Yang ’13, and Maisha Zahed ‘13 (Advisors: Michael Bergman, Patty Dooley, Harold M. Hastings, David Myers, and Sofia Rafikova ‘13) won second place for their research “Synchronization of Oscillations in Chemical, Electrical, and Mathematical Excitable Media.”

The previous year, Jody Leonard ‘11, Sofia Rafikova ‘13, and Niah Holtz ‘13 (Advisors: Harold M. Hastings, David Myers, and Patty Dooley) won first place for “The experimental and theoretical investigation of the Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reaction: effects of catalyst and organic acid.”