Faculty & Staff

Faculty

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Edward Hellen

Department Head, Associate Professor

ehhellen@uncg.edu

BS: University of Wisconsin; PhD: University of Michigan
 
Dr. Hellen is interested in Nonlinear Dynamics, most recently using numerical and electrical models to study potential dynamics of synthetic genetic networks. For numerical simulations he formerly used Fortran, then MathCad, then Matlab, but now mostly uses Python and XPPAUT on both Windows and Linux, and AUTO on Linux.
 

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Alicia Aarnio

Assistant Professor

anaarnio@uncg.edu

BA: Smith College; PhD: Vanderbilt University

Prof. Aarnio is interested in solar and stellar magnetic fields. She studies how magnetic fields facilitate the flux of mass and energy within a star-disk system and how they drive solar and stellar activity, outflows, and accretion. Aarnio uses large data sets and the solar-stellar connection to understand stars like the Sun when it was a few million years old and how it evolved to be the star we know now. Her results from stellar observations and models inform possible solar extremes that are of great concern for the denizens of 1 au. Prof. Aarnio observes, taking photometric and spectroscopic data, and models, running radiative transfer and magnetohydrodynamic convection codes to understand the data she gathers.

 

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Ian Beatty

Associate Professor

Director of Undergraduate Studies

idbeatty@uncg.edu

BS & PhD: University of Massachusetts

Dr. Beatty is a member of the UNCG Physics Education Research Group, along with Prof. Gerace and Dr. Sedberry-Carrino. His research interests range from cognitive modeling (“How do we gauge and represent the physics knowledge in a student’s or expert’s head?”) through statistical methods (“How do we extract reliable measures of students’ affective traits from questionnaire data?”) to the engineering and evaluation of curricula and learning environments (“How do we engage students more deeply and authentically in physics learning, taking hints from how good video games engage players in exploring confusing environments and mastering hard skills?”). He also wants to integrate computational methods and simulation more deeply into the physics curriculum.

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Ron Belmont

Research Scientist

rjbelmon@uncg.edu

BS: Seton Hall University; MS & PhD: Vanderbilt University

Ron Belmont is an internationally recognized expert in the physics of ultrarelativistic nucleus-nucleus collisions.  By colliding heavy nuclei at relativistic speeds, we create a new phase of matter called the quark-gluon plasma, which is believed to have existed in the very early universe, roughly a few microseconds after the big bang.  Ron is a member of the PHENIX Collaboration, where he is a physics working group convener and a member of the executive council and institutional board.  Ron is also a member of the sPHENIX Collaboration, where he is an institutional board member and one of the experts on the hadronic calorimeter subsystem.

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Alan Covell

Lecturer

adcovell@uncg.edu

BA: University of North Carolina Greensboro; PhD: Joint School of Nanoscience & Nanoengineering
 
Dr. Covell is interested in solid state battery separators for multivalent ion battery applications and is currently using first principle calculations to investigate ionic conductivity in proposed solid state materials. He is also interested in curriculum development and gamification, where he is developing/adapting course materials for online platforms and delivery.
 

William Gerace

Professor

w_gerace@uncg.edu

BA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology; PhD: Princeton University

Dr. Gerace’s earned his doctorate in theoretical nuclear physics. As the Helena Gabriel Houston Distinguished Professor for Science Education, Gerace has been the director of two STEM learning communities on campus and head of the Physics Education Research group. He is currently working on the NSF funded SIISP Project


Anatoly Miroshnichenko

Professor

Director of Three College Observatory

a_mirosh@uncg.edu

MS: Saint-Petersburg State University; PhD: Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Second PhD: Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Dr. Miroshnichenko’s research interests include studies of hot stars with large amounts of circumstellar material, such as Be stars, objects with the B[e] phenomenon, young stars, binary systems, spectroscopy and photometry (methods of observation) , and radiation transfer (method of computational analysis).

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Promod Pratap

Associate Professor

prpratap@uncg.edu

MS: Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay; PhD: Syracuse University

Over the past 30 years, Dr. Pratap’s research has focused on the energetics of membrane ion transporters – specifically, the sodium and potassium pump. This membrane protein converts chemical energy into electrochemical potential energy stored in transmembrane gradients of sodium and potassium. In a human at rest, this pump uses approximately 25% of the body’s total energy budget. The pump is also the target of digitalis, a drug administered to increase the strength of heart muscle contractions.  Pratap uses various spectroscopic techniques (ensemble fluorescence and FTIR spectroscopy, and single-molecule fluorescence fluctuations) to examine various steps in the pump’s reaction cycle with the overall goal of determining the pump’s energy conversion efficiency.

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 Joel Shaw

Lecturer

jcshaw@uncg.edu

BS: University of North Carolina Greensboro; MS: University of New Hampshire
 
Joel Shaw is impressed that you took the time to scroll all the way down to the last person in the faculty department list and are now actually reading the words that presumably he wrote (technically you have no way of knowing – you could ask him but he might lie – how would you know?). In addition to teaching here at UNCG, he has taught at the University of New Hampshire, Forsyth Technical Community College, Guilford County Community College (where at one time his position was listed on the website as God Almighty), North Carolina A&T State University, and Davidson County Community College. As for research, Joel has spent a fair amount of time pondering dark matter, relativity, & whether blurbs like this should be written in the first, second, third, or whatever person. Joel is married with 2 children and doesn’t understand why his amazing wife wouldn’t let him name either of their children “Chewbacca”. 
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