My teaching interests cover a wide range, from astronomy labs for non-science majors to advanced theory courses for Physics Majors The Astrophysics course I teach for the Astronomy Minor is probably my favorite. I have led or participated in the development of introductory astronomy and physics labs with the help of NSF, Mellon, and other private foundation funding to our department.
My research is in astrophysics, focusing on distant galaxies with powerful cores known as "active galactic nuclei" (AGN). We use arrays of radio telescopes to image AGN at high resolution.
Orrin Shindell has lived all over but thinks of Moscow, Idaho, a small university town and farming community, as his hometown. Shindell got his start in teaching as an undergraduate by working as a peer tutor in the Math Lab at UC Denver. He wanted the job so badly that to get his foot in the door he assembled all of the Lab’s new computer desks over spring break. He has been teaching ever since and is thrilled to be doing it now at Trinity.
Niescja Turner Ph.D., holds the endowed Charles A. Zilker Distinguished Professorship in Physics and Astronomy at Trinity University. She earned her bachelor’s in Physics at Rice University and her Ph.D. in Astrophysical, Planetary, and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She was a staff scientist at the Finnish Meteorological Institute in Helsinki, Finland before returning to the US to become a professor.
I am a theoretical physicist interested in the quantum mechanical properties of ultracold atoms and molecules. My group uses and develops a mixture of analytical and computational tools to study solutions to the Schrodinger equation for few-body systems.
Cheng's teaching interests cover a vast range. In his career at Texas Tech prior to coming to Trinity, he taught virtually every course in the undergraduate and graduate physics curriculum. He currently has a large grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the effectiveness of different physics lab pedagogies. He is particularly excited about teaching Biophysics at Trinity, and is actively engaged with students from many departments in mentoring class projects. One of his future goals is to teach astronomy lab!
Although I was not born in Texas, it's seems that Texas wanted me to be here. After completing all my advanced degrees just down the street in Houston, I spent a year in California as a postdoctoral researcher. Although I miss the food and weather terribly, I am happy to find myself in my adopted state once again.
Dennis Ugolini has been a member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy faculty since 2003. He teaches a wide variety of introductory and upper-division laboratory and lecture courses, as well as a first-year seminar on pseudoscience and critical thinking.