Jim Legg


Another year has passed and as usual Peggy is telling me it's time for me to write my yearly column about the happenings in the Department of Physics. I seem to get later every year. Maybe it's a good thing that this will be my last one. After thirty four years at Kansas State, I've decided that it's time to retire and start learning new things to do. I'm sure that most people won't be surprised to know that Marilyn hopes to visit grandchildren more often. Our research funding remains healthy, still approximately six million dollars per year. Itzhak Ben-Itzhak and Larry Weaver shared the Schwenk Teaching Award from our Physics club. Chris Sorensen was named a University Distinguished Professor. Pat Richard was awarded a Higuchi Research Award by the University of Kansas. It seems that even the folks down the Kaw have noticed the quality of the faculty in our department. As mentioned last year, we have changed the format of our Engineering Physics course. We have reatined the lectured but combined the recitations and laboratories into a studio environment. The first two semesters seem to have been a success.

Chris Sorensen and Suzanne Maleki led the initial effort with help from Alice Churukian, one of Dean Zollman's graduate students. Amit Chakrabarti has now been through his first semester with the studio format. We have two remodeled studios in operation for the first time this spring. Suzanne got married this summer and moved away; Rebecca Lindell has taken her place. During the last year Martin Stockli took a job at Oak Ridge and Nate Folland retired to Florida. Those of you who read Physics Today know that we have been advertising for three positions, including mine. These ads are the result of a long range planning process I mentioned in last year's newsletter. We think we have a good set of plans; now the State of Kansas only has to fund KSU at a level so that the department can carry them out. Finally, I am extremely happy to report that in November I signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing the Ernest K. and Lillian E.Chapin Physics Chair, our first endowed chair of physics. This chair is being endowed by Franklin A. and Elizabeth Chapin Burke; income from the endowment will be matched from a fund set up by the Kansas Legislature. Many of you will remember that Ernest Chapin was a faculty member in our department longer than I have been. He first came here in the early 1920s and remained on the faculty until he retired in 1968. We are indeed grateful for this gift that will contribute greatly to the quality of the department in the future. You can read more about this magnificient contribution in a separate story in this newsletter.

-Jim Legg.


Copyright © 2001 K-State Physics Department.