News release
Public Information Office   SLU 10880   Hammond, LA 70402   phone: 985-549-2341   fax: 985-549-2061 Spring 2004 news releases Public Information home News archive

Contact: Rene Abadie
Date: 5/18/04
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LIGO SUMMER FELLOWSHIPS -- Sanichiro Yoshida, assistant professor of physics at Southeastern Louisiana University, reviews data with Southeastern students Raghuveer Dodda, a computer sciences major from India, and Kristin Rogillio, physics major from Walker, at the LIGO Observatory in Livingston. The two students were accepted into the summer research program at LIGO and will work under the direction of Yoshida, a collaborating scientist at the facility. 

      HAMMOND --  Two Southeastern Louisiana University students have been awarded prestigious summer research opportunities at the LIGO Observatory in Livingston, while another has earned a national fellowship for research into plasma physics and fusion energy.
      Raghuveer Dodda, a computer sciences major from India, and Kristin Rogillio, a physics major from Walker, have each received a $5,000 stipend to work in the LIGO summer research program administered by the California Institute of Technology and funded by the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program. Physics major Tiffany Findley of Prairieville received a National Undergraduate Fellowship in Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy Sciences funded by the United States Department of Energy. She is one of only 25 students nationwide selected for the fellowship and will receive a $4,800 stipend for her work.
      Dodda and Rogillio will perform research under the direction of Sanichiro Yoshida, assistant professor of physics at Southeastern and collaborating scientist at LIGO. 
      LIGO – which stands for Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory – is focused on researching gravitational waves from sources such as black hole collisions, pulsations of newborn neutron stars and the background remnants of the Big Bang itself. Funded by the National Science Foundation and operated by the California Institute of Technology, the LIGO Observatory in Livingston is one of only six such installations in the world. The students will be expected to present findings of their research at a LIGO Scientific Collaboration meeting later in the summer.
      Findley, who earned a LIGO research fellowship last year, will join other recipients for an intense one-week course on plasma physics and fusion energy given by research scientists and faculty at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in Princeton, N.J. She will spend the rest of the summer working on a research project with Daniel McCarthy, head of the department of chemistry and physics at Southeastern. A scientist specializing in plasma physics and fusion energy, McCarthy will serve as her research mentor.
      “It is truly gratifying to see our students earning these prestigious research opportunities,” McCarthy said. “It reflects on the quality of students we are attracting to our program as well as on our faculty who have helped prepare them. The chance to perform this level of research as undergraduates will be invaluable for their future careers.”