UofU Athletics

UofU Athletics


Sports Science/Analytics Intern

Utah Applied Health & Performance Science is seeking sports science/analytics interns for Fall 2022. This experience will focus on project work with a variety of sports within Utah Athletics. These projects may involve machine learning, statistics, data analytics, data visualization, and modeling. Students do not need to have extensive experience in these subjects, but should come with enthusiasm to work in athletics and the ability to work together to creatively solve problems. Students can expect to be challenged and expand their technical skillset and collaborative capabilities throughout the fall semester. Projects will be presented at the end of the fall semester.

Location: University of Utah Athletic Facilities

Anticipated Start Date: August 2022

Anticipated End Date: December 2022, with the opportunity to continue on in the program

Time Commitment: 10+ hours/week

Minimum Academic Requirements:
- University of Utah student in good academic standing pursing a degree in mathematics, physics, statistics, kinesiology, exercise science, information systems, engineering, or related field
- Completion of at least 30 credits by the time of internship start date
- Completion of one course in statistics, data science, computer science, other relevant course, or submission of a project that aligns with these experiences

Desired Qualifications:
- Curiosity and interest in sports
- Ability to creatively think about solutions to problems
- Basic knowledge of statistical processes
- Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team
- Detail-oriented, thorough
- Ability to deliver projects on time in high quality
- Experience in Microsoft Excel
- Experience in Microsoft Power BI or other visualization software preferred
- Experience working in different software languages such as R and Python preferred
- Experience working with athletes or coaches preferred

Interested Candidates:
Send an email (Subject Line “Fall 2022 Sports Science Internship”) with a resume, cover letter, portfolio, and references to Anna Cruse: acruse@huntsman.utah.edu

Application Deadline: Fall 2022 applications are due 5/15/2022.

Compensation: This position is unpaid, but fulfillment of course credit may be available.

This opportunity is listed on the College of Science Internship Program website as a service to University of Utah students. Students should not assume that this opportunity, or other opportunities on this website, have been vetted and/or endorsed by the College of Science Internship Program or the University of Utah. This position may or may not align with current University of Utah COVID-19 conditions.

MAA Teaching Award

MAA Teaching Award


Kevin Wortman, an Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the University of Utah Department of Mathematics, has been honored with the 2022 Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Distinguished Teaching Award for the Intermountain Region.

Kevin Wortman

The award honors professors of mathematics whose efforts have been recognized as influential beyond their own institutions. Since 2004, Wortman is the fifth U mathematics faculty member to receive this MAA award. Previous U math faculty recipients include Don Tucker, Nicholas Korevaar, Peter Alfeld, and Anne Roberts. Wortman joined the U's Math Department in 2007.

The Mathematical Association of America, with more than 25,000 members, is the primary professional organization for teachers of undergraduate mathematics. The MAA Intermountain Region includes all colleges and universities in Utah and southern Idaho.

by Michele Swaner, first published @ math.utah.edu

 

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BioFire

BioFire


Research Associate I/II

The Research Associate I/II is a technical hourly position with laboratory responsibilities. The RA I/II works to meet deadlines in a dynamic environment and has the temperament to operate proactively and collaboratively in a team in support of FDA and other regulatory submissions. Tasks will focus on molecular and microbiological experiments and procedures (e.g. nucleic acid extraction, serial dilution, PCR, bacterial and fungal culture, etc.) with associated collection, analysis, verification and recording of data in accordance with established protocols and work instruction documents, regulations, safety requirements, and the quality system. Work is primarily collaborative and requires the ability to effectively and respectfully communicate and coordinate with peers and supervisor(s).

This position requires basic laboratory technical and organizational skills, attention to detail, critical thinking, troubleshooting and problem-solving, and a dedication to the mission and goals of the department and BioFire.

Essential Job Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Perform all work in compliance with company policy and within the guidelines of BioFire Diagnostics’ Quality System.
  2. Follow policies and procedures and conduct oneself professionally and in accordance with the BioFire Diagnostics Employment Handbook.
  3. Ensure data integrity and accurate record-keeping by collecting, recording, analyzing, and verifying data in compliance with SOPs, WIDs, and Study Protocols.
  4. Use and maintain laboratory equipment, supplies/inventory, and workspaces according to operational, quality control and safety requirements, protocols, SOPs, and WIDs.
  5. Perform routine calculations and laboratory techniques, to include solution formulation, dilution, microbial culture and enumeration, nucleic acid extraction, real-time and/or digital PCR, as well as basic graphing and statistical analyses.
  6. Work in a Biosafety Level 2/2(+) environment with potentially pathogenic microbes, patient samples, and body fluids using sterile technique for contamination and infection control.
  7. May participate in maintenance of laboratory databases (e.g. for tracking of reagents, organism strains, samples, specimens, etc.).
  8. Act as a good lab citizen and team-member. Coordinate and collaborate with supervisors and peers within and across teams and functional groups for routine lab activities, cleaning, equipment use, specific assigned tasks and projects, and sharing of knowledge, skills, and ideas.
  9. Participate and contribute to protocol and process development, optimization, revision, and/or execution as well as risk or hazard identification and mitigation; commensurate with knowledge and experience.
  10. Train others on laboratory and departmental practices and procedures; commensurate with knowledge and experience.
  11. Develop knowledge and skill in time and task management, experimental design and execution, as well as data compilation, analysis, and presentation (written and/or oral) to supervisors and peers.
  12. Demonstrate proficiency in time and task management, experimental design and execution, and presentation of results and outcomes (written and/or oral) to supervisors and peers. (RAII)
  13. Gain and maintain a working knowledge of current and evolving microbiology and molecular biology principles.
  14. Attend and participate in all assigned meetings, including company and group meetings.
  15. Attend and participate in learning and training opportunities.
  16. Be curious, communicative, and committed to making ‘Cool Stuff’.
  17. Performs other duties as assigned.

Qualifications

Training and Education

Requires a Bachelor’s degree in a scientific discipline or a minimum of two years of undergraduate education in a scientific discipline with demonstrated laboratory experience and working knowledge of basic chemistry, microbiology and/or molecular biology principles.

Experience

2 years of experience with Laboratory techniques preferred (RAI) or required (RAII). Experience in molecular techniques relevant to real-time PCR and sequence analysis; microbiology training and familiarity with Biosafety Level 2 practices a plus.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  1. Must demonstrate skill in basic laboratory technician practices (pipetting, biological and chemical material handling, sterile technique and contamination control, basic concentration and statistical calculations, and accurate record-keeping).
  2. Basic competency with Microsoft Office (Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word).

Physical Requirements

  1. Must be able to safely lift and maneuver 40lbs.
  2. Must have sufficient manual and visual dexterity for standard laboratory practices (e.g. pipetting, micro centrifuge tube capping/uncapping, syringe manipulation, etc.; reasonable accommodations are applicable).
  3. Able to wear required personal protective equipment (PPE) and work at a Biosafety Cabinet in a Biosafety Level 2/2+ laboratory environment.
  4. Must maintain regular and consistent attendance.

Apply: https://jobs.jobvite.com/careers/biofiredx/job/owhaifwZ?__jvst=Employee&__jvsd=s9CCrjwC&__jvsc=email&bid=nMTXY0w5

This opportunity is listed on the College of Science Internship Program website as a service to University of Utah students. Students should not assume that this opportunity, or other opportunities on this website, have been vetted and/or endorsed by the College of Science Internship Program or the University of Utah. This position may or may not align with current University of Utah COVID-19 conditions.

BioFire

BioFire


Lab Technologist I - Oligo, Day Shift

BioFire Diagnostics, LLC. is seeking a Lab Technologist I to join our team. Lab Technologists are responsible for performing a wide variety of laboratory tasks and production processes.  This includes operating and troubleshooting HPLCs, DNA Synthesizers, LC/MS, liquid handling robots, and UV/Vis Spectrometry.

Lab Technologists works on assignments that are routine in nature where ability to recognize deviation from accepted practice is required. Normally receives general instructions on routine work, detailed instructions on new assignments

Strong pipetting skills, attention to detail, organization, and familiarity with cGMP are desired.

Principal Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Perform all work in compliance with company policy and within the guidelines of BioFire Diagnostic’s Quality System.
  2. Maintains records in compliance with regulatory requirements, current Good Manufacturing Practices, and Standard Operating Procedures.
  3. Relies on instructions and pre-established written guidelines to perform job functions.
  4. Manufactures oligonucleotides according to electronic batch records and WID’s.
  5. Proficient in the use and maintenance of laboratory instrumentation including UV/Vis spectrophotometer, HPLC, liquid handling robots, and DNA synthesizers.
  6. Handles hazardous chemicals in accordance with approved written procedures.
  7. Performs additional tasks as assigned by management.

Qualifications:

Requires a Bachelor’s Degree (BS), or working toward a degree.  Chemistry, BioChemistry, and Biology preferred.

Must be able to perform duties wearing a Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR).

Sunday - Tuesday from 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM + every other Wednesday
Thursday - Saturday from 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM + every other Wednesday

***SIGN ON BONUS OFFERED***

  • $300 on first pay check
  • $300 after 6 months of employment

 

Apply: https://jobs.jobvite.com/careers/biofiredx/job/oTr0hfwl?__jvst=Employee&__jvsd=s9CCrjwC&__jvsc=email&bid=nW7SY0wo

This opportunity is listed on the College of Science Internship Program website as a service to University of Utah students. Students should not assume that this opportunity, or other opportunities on this website, have been vetted and/or endorsed by the College of Science Internship Program or the University of Utah. This position may or may not align with current University of Utah COVID-19 conditions.

NSF Fellowship

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship


Kaitlin O'Dell awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

“I feel so honored to receive such a prestigious award,” said O’Dell. “I never imagined I would receive the amazing feedback I got while I was applying for the fellowship. The research I plan on doing is groundbreaking work in numerical methods, so to have that recognized is beyond exciting! The fellowship is really going to allow me to focus on my research and hopefully give not only the numerical community—but the science and engineering community—a great way
to model high-dimensional equations.”

O’Dell’s work is primarily focused on the numerical modeling of high-dimensional partial differential equations. She and her team specifically are developing a particle method that will preserve the energy dissipation structure of the physical systems. Once the actual numerical procedure is developed and analyzed for validity, the team hopes to test it on many physical models to gain a better understanding of these higher-order systems. These physical models can range from materials science to fluids, mechanics, and engineering.

Kaitlin O'Dell

“I never imagined I would receive the amazing feedback I got while I was applying for the fellowship. The research I plan on doing is groundbreaking work in numerical methods, so to have that recognized is beyond exciting!"

 

She excelled at math as a kid, but it wasn’t until she began doing research as an undergrad that she realized how much she enjoys math. “I was able to do research on engineering topics that I was already familiar with and combine them with my two favorite subjects—numerical analysis and ordinary differential equations,” she said. “This really opened my eyes as to what I could be doing in the field of math and the broad range of research I could perform as an applied mathematician.”

O’Dell started out studying engineering at the University of New Mexico (UNM) because of her love for space and science. She enjoyed internships and had the opportunity to work at NASA Ames Research Center. However, she began to find that she was enjoying the math modelling aspect of engineering more than the actual engineering. She decided to switch her major to applied math during her senior year, and she began doing research with Professor Emeritus Deborah Sulsky on beam theory (a way of calculating the load-bearing and deflection characteristics of beams) as part of her honors thesis.

“Dr. Sulsky is an amazing mentor, and she’s very much the reason that I’m now doing a Ph.D. in mathematics.” After O’Dell graduated from UNM in 2020, with honors from the university and honors in mathematics, she decided to apply to the U because of the reputation of the Math Department and the fact that the graduate students seemed happy. “At the time I wasn't sure what I would research, but I found a project that I absolutely fell in love with, and now I couldn’t be happier,” she said. After she obtains her Ph.D., O’Dell would like to stay in academia, but she also envisions working in industry. “I’ll most likely apply to a wide variety of things and choose which I think will be the best fit for me.”

by Michele Swaner, first published @ math.utah.edu

 

Outstanding Post-Doc

Outstanding Post-Doc


Julie Jung has received an Outstanding Post-Doctoral Fellow Award from the College of Science.

Julie Jung spent much of her time in high school roaming greenhouses working for a wheat lab at the USDA. Since then, she has pivoted her research to ecology, having worked first with owls, songbirds, chipmunks and pollinators within New England's deciduous forests.

Following graduation with honors in Biology from Williams College, Jung found herself on a plane to Panama to do field work at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute as a graduate student in biology. There she spent the next several rainy seasons studying how red-eyed treefrogs escape hatch in response to snake vibrations.

Julie Jung

"I was so excited to have been peed on by a titi monkey while walking to lab."

 

"I was so excited to have been peed on by a titi monkey while walking to lab," she remembers. During the course of getting her doctorate from Boston University, Jung slowly grew into her role as a behavioral biologist.

As winner of this year's College of Science's "Outstanding Post-Doc Award," Jung has found a scientific home in the Werner Lab still studying the phenomenon of "phenotypic plasticity"—or how the same genotype produces distinct phenotypes depending on environmental conditions—but this time in nematodes.

Jung's NSF-funded research hopes to establish a general model of plasticity across diverse systems. The pivot from field to bench work has been jarring but only partial—as she and her lab members still get out to the Great Salt Lake to collect soil specimens.

Outside of research, Julie Jung loves to climb mountains and practice the salsa dancing skills she picked up in Panama.

by David Pace, first published @ biology.utah.edu

 

NSF Fellowship

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship


Samantha Linn awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

“Recognition from the NSF feels like a pat on the back from one of your greatest role models,” said Linn. “It means “well done,” but it also means, “keep up the good work.” I am grateful because the fellowship gives me more freedom to focus on research and continue my participation in organizations that I care a lot about, such as the Association for Women in Mathematics, the Prison Mathematics Project, and the Living Room Exchange of Mathematics.”

The fellowship provides three years of support over a five-year fellowship period for individuals working on a graduate degree who have demonstrated potential for significant research achievements in STEM or STEM education.

Linn’s research is focused on understanding randomness in various biological processes. In particular, she has spent time thinking about what is known as the “redundancy principle,” which is about the need of many copies of the same entity (think cells, molecules, or ions, for example) to fulfill a biological function. The redundancy principle states that while these copies may seem energetically wasteful, this redundancy is necessary for certain tasks to occur sufficiently fast. Such a task might be neurotransmitters, which we think of as random searchers, looking for postsynaptic receptors, which we think of as targets.

Samantha Linn

“Recognition from the NSF feels like a pat on the back from one of your greatest role models,” said Linn. “It means “well done,” but it also means, “keep up the good work.”

 

Linn has been working on characterizing what might be expected from the fastest searcher. “One advantage of my work is that the application doesn’t need to be solely centered on biology,” she said. “In fact, the questions I ask are often relevant to many areas of physics, chemistry, and sociology. There are many more questions to be asked, with specific applications in mind, so I’m sure this work will keep me busy for a while!”

Linn grew up loving math, and she spent a lot of her free time doing sudoku puzzles and other math games. It wasn’t until halfway through college that she became aware of the possibility of pursuing a career in mathematics.

Before moving to Utah for graduate school, she studied biomedical engineering at the University of Minnesota. She had planned to study medicine, but became concerned by the lack of math in her pre-med classes. With the help of mentors, she realized that she would be happier pursuing a Ph.D. in mathematics.

Samantha wasn’t sure where she wanted to go for graduate school—she had flights booked for graduate program visits, but everything was canceled at the last minute with the start of the COVID pandemic in March 2020. After participating in Zoom calls with at least 50 graduate students and faculty at various programs, she decided that the people in Utah were the happiest. She had never been to Salt Lake City until the day she moved here, but  it has worked out well. Linn likes the graduate program, finds it fun, and she’s very happy she made the decision to come to the U. After graduate school, she hopes to continue her research as a postdoc and, ultimately, have a career in academia as a full professor.

by Michele Swaner, first published @ math.utah.edu

 

Outstanding Undergraduate

Outstanding Undergraduate


Luis Rufino, a senior who will graduate with a degree in physics, has overcome many academic challenges at the U. His efforts were rewarded when he received the College of Science Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award.

“When I first heard the news, I was surprised because I didn’t feel I deserved it, even though I’ve worked hard,” he said. “Maybe I’m suffering from the imposter syndrome, and I’m still questioning my abilities, but winning the award gave me reassurance that I’ve been successful in achieving my goal of improving as a student.” As a freshman at Salt Lake Community College, Rufino didn’t have a promising start. When he transferred to the U, his GPA was low. He was worried that he wouldn’t be able to keep up or survive upper-division physics classes.

Pearl Sandick and Luis Rufino

“The number of research opportunities available in the department is amazing and critical to development as a student or researcher. Even if you decide not to pursue graduate school, you will be a stronger candidate in the job market after completing a physics degree at the U.”

 

“I knew that I wanted to attend graduate school, which meant that I had to improve in my physics classes and also get some research experience,” he said. “Throughout my academic career at the U, I’ve tried to do my best and still find time for research. A physics degree is already quite challenging and wanting to do research on top of that added another layer of stress and difficulty.” Rufino thinks that one of the most important skills he learned at the U was how to manage school, research, and everything else that life throws at an undergraduate. He’s also learned how to bounce back from failure, especially in research.

His research is focused on exploring new physics to describe dark matter—the particles that gravitationally bind galaxies and clusters of galaxies together. The Standard Model of particle physics is the theory that explains how the most elementary particles interact with each other and combine to form composite objects, like protons and neutrons. Developed over the course of many decades, what we know today as the Standard Model was formulated nearly half a century ago and remains a focus of study for particle physicists. By itself, the Standard Model fails to provide an explanation for many important phenomena, such as the existence of dark matter in the universe.

Theoretical physicists have begun to think of a new group of particles that can potentially describe dark matter. These theoretical particles are called the Supersymmetric Standard Model, which suggests that a “cousin” or partner particle may exist for every fundamental particle in the Standard Model. One of these partner particles has the potential of being the mysterious dark matter particle.

Luis Rufino

But how do we find these partner particles? Whenever two particles interact with each other, they emit light and other particles. The same thing happens when two dark matter particles find each other. The light observed from these dark matter interactions can tell us about the dark matter characteristics. Rufino works on investigating the light originating from possible dark matter interactions from dwarf galaxies. He enjoys the research because it allows him to explore new ideas that have the potential to change much of what we know about physics.

He became interested in physics as a kid by watching pop-science movies, science cartoons, and superhero movies “I’d watch Jimmy Neutron, Dexter’s Laboratory, Spiderman, and Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, with Neil deGrasse Tyson,” Rufino said. “I have to give Neil deGrasse Tyson all the credit for my passion for physics. After the first or second episode, I was convinced physics was what I wanted to study, especially astronomy. Of course, now I’m more passionate about discovering new physics.”

His favorite professors in the department have been Dr. Tugdual LeBohec, Dr. Charlie Jui, and Dr. Pearl Sandick. He enjoys the way Dr. LeBohec incorporates history into a lecture before getting into physics. Dr. Jui empathizes with students in their struggles to master complex concepts. He remembers the late nights, the constant stress, and, sometimes, the nightmares that physics students experience. Dr. Jui’s ability to connect with students made Rufino feel at ease in taking his class.

Dr. Sandick has been the most influential person in Rufino’s life and academic career. “She is a person I strive to become, and I’m very grateful to have her as my research advisor,” he said. “The number of research opportunities that are available in the department is amazing and critical to development as a student or researcher. Even if you decide not to pursue graduate school, you will be a stronger candidate in the job market after completing a physics degree at the U.”

When he isn’t studying, he likes to run, play soccer, rock climb, and hang out with friends. Currently, he’s training for his second marathon.

After five years of endless toil, Rufino plans to take a gap year between graduation and graduate school. He wants to spend more time with the people he cares about and explore hobbies, such as working with leather goods, building mechanical keyboards, and playing video games. After his gap year, he will begin graduate studies at Syracuse University.

by Michele Swaner, first published @ physics.utah.edu