Frontiers of Science

Frontiers of Science Lectures


The Frontiers of Science lecture series was established in 1967 by University of Utah alumnus and Physics Professor Peter Gibbs. By 1970, the University had hosted 10 Nobel laureates for public Frontiers lectures. By 1993, when Gibbs retired, the Frontiers organizers had hosted another 20 laureates. Today, Frontiers of Science is the longest continuously-running lecture series at the University of Utah.

UPCOMING LECTURES


DR. STEVEN CHU

 

Dr. Steven Chu

Tuesday, September 10, 2024, Nobel Laureate and Former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu will keynote the Frontiers of Science lecture series at the Natural History Museum of Utah.

VIDEO ARCHIVE


 

History


A Lecture Series Spanning Five Decades

 

The Frontiers of Science lecture series was established in 1967 by University of Utah alumnus and Physics Professor Peter Gibbs. Gibbs and his fellow physics faculty at the U sought to bring notable researchers from around the country to the University to discuss the current “frontiers” in physics research. The larger goal was to present public lectures that would attract attention to important developments in scientific research.

By 1970, the University had hosted 10 Nobel laureates for public Frontiers lectures. By 1993, when Gibbs retired, the Frontiers organizers had hosted another 20 laureates. Today, Frontiers of Science is the longest continuously-running lecture series at the University of Utah.

The first Frontiers event was presented by Peter Gibbs himself, who discussed “Einstein the Sociologist,” on April 1, 1967. Physics Professors David C. Evans, Grant R. Fowles and Jack W. Keuffel presented the remaining three lectures that year. In the meantime, the group worked on scheduling outstanding speakers for the following year.

Gibbs and colleagues made good on their promise to bring exceptional scientists to campus. During the 1968-69 academic year, eight lectures were held, including ones by C.N. Yang from the University of New York at Stony Brook (“Symmetry Principles in Physics”) and Murray Gell-Mann from the California Institute of Technology (“Elementary Particles”). Nobel laureates gave three of the eight presentations that academic year, and during 1969 as a whole, six of thirteen lectures were given by Nobel laureates. Topics included astronomy, mathematics, anthropology, politics and social issues.

Gibbs and the early FOS organizers were extremely adept at recruiting famous and soon-to-be-famous scientists. They also were keenly aware of the state of scientific research and the social climate of the time. President Nixon was in office, the Vietnam War was escalating and student protests were common on university campuses including the U of U. The United States had just put a man on the moon. Personal computers did not exist.

Through the 1970s as many as ten lectures were presented each academic year, but by 1980 the pace had slowed to a more manageable five or six per year. The FOS series had become immensely popular and the topics were broadened to include biology, chemistry, mathematics and the earth sciences.

In the early 1980s, FOS audiences were treated to firsthand accounts of the discovery of the structure of DNA by James D. Watson (“The Double Helix and Destiny,” 1981) and Francis H.C. Crick (“The Two DNA Revolutions,” 1984), the achievement for which they had received a Nobel Prize in 1962.

Many FOS speakers were not so famous or honored when they spoke here, but became so later in their career. For example, F. Sherwood Rowland spoke on “Man’s Threat to Stratospheric Ozone” in the 1978 academic year, and was a co-recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his pioneering studies on the destruction of ozone by chlorofluro- carbons which was his topic in 1978!

From 1994 to 1997, the Frontiers of Science series was complemented by the Davern/Gardner Laureateship. Dean T. Benny Rushing, Biology Professor K. Gordon Lark, and Emeritus Professor Boyer Jarvis wished to honor the memory of two former College of Science faculty members who made extraordinary administrative contributions to the University of Utah: Cedric “Ric” Davern and Pete D. Gardner.

Rushing, Lark and Jarvis secured a generous grant from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation to fund the Davern/Gardner Laureateship. The Laureateship allowed the College to bring a notable scientist to campus to deliver a public lecture and to interact with research teams and faculty that shared the invitee’s scientific interests. Dr. John Cairns gave the first lecture in November 1994. A total of six Davern/Gardner Laureateship lectures were presented until the grant was exhausted.

The history of venues for Frontiers of Science presentations is quite colorful. From 1967 to 1970, various rooms were used, including 103 North Physics, 200 Music Hall and Mark Greene Hall in the College of Business. By 1974, FOS events were often held in the Waldemer P. Read auditorium in Orson Spencer Hall. The Read auditorium featured stadium seating for about 400 people and was primarily used through the 1980s.

By 1990, the Fine Arts auditorium became the venue of choice because it was newer, larger, and had a better sound system. However, the lighting and sound controls were problematic and scheduling conflicts forced organizers to utilize the nearby Social Work auditorium on occasion.

In the meantime, the College of Science was constructing the Aline Wilmot Skaggs Biology Research Building (ASB) that included a beautiful 325-seat lecture auditorium and an adjoining 125-seat room complete with modern sound systems, digital video projectors and lighting. When ASB opened in 1997, the Frontiers series finally had a home within the College.

In 2003, the College of Mines and Earth Sciences joined with the College of Science to co-host FOS and increase the number of lectures devoted to aspects of geology, geophysics and meteorology. The effort was successful and a total of five presentations were scheduled, including Paul F. Hoffman, Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology, Harvard University (“Snowball Earth: Testing the Limits of Global Climate Change,” 2003) and Peter B. deMenocal, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University (“Climate Shifts and the Collapse of Ancient Cultures,” 2004).

In March 2007, Professor Kerry A. Emanuel of MIT discussed the history and science of hurricanes, including how climate change may be influencing storm cycles around the world. He used stunning photos and graphics to explain how hurricanes work, what determines their energy and destructiveness, and the economic and social implications of our policies for dealing with the risks they pose.

In 2008, The 14th Astronomer Royal of Great Britain, Sir Arnold Wolfendale, graced Utah audiences with a superb presentation on “Time: From Harrison’s Clocks to the Possibility of New Physics.” Other international guests were Dr. Jennifer Graves, Distinguished Professor at La Trobe University, Australia, and Dr. Stefan Hell, Nobel laureate and Director of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany.

Peter Gibbs: The Father of “Frontiers”

Physics Professor Pete Gibbs and his colleagues established the Frontiers of Science lecture series as a method to bring notable researchers from around the world to Utah to discuss the current “frontiers” in scientific research. The first Frontiers event was presented by Pete Gibbs himself, on April 1, 1967. During the following two years, nine of the twenty-one FoS lectures were given by current or future Nobel laureates.

The early success of Frontiers was largely due to Pete’s personal invitations, and also his family’s skill at hosting prominent scientists in their home near the University campus. The Gibbs family offered lodging, food, and world-class skiing, to sweeten the deal.

Pete Gibbs passed away on July 13, 2019 surrounded by family and friends. He was 94.

Frontiers of Science, now in its 52nd year, continues to be sponsored by the College of Science and the College of Mines and Earth Sciences. The list of speakers now includes some 280 distinguished scientists.

  


HOME

 

 

Academic Advising

Academic Advising


How can we help?

 

Academic Advisors are here to help you connect with university resources and opportunities so that you can maximize your undergraduate experience. We are a friendly face and a part of your team for success. We will assist you in exploring and declaring a major or minor, work with you to create an academic plan, and ensure that you understand graduation requirements such as general education, bachelor degree requirements, and course prerequisites. We are here to help you navigate the U of U from admission to graduation, and everything in between!

Advising Hive Phone: 801-587-0639


MEET YOUR ADVISING TEAM

Atmospheric Sciences Advisor

Isaac Reyes Altamira

Atmospheric Sciences Advisor
 isaac.reyes@utah.edu

Isaac Reyes Altamira

Atmospheric Sciences Advisor
 isaac.reyes@utah.edu

Biology Advisors

Mark Campbell

Biology Advisor
 801-587-7786
 mark.a.campbell@utah.edu

Mark Campbell

Biology Advisor
JTB Rm 210
 801-587-7786
 mark.a.campbell@utah.edu

Savannah Manwill

Biology Advisor
 801-587-7371
 savannah.manwill@utah.edu

Savannah Manwill

Biology Advisor
JTB Rm 220b
 801-587-7371
 savannah.manwill@utah.edu

Madeline Marshall

Biology Advisor
 madeline.marshall@utah.edu

Madeline Marshall

Biology Advisor
JTB Rm 220b
 madeline.marshall@utah.edu

Bree Molinari

Biology Advisor
 801-581-4063
 bree.molinari@utah.edu

Bree Molinari

Biology Advisor
JTB Rm 208
 801-581-4063
 bree.molinari@utah.edu

Sean Meyer

Biology Advisor
 801-587-0648
 sean.t.meyer@utah.edu

Sean Meyer

Biology Advisor
CSC Rm 240
 801-587-0648
 sean.t.meyer@utah.edu

Kelsie Richards

Biology Advisor
 kelsie.richards@utah.edu

Kelsie Richards

Biology Advisor
JTB Rm 220b
 kelsie.richards@utah.edu

Chemistry & Biochemistry Advisors

Maddy Montgomery

Chemistry Advisor
 801-587-0645
 maddy.montgomery@utah.edu

Maddy Montgomery

Chemistry Advisor
CSC 240
 801-587-0645
 maddy.montgomery@utah.edu

Braydon Rawlings

Chemistry Advisor
 braydon.rawlings@utah.edu

Braydon Rawlings

Chemistry Advisor
 braydon.rawlings@utah.edu

Hannah Leopold

Chemistry Advisor
 801-585-7284
 hannah.leopold@utah.edu

Hannah Leopold

Chemistry Advisor
 801-585-7284
 hannah.leopold@utah.edu

Earth & Environmental Science Advisor

Sean Meyer

Earth & Environmental Science Advisor
 801-587-0648
 sean.t.meyer@utah.edu

Sean Meyer

Earth & Environmental Science Advisor
 801-587-0648
 sean.t.meyer@utah.edu

Geology & Geophysics Advisor

Sean Meyer

Geology & Geophysics Advisor
 801-587-0648
 sean.t.meyer@utah.edu

Sean Meyer

Geology & Geophysics Advisor
 801-587-0648
 sean.t.meyer@utah.edu

Mathematics Advisors

Lauren Bustamante

Mathematics Advisor
 801-581-4680
 lauren.bustamante@utah.edu

Lauren Bustamante

Mathematics Advisor
 801-581-4680
 lauren.bustamante@utah.edu

Sage Blackburn

Mathematics Advisor
 801-587-0642
 sage.blackburn@utah.edu

Sage Blackburn

Mathematics Advisor
 801-587-0642
 sage.blackburn@utah.edu

Metallurgical Engineering Advisor

Natalie Eastwood

Metallurgical Engineering Advisor
 801-581-6864
 natalie.eastwood@utah.edu

Natalie Eastwood

Metallurgical Engineering Advisor
 801-581-6864
 natalie.eastwood@utah.edu

Mining Engineering Advisor

Pam Hoffman

Mining Engineering Advisor
 801-585-5176
 pam.hoffman@utah.edu

Pam Hoffman

Mining Engineering Advisor
 801-585-5176
 pam.hoffman@utah.edu

Physics & Astronomy Advisors

Isaac Reyes Altamira

Atmospheric Sciences Advisor
 isaac.reyes@utah.edu

Isaac Reyes Altamira

Atmospheric Sciences Advisor
 isaac.reyes@utah.edu

Jeremy Thomson

Atmospheric Science & Physics & Astronomy Advisor
 jeremy.thomson@utah.edu

Jeremy Thomson

Atmospheric Science & Physics & Astronomy Advisor
FASB 104B
 jeremy.thomson@utah.edu

Director of Advising

Cyri Dixon

Director of Advising
 801-587-0650
 cyri.dixon@utah.edu

Cyri Dixon

Director of Advising
CSC 240
 801-587-0650
 cyri.dixon@utah.edu

Honors College Advisor

Karleton Munn

Honors College Advisor

Karleton Munn

Honors College Advisor
 801-581-7383
 k.munn@honors.utah.edu

Career Coaching

Laura Cleave

Career Coach

Laura Cleave

Career Coach
Laura meets individually with Science majors to help them craft and execute successful career plans. Laura is dedicated to helping students achieve their personal goals, build confidence, and learn new skills.
 801-587-8928
 laura.cleave@eccles.utah.edu

Robin Wheelwright

Career Coach

Robin Wheelwright

Career Coach
 robin.wheelwright@utah.edu

Embedded Therapist

Steven Trujillo

Embedded Therapist

Steven Trujillo

Embedded Therapist
 801-581-6826
 strujillo@sa.utah.edu

Course Planning Resources


General Education Requirement Form


If you see transfer courses on your Degree Audit that you think should clear General Education requirements, but aren’t doing so, and you are a College of Science major, please submit the General Education Requirement petition form.

 

Transfer Course Evaluations


If you are transferring from a school outside of Utah, please submit course descriptions and syllabi for pertinent classes to the appropriate department for evaluation. These will generally be math and science courses.

>> Back to top <<

>> Home <<

Presidential Scholar

Presidential Scholar


Pearl Sandick

Pearl Sandick one of Four U Presidential Scholars named.

Four faculty members—a pharmacologist, a political scientist, an engineer, and a physicist—have been named Presidential Scholars at the University of Utah.

The award recognizes the extraordinary academic accomplishments and promise of mid-career faculty, providing them with financial support to advance their teaching and research work.

The 2020 recipients are: Marco Bortolato, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the College of Pharmacy; Jim Curry, associate professor and director of graduate studies for the Department of Political Science in the College of Social and Behavioral Science; Masood Parvania, associate professor and associate chair in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering; and Pearl Sandick, associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and associate dean of the College of Science.

“These scholars represent the exceptional research and scholarship of mid-career faculty at the University of Utah,” said Dan Reed, senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “They each are outstanding scholars and teachers in their fields of specialty. Their scholarship is what makes the U such a vibrant and exciting intellectual environment.”

Presidential scholars are selected each year, and the recipients receive $10,000 in annual funding for three years. The program is made possible by a generous donor who is interested in fostering the success of mid-career faculty.

Pearl Sandick

Pearl Sandick, a theoretical particle physicist and associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, studies explanations for dark matter in the universe—one of the most important puzzles in modern physics.“I love that my work involves thinking of new explanations for dark matter, checking that they’re viable given everything we know from past experiments and observations, and proposing new ways to better understand what dark matter is,” she said. “I find this type of creative work and problem solving to be really fun on a day-to-day basis, and the bigger picture — what we’ve learned about the Universe and how it came to look the way it does — is just awe-inspiring.”

She has given a TEDx talk and been interviewed on National Public Radio’s Science Friday. Sandick is passionate about teaching, mentoring students and making science accessible and interesting to non-scientists. In addition to the Presidential Scholar award, she has received the U’s Early Career Teaching Award and Distinguished Mentor Award.

“One of the great joys of working at the U is our commitment to engaging students at all levels in research,” Sandick said, “and I’ve been thrilled to work with amazing undergraduate and graduate students.”

by Rebecca Walsh first published in @theU

Goldwater Scholarship

GOLDWATER SCHOLARSHIP


The Goldwater Foundation awards $7,500 scholarships to outstanding undergraduate students in the spring of 2021 for the 2021-22 academic year.

Awards are made on the basis of merit to students who have outstanding potential and intend to pursue research careers in mathematics, natural sciences, or engineering. The University of Utah may nominate up to four students each academic year. Applicants must be a current sophomore or junior pursuing a bachelor degree, have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher, and be a US citizen, US national, or permanent resident.

Goldwater scholarships are awarded to students who have been nominated by their educational institution. The University of Utah internal deadline to apply is November 23, 2020. To be considered for nomination all materials including letters of recommendation must be submitted by the internal deadline.

Goldwater Nomination Process

Candidates must complete pre-screening BEFORE they are allowed to apply.

  • Complete Student Profile and Pre-Application at  https://goldwater.scholarsapply.org.
  • Contact three research or academic faculty members to provide a letter of recommendation.
  • Provide each faculty member a signed FERPA_Release_for Goldwater (pdf).
  • Provide the names and email addresses of the recommenders when you submit the Pre-Application.
  • Goldwater Pre-Applications will be reviewed within 7 days. If you meet the eligibility screening for the award you will be given access to the Goldwater online application.

Goldwater Application Process


To be considered for scholarship nomination all materials, including letters of recommendation, must be submitted by the University deadline of November 23, 2020. The January 2021deadline as mentioned in the Goldwater Foundation announcement is the deadline for nominations to the Goldwater Foundation.

  • Goldwater Online Application form: Submitted by candidate
  • Backpack (document upload area in online application form) must contain:
    • 1 Research Essay (uploaded by candidate)
    • 3 Letters of Recommendation (uploaded by Campus Representative)
    • University of Utah Transcript (uploaded by Campus Representative)
    • Official transcripts from other institutions attended, if applicable (candidate requests transcript to be sent to Campus Representative to be uploaded)
    • 1 Copy of a Permanent Resident Card (if the candidate is a Permanent Resident – uploaded by the candidate)
    • 1 Letter of Intent to Become a U.S. Citizen (if the candidate is a Permanent Resident – uploaded by the candidate)

Essays should be single spaced and use 12-point Arial font, must not exceed 3 pages. Margins should be 1 inch on all sides. Include your name and institution name at the top of each page.