Department of Physics and Astronomy

University of Mississippi


Hunter Gabbard Applies Machine Learning Tools to Gravitational Waves

Hunter Gabbard, a recent graduate of The University of Mississippi’s Bachelor of Science physics program, is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of Glasgow. Under the supervision of Dr Christopher Messenger, Mr Gabbard and his collaborators have demonstrated that machine learning algorithms may be useful in automating the search for astrophysical events that are detected on earth as gravitational waves.

Physics Graduate Students Recognized by the Mississippi Academy of Sciences

Many physics graduate students presented their research at the 82nd Annual Meeting of Mississippi Academy of Sciences, which was held February 22–23 in Hattiesburg, MS. Students Shrobana Ghosh and Sunethra Dayavansha were each awarded first prize for talks they gave in the Physics and Engineering division; BB Pilgrim earned second prize. Ashoka Karunarathne’s poster was awarded third prize in the Mississippi INBRE graduate scholars symposium.

Saeed Kamali is a Winner of the 2018 Graduate Student Achievement Award

Saeed Kamali will receive 2018 the College of Liberal Arts Graduate Achievement Award in Physics and Astronomy.

The Graduate School awards up to a total of eighteen Graduate Achievement Awards each year for recognition on Honors Day. These include a maximum of two each from Accountancy, Applied Sciences, Business, Education, Engineering, and Pharmacy, and six from the College of Liberal Arts. (In Liberal Arts, the two awards are given in each of the following three areas: Area A, which includes Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Philosophy and Religions, and Physics and Astronomy; Area B, which includes Art, Classics, English, Journalism, Modern Languages, Music, and Theatre Arts; Area C, which includes History, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology and Anthropology.)

PASS 2018 — Physical Acoustics Summer School

The Physical Acoustics Summer School (PASS) brings together graduate students and senior lecturers from around the world for an intensive five-day program on fundamental and cutting-edge topics in physical acoustics. PASS 2018 will be held June 3–8 on the Oxford campus. Student applications are due February 14th. The student cost of $200 includes lecture materials, food, and lodging.

More information and an application form can be found here. Questions can be addressed to Josh Gladden, PASS Director (

Dr Likun Zhang Applies Underwater Acoustics to the Problem of Oil Spill Detection

Dr Likun Zhang, an Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy, is part of a team (including Drs Zhiqu Lu and Lei Cao, also at the University of Mississippi) that is using acoustics techniques to identify leaks in undersea oil pipelines. The trio of scientists received a $591,000 grant from the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to assist in their research.