Thank you to the following alumni for your show of support and interest. Your
overwhelming response is encouraging and appreciated by the Faculty and Staff of
the USC Department of Physics and Astronomy. Mr. Herbert J. Wintroub, B.A. Physics '50, is, presently, a Distinguished Engineer and
principal member of the technical staff for the Engineering and Technology Group at The
Aerospace Corporation, after working in management for many years in the Electronics
Research Laboratory. His current work is concerned with developing concepts for advanced
space communication and data-relay systems and the supporting device and component
technology. The emphasis is on systems in the upper microwave and millimeter-wave regions.
Another professional/personal interest is developing closer relationships between the
corporation and the academic community through arrangements such as the industrial
affiliates. On a personal basis, he is interested in mentoring younger Members of the Technical
Staff (MTS) and new graduates of our universities.
Mr. Duane Olinger, B.S. Physics '62, has retired after thirty years of applying Kepler
mechanics in the aerospace industry. He lives in Norman, Oklahoma.
Dr. Roger A. Lilly, B.S. Physics '61; M.A. Physics '64, is, currently, the Chair of the
Department of Physics at San Diego State University where he focuses his research in the
general area of optical image processing. Please visit his web page to find out more about
his past and present work, as well as other interests.
Mr. Gordon Ellison, M.A. Physics '66, is a self-employed consultant whose activities
include thermal analysis and design of electronic components and systems, software
development in same field, the teaching of "Advanced Topics in Fluid Mechanics and Heat
Transfer" as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Portland State
University, and the offering of short courses in "Thermal Analysis of Electronic Components
Dr. Chia Cheh (George) Chang, M.A. Physics '66; Ph.D. Physics '68, is working in the
research area of Experimental High Energy Nuclear Physics, and is, presently, involved in two
major research projects. The first involves the study of quark effects in nuclei using the new
high energy electron beam facility of the Thomas Jefferson Laboratory in Newport News,
Virginia; and the second is a study of the solar neutrino problem with physicists from Taiwan
and the People's Republic of China.
Dr. David Crain, B.S. Physics '68; M.S. Materials Science '71; Ph.D. Materials
Science '76, is, presently, the Director of Strategic Planning at Fluor Daniel in Irvine,
California, and has been in the strategic planning field for 8 years, following more than 20
years as an engineer with the Department of Defense and the Southern California Gas
Company. Crain writes, "After graduating in Physics in 1968, I took my Masters and Ph.D. in
the Materials Science Department at USC (back then, it was called `Applied Physics' so it
seemed like a very natural progression). My professors in Physics most fondly remembered
include: Drs. Judge, Wagner, Waddell, Cole, and Ogawa. All of us students were frightened
at the thought of having to take theoretical physics from Dr. Nodvik . . . ."
Dr. Craig Stephen Stern, B.A. Astronomy '69; Pharm.D. '76; M.B.A. Business
Administration '94, has worked as an independent consultant to multi-hospital corporations
since 1986, and has expanded into Managed Care for the past twelve years through his
Pharmacy Benefit and Strategic Planning and Implementation work with HMOs, physician
groups, self-insured companies, and Taft-Hartley Trusts. In addition, he subcontracts as a
specialist in Strategic Analysis, Planning and Implementation, and Benefit Consulting with
companies such as KPMG Peat Marwick, William M. Mercer & Co., Alexander &
Alexander (Aon) Consulting Group, etc. Furthermore, Stern is the author of over forty
papers, multiple abstracts and poster sessions, and is a nationally known speaker in the areas
of Clinical Therapeutics, Managed Care, and Strategic Analysis. He has been an Adjunct
Assistant Clinical Professor of Pharmacy at USC for over six years, an Adjunct Professor of
Business Policy and Strategy at Woodbury University, and a Professor in the Schools of
Nursing and Business at the University of Phoenix.
Dr. Alan C. Nelson, B.A. Physics '72, is the founder, CEO, and President of NeoPath,
Inc. After studying at USC, he received his Ph.D. in Biophysics in 1980 from the University
of California, Berkeley. His career includes joint professorships at MIT and Harvard where
he directed the Radiological Sciences Program. He was, also, the founding director of the
University of Washington's Center for Imaging Systems Optimization and the Medical
Imaging Graduate Program. Nelson holds a number of industry patents and has authored
numerous publications in the field of medical imaging technology.
Dr. Frank S. Felber, M.A. Physics '73; Ph.D. Physics '75, is developing a hand-held
ultrasound detector which finds non-metallic and metallic weapons concealed under clothing
at a distance for the National Institute of Justice. Recently, his team published the first remote
ultrasound images of concealed weapons. Furthermore, Felber is developing a "smart air bag"
sensor system for the Department of Transportation.
Dr. Terrence S. Lomheim, M.A. Physics '76; Ph.D. Physics '78, has worked for The
Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, California, for the past 20 years. In the past, he has
held technical staff and management positions, and, currently, holds the title of Distinguished
Engineer in the Sensor Systems Subdivision. His research involves the detailed experimental
evaluation of the electro-optical properties, imaging performance, and radiation effects
sensitivities of visible and infrared scanning, and staring sensors for a variety of Air Force
space system programs. He is, presently, working on the development of modeling tools and
simulations used to assess the performance of point-source detection, broadband,
multispectral, and hyperspectral image sensors in the visible through longwave spectral
regions. In addition to his work at The Aerospace Corporation, Lomheim has been a
part-time instructor in the Physics Department at California State University, Dominguez Hills,
since 1981, and teaches short professional courses several times a year for UCLA Extension,
UCSB Extension, and at various International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE)
Symposia throughout the U.S. Lomheim has, also, authored and co-authored twenty-seven
publications in the areas of applied optics, focal plane technology, charge-coupled devices,
and electro-optical system performance.
Dr. Shamasundar N. Dixit, M.A. Physics '75; Ph.D. Physics '79, is, presently, at
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory working as a group leader for diffractive optics.
He is responsible for the design and fabrication of large aperture diffractive optics for high
power laser fusion applications. He writes, "We fabricate random phase plates, diffraction
gratings, and Fresnel lenses at approximately 1 meter size for use in pulse compression,
spatial beam smoothing, laser beam shaping, and space applications. In spite of their large
size, the optics have feature sizes in the micrometer range; so our diffractive optics can be
termed `meter size, yet micron precise.'"
Dr. David M. Tralli, B.S. Physics '81, went on to receive a Ph.D. in Geophysics from
University of California, Berkeley in 1986, and an MBA in Technology Marketing from the
Claremont Graduate School in 1994. Presently, he is the Manager of JPL's Targeted
Commercialization Office which he designed and formed in 1996 to develop new business for
JPL by working with the commercial sector to target the needs of emerging markets.
Collaborative technology development and applications research proposals have resulted in
over $3 million in funding. Additionally, Tralli's office supports the technology
commercialization requirements of multi-million dollar space exploration missions at JPL.
Current market interests include property insurance risk securitization, carbon offsets trading,
modern agriculture, and collaborative environments. Technologies and applications under
development include synthetic aperture radar, imaging spectroscopy, and information
systems. Tralli has been with JPL for 12 years, and has fifteen peer-reviewed publications in
the areas of seismology and Global Positioning System technology for land and atmospheric
studies, and is, also, a consultant under the National Science Foundation on innovative
technologies for multi-hazard loss estimation. He lives in Arcadia with his wife and son.
Dr. Shin-Tson Wu, Ph.D. Physics '81, is working to develop new liquid crystal materials
and devices for direct-view and projection displays and for laser beam steering. Wu writes,
"In the display area, active matrix addressed liquid crystal display has become the dominant
technology for notebook computers and is penetrating to the desktops. Recently, a liquid
crystal based optical phase array has been demonstrated successfully to steer a high power
laser beam for laser communication."
Mr. Vance Breshears, Jr., B.S. Physics'83, has recently published a technical paper,
entitled "Design Approach for Multi-Channel Sound Reinforcement Systems", at the Audio
Engineering Society Convention held this past Fall '98 in San Francisco. In his paper, he
summarizes the use of PC based digital signal processing platforms in an innovative design
technique for multi-channel sound reinforcement in large gathering and entertainment venues.
Breshears, the President and Principal Consultant with Sound Technology Consultants in
Alpine, California, has been involved in acoustics and sound system design for themed
entertainment venues and sports facilities, as well as auditoriums and worship spaces with
projects across the U.S. and overseas. Recent clients include Walt Disney Imagineering and
Sea World. Other work includes product development and research for several pro-audio
equipment manufacturers and 3-dimensional computer room modeling training for acoustics
and sound systems designers.
Dr. David Sumida, M.A. Physics '79; Ph.D. Physics '84, researches diode-pumped
solid-state lasers, specifically diode-pumped Yb:YAG, for HRL Laboratories and spent six
months in 1993 at the MIT Lincoln Lab in Lexington, Massachusetts, as a visiting scientist in
a cooperative research agreement with MIT/LL to transfer Yb:YAG laser technology to
Hughes. He writes, "We, currently, hold the world record in output power at 1 kW of
average power from a tiny 3-mm diameter rod with an optical-optical efficiency of 25%. This
laser medium is ideally suited for high average power applications (both, high repetition rate
and, also, cw) and has active sponsorship for, both, military and industrial applications. We
have been fortunate to receive a number of awards because of this work." Sumida, himself,
has been awarded for this work. His invited paper was awarded the 1997 Best Paper Award
at the IRIS Specialty Group on Active Systems Conference, and he and his colleagues
received the Outstanding Paper Award from HRL Laboratories for their 1997 journal article
published in the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics. Furthermore, he is
a member of the Optical Society of America and the American Scientific Affiliation. In
addition to his research activities, Sumida still finds time to be a "soccer dad" who plays a
couple times a week on his lunch break, helps to coach his daughter's and older son's AYSO
soccer teams, and became an official referee, as well.
Dr. Ulf Israelsson, M.A. Physics '81; Ph.D. Physics '85, is, presently, the Discipline
Science Lead for NASA's Microgravity Fundamental Physics at the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory. Funding research in low temperature and condensed matter physics, laser
cooling and atomic physics, and gravitational physics at various institutions across the U.S.,
Israelsson's discipline, currently, has 54 investigators, eight of which have been selected as
potential flight candidates in the future. This program has flown two experiments on the Space
Shuttle, and future experiments will be flown as part of the International Space Station. His
current research interests involve studies of the lambda transition under the influence of a heat
Dr. Mark W. Sincell, B.S. Physics '86, went on to receive an M.S. ('88) and Ph.D. ('93)
in Physics from Johns Hopkins University with a specialization in computational astrophysics
after graduating from USC. Following two postdocs with the University of Illinois at
Champaign-Urbana and the Observatoire de Paris, Sincell decided to leave research and
become a full-time science writer. At present, he is living and writing in Tucson, Arizona.
Dr. Stephen Ducharme, M.A. Physics '82; Ph.D. Physics '86, an Associate Professor
for the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, is,
currently, working in experimental physics with projects which include the development of
photorefractive polymers, the study of ultrathin ferroelectric polymers, and ellipsometry. In
addition to the usual physics courses, Ducharme teaches a custom laboratory course on "The
Physics of Lasers and Modern Optics" for advanced science and engineering students and
"enjoys manipulating photons in public and private." Additional information may be found on
his web page.
Dr. Linn D. Van Woerkom, B.S. Physics '82; M.A. Physics '83; Ph.D. Physics '87, received tenure at Ohio State University in the Fall of '98 and is, now, an Associate Professor
Dr. Xiao-Wu (Charles) Qian, Ph.D. Physics '88, joined the Department of Chemistry at
Canada's University of Victoria as an Assistant Professor in 1992. In 1997, he was promoted
to Associate Professor and is, currently, on sabbatical in order to work in the Joint Institute
for Laboratory Astrophysics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His research interests
are laser spectroscopy and reaction dynamics of molecules. Qian has an eleven year old
daughter, Linda, and a four year old son, James. His wife works in the software industry.
Mr. Ron Carter, M.S. Physics '89, is, currently, employed at Northrop Grumman in the
Low Observables (LO) Research and Development Organization where he is involved in
working to develop an imaging reflectometer, portable maintenance aid, and 3-D graphics
Dr. Jien-ping (J.P.) Jiang, Ph.D. Physics '90, joined a start-up company in July 1997,
named Quality Electro-optical Devices, LLC (QED). Specializing in low power
diode-pumped solid state (Nd:YVO4) lasers frequency doubled to green (532nm), Jiang's
responsibility is to design new types of lasers, such as solid state lasers and external cavity
stabilized diode lasers, developing a compact Raman spectrometer for medical and industrial
applications. Furthermore, he is using, in collaboration with University Medical Center at the
University of Arizona, functional MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to the study neural
activities of patients undergoing acupuncture treatment.
Dr. Peter Saundry, M.A. Physics '90; Ph.D. Physics '91, is the Executive Director of a
nonprofit environmental science organization called the Committee for the National Institute
for the Environment. Rather than working on research, his work is, primarily, in the policy and
information arena. To learn more about his current activities, please visit the CNIE web site.
Saundry is married and lives in Germantown, Maryland, with his wife, Claire, and a two-year
old son, Andrew.
Dr. Katri Huitu, Ph.D. Physics '92, is working on supersymmetric and extended gauge
models of particle physics and is a particle theory and cosmology group leader in the Helsinki
Institute of Physics, as well as a member of the Institute Board. Huitu writes, "On the personal
side, my two and a half year old son is the apple of my eye."
Dr. Qiang Luo, Ph.D. Physics '93, is teaching a one year course at Peking University in
physics to sophomore psychology students covering mechanics, thermal physics, electricity
and magnetism, optics, and modern physics. He is working with Professor Gao, Z.X. to
investigate vortex dynamics in type-II superconductors and uses magneto-optic imaging
techniques to observe flux motion in high temperature superconductors. Luo writes,
"Currently, there is renewed interest in Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) after the direct
experimental observation of BEC for trapped atoms in 1995. BEC is relevant to high
temperature superconductors, too. Most likely, high temperature superconductors lie in the
crossover regime between weak-coupling BCS theory where Cooper pairs form below the
superconducting transition temperature, and BEC of pre-exist bosons. Professor Han, R.S.
and I are working on theoretical issues in this area."
Dr. Rudo Grimm, M.S. Physics '94, received his Ph.D. in Physics from the
Max-Planck-Institut fur Biochemie in Germany in 1997. While there, his research focused on
three-dimensional (tomographic) electron microscopy of whole bacterial cells. In December
1997, Grimm took a position as a business consultant with the Boston Consulting Group in
Germany. He and his wife live in Munich.
Dr. Shang Song, Ph.D. Physics '94, has worked for Chase Manhattan Bank in Princeton,
New Jersey in risk management advisory and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in New
York City in risk management education since her graduation from USC. She is, now, the
Executive Director for Financial Products-Asia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Song
lives in Hong Kong and markets derivative financial products to banks and corporations in
Dr. Fei Ye, M.S. Computer Engineering '93; Ph.D. Physics '95, is, presently, working
with a design team on the next generation UltraSparc III processor which, he writes, "will beat
Intel's Merced." Ye is in charge of the Memory Management Unit (MMU) design.
Mr. Michael Banks, B.S. Physics '95; B.A. East Asian Languages & Cultures '95, is
happy to announce the birth of his first child, Katerina Sue Banks ("Katie"), who arrived on
September 2, 1998. Banks writes, "She is happy and healthy, and even has her own website."
Ms. Amy (Pantipa) Boonsiriseth, B.S. Astronomy '95; B.A. Mathematics '95, is
working on her Ph.D thesis at UCLA's Department of Atmospheric Sciences. After finishing
her Master's Degree in 1997, she has begun studying the Earth's inner magnetospheric
response to geomagnetic storms. Her research includes creating a better convective electric
field for the near-earth region and looking at oxygen (O+) injection and removal processes for
the ring current during a geomagnetic storm. Boonsiriseth plans to graduate with her Ph.D.
degree in 2000.
Ms. Amy C. Fredericks, B.S. Astronomy '96, is in her third year of graduate school at the
University of Maryland at College Park, where she is, currently, researching lithium
abundances in 2.4 Gyr open cluster IC 4651.
Dr. Tetsu Takekoshi, M.A. Physics '94; Ph.D. Physics '97, an NRC postdoc at the
U.S. Air Force Academy, is working on extending atom cooling and trapping techniques to
Dr. Gokhan Esirgen, M.A. Physics '95; Ph.D. Physics '97, has begun doing postdoctoral
research at the Center for Simulational Physics at the University of Georgia with Professor
Bernd Schuttler. Presently, he is working on strongly correlated electron systems and
particularly high temperature superconductors and has just finished a research project on
long-range Coulomb interactions in collaboration with our own Professor Gene Bickers.
Ms. Rachel Mastrapa, B.S. Astronomy '97; B.S. Geological Sciences '97, is beginning
her second year in the University of Arizona Ph.D. program in Planetary Sciences. Her
research interests include Kuiper Belt Objects and organics in outer solar system bodies, and
she is actively studying the processes leading to isotopic fractionation in ices.
Mr. Alex Small, B.S. Physics '98, is attending graduate school at University of California,
Santa Barbara where he is working toward a Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics under the
direction of his principal advisor, Atac Imamoglu, from the Electrical and Computer
Engineering Department. Small's research focuses on quantum dots in microcavities with the
hopes of realizing a practical quantum computation scheme.
Department of Physics & Astronomy / USC Physics & Astronomy Newsletters /