Congratulations to professors Gene Bickers, Werner Däppen, and Dennis Nemeschansky on
their recent promotion to Full Professor as of Fall '98. Each professor has contributed greatly
to teaching and research in the department.
Gene Bickers came to USC as an assistant professor in 1988. During his tenure here, his
research has been focused in the field of condensed matter theory with an emphasis on
investigating the behavior of strongly interacting electrons in conducting solids. He says, "My
group and I have worked on problems in high-temperature superconductivity and quantum
magnetism using a combination of analytical and computational techniques." In addition to his
extensive research, he also possesses a deep commitment to his teaching responsibilities.
Professor Bickers has chaired the department Undergraduate Affairs Committee for the past
several years and serves as a Fellow with USC's Center for Excellence in Teaching.
Starting as an associate professor, Werner Däppen began work here in 1991. Since that
time, he has continued to study to learn more about the material properties of the hot dense
gas of the solar interior by using the observations of solar oscillations. His study of residual
unionized hydrogen inside the sun is important in, both, plasma physics and the astrophysically
important determination of the abundance of elements in the sun, stars, and the universe.
Presently on sabbatical in Aarhus for Fall '98 and Cambridge for Spring '99, he is taking time
to concentrate exclusively on his research. He says, "The direct contact with two leading
groups in the field is a tremendous stimulation for new ideas, ready to be developed when I
return to USC in Fall '99." With his usual dedication, Professor Däppen will continue advising
his graduate students while he is away, and when he returns, he looks forward to continuing
teaching Astronomy courses for General Education students and Astronomy majors.
Dennis Nemeschansky came to our department in 1986 after working as a post-doc at the
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Upon his arrival, he continued his research in quantum
field theory, string theory, and their application to the unification of forces. Recently his work
has centered on strong-weak coupling duality in supersymmetric QCD as well as studying
duality in string theory. In the past year, he has constructed several examples of string theories
that are dual to each other. In addition to his High Energy Theory research, Professor
Nemeschansky is an effective teacher who enjoys working with undergraduates and
Department of Physics & Astronomy / USC Physics & Astronomy Newsletters /