Assistant Professor of Physics David Schaffner has been awarded a grant through the National Science Foundation Cyberinfrastructure for Sustained Scientific Innovation program as part of a $2.4 million dollar collaborative grant with three other institutions (Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, UCLA, and the University of Delaware).
The project revolves around developing a software infrastructure called PlasmaPy that aims to streamline and standardize analysis and modeling programming for the plasma physics community.
Bryn Mawr will receive about $186,000 over five years. The funding will cover an undergraduate's stipend during the summer to work with physicists at UCLA on code development and salary during the school year to develop software packages for experimental analysis (using the Bryn Mawr Magnetohydrodynamic Experiment as a model).
The grant also covers travel for the student and Schaffner to yearly conferences, a yearly PlasmaPy workshop, and visits to UCLA. Bryn Mawr will be the institution in charge of providing grant funding for students (undergrad or grad) throughout the country interested in attending the yearly PlasmaPy workshop. Additionally, Bryn Mawr will host the major cumulative workshop/conference—during the fourth year of the award that will be open to the the entire plasma community—in order to showcase the progress of the software ecosystem's development.
The Department of Physics at Bryn Mawr College offers an engaging program in physics combining dedicated and meticulous teaching, stellar research opportunities, and a welcoming and enjoyable community. The Department aims to create an environment where aspiring physicists or scientists can grow and flourish.