The New Ralph Cutler Greene Award:
First Recipients Announced
Jennifer Ellis and George Miller, two outstanding senior undergraduate students in the University of Texas at Austin Astronomy Program, have been chosen as the first recipients of the Ralph Cutler Greene Award.
The Ralph Cutler Greene Endowment, which funds this annual award, was created by Joan Greene Smith in memory of her late brother, Ralph Cutler Greene, a young man of exceptional promise who died far before his time. Mrs. Smith, the widow of late McDonald Observatory Director Harlan J. Smith, is well known for her support of Texas Astronomy.
The Ralph Cutler Greene Award will be given annually to the most outstanding senior Astronomy students during their last year at the University of Texas at Austin. Mrs. Smith has said she hopes “that these awards will inspire, encourage, and reward learning and teaching in students of Astronomy.”
George Miller has been working continually on research projects with Drs. Don Winget and Mike Montgomery since he joined their Freshman Research Initiative group in Spring 2009. In spring 2010, he made the transition to mentor for the FRI stream, a position he continues to hold. He led participation in a new series of observations on NN Serpentis, a close binary star with circumbinary planets. The long-period planets discovered in these observations were the first of their kind, dynamically similar to outer planets in our solar system; they demonstrated that the process of planet formation is far more forgiving than previously realized.
Jennifer Ellis has also been a part of the FRI stream with Drs. Winget and Montgomery. After her first year, she embarked on a new research project as part of a collaboration between the Winget/Montgomery group and Sandia National Labs (SNL) in Albuquerque. In Summer 2010 she was an intern there and helped set up the diagnostics for the pulsed-power shots. She has decided to continue this work and make it the subject of her senior thesis in both Astronomy and Physics.
You can find information on the other student awards supported in 2011 by BoV funds and endowments from generous donors at:
BoV Support Helps Student Award Winners (07/2011)