<< >> Title Contents


Serving as the home of the Computer Science, Mathematics, and Psychology departments, as well as providing offices and labs for faculty representing all the other science departments, Bronfman Science Center fosters interdisciplinary interaction among all members of the Science Division. This interaction is encouraged through the use of core equipment and services shared by the faculty; through intentional, interdepartmental programs; and, to a great extent, simply by the spatial juxtaposition of faculty with common interests regardless of their departmental affiliation. Several Science Center activities promote this further by specifically encouraging discourse among scientists at Williams. This is carried out in many ways, including informal faculty presentations at Tuesday lunches (both during the summer and academic year), the maintenance of a weekly science calendar, the publication of the Report of Science at Williams, and the faculty lectures sponsored each semester by the local Sigma Xi chapter.

In a real sense, the programs of the Bronfman Science Center lie at the heart of the Science Division. It is here that we carryout such vital functions as the coordination of grant proposals to federal agencies and private foundations, the distribution of more than $150,000 of research funds annually, and the allocation of increasingly precious space within the science division. The faculty and student research projects and summer research opportunities supported by internal divisional funds, as well as those supported by external grants, are detailed below and in the various departmental reports.

In 1995-96, individual Williams College science faculty once again received over $1,000,000 from active federal grants for the purchase equipment and support of student-faculty research projects.

Student Summer Research Participation

The summer research activities of more than 110 students were supported by Williams in 1996. Some of these students were entering their senior year and were beginning their honors research. Others entering their sophomore or junior years and received their first taste of independent research. Still others were on exchange from sister institutions, funded through the NECUSE program. During the summer of 1996, students were given stipends of $300 per week and free housing. While the support for some of the students was from external grants to individual faculty, the majority were supported either by College funds or educational grants to Williams.

The summer is a relaxed, yet concentrated time, without competing course work to interrupt the collaborative efforts between students and faculty. In addition to the research experience and an annual science division picnic, Bronfman sponsors a weekly Tuesday luncheon that features a lecture by one of the faculty on current research. Summer is truly one of the most enjoyable seasons in Williamstown.

1996 Summer Science Students and Their Faculty Advisors


J. Sebastian Diaz J. M. Pasachoff
Ruth O'Gorman M. Demianski
Matthew Pickard Jay Pasachoff
Aditi Rao Karen Kwitter
Christina Reynolds Karen Kwitter
Karla Solheim Martin/Maraziti
MacGregor Stocco S. Martin


Annaliese Berry E. Adler
Vy Bui J. Edwards
Lauren Burwell N. Roseman
Beth Copanas S. Zottoli
Jennifer Danforth H. Williams
Walter Cheng S. Zottoli
Matthew Garland W. Raymond
Susan Gurgel H. Williams
Susan Halbach H. Art
Cynthia Huang S. Zottoli
David Jaskoski D. Smith
Karen Lee W. Raymond
Katherine Liao J. Edwards
Lauren Burwell N. Roseman
Beth Copanas S. Zottoli
Jennifer Danforth H. Williams
Walter Cheng S. Zottoli
Matthew Garland W. Raymond
Susan Gurgel H. Williams
Susan Halbach H. Art
Cynthia Huang S. Zottoli
David Jaskoski D. Smith
Karen Lee W. Raymond
Katherine Liao J. Edwards
Elizabeth Maxwell N. Roseman
Carolyn McBride D. Smith
Jason Meyers S. Zottoli
Franklin Mullins H. Williams
Sheyda Namazie W. Raymond
Leocadia Paliulis W. Raymond
Deborah Palmer S. Zottoli
Alvaro Sagasti W. Raymond
Mara Steinkamp E. Adler
Charles Wall H. Art
Jason Wilder J. Edwards
Philip Weyman G. Meyer


Dawn Biehler H. Art
Timothy Billo H. Art
Benjamin Montgomery H. Art
Amy K. Smith H. Art


Jorge Benningshof J. H. Markgraf
Inge Dijkmans A. Koch
Darci Gaiotti C. M. Lovett
Kristin Hem A. Skinner
Martha Johnson C. M. Lovett
Jin Kwon D. Dalton
Casey Londergan E. Peacock-Lopez
Lawrence Marcus B. Koehler
Michael Miller C. M. Lovett
Jean Raphael A. Koch
Natalia Raoff D. Dalton
Thomas Reid L. Park
Henry Roe B. Koehler
James Rowe J. Thoman
Poorab Sangani C. M. Lovett
Andrew Selder L. J. Kaplan
David Vosburg J. H. Markgraf
Dale Woodnutt L. J. Kaplan
Nick Zammuto L. Park

Computer Science

Hilary Brown K. Bruce
Geoff Hutchison D. Bailey
Leaf Petersen `96 K. Bruce


Willard Crane D. Dethier
Joanne Holbert D. Dethier


Sandeep Bhatt D. Bergstrand
Karianne Calta Adams/Morgan
Alexei Erchak Adams/Morgan
Sydney Foster Adams/Morgan
Eric Furstenberg Adams/Morgan
Jie Li Adams/Morgan
Edward Melnick Adams/Morgan
Erich Muehlegger C. Silva
Ramona Nicholson R. DeVeaux
Alex Powell Adams/Morgan
Jodi Schneider Adams/Morgan
Jennifer Schumi R. DeVeaux
Jason Schweinsberg R. DeVeaux
David Shellington Adams/Morgan
Andrew Raich Adams/Morgan
Brian Wecht E. Burger
Francisca Winston F. Morgan
Alexander Woo C. Adams

Sarah Duggan S. Bolton
Steven Furlanetto W. Wootters
Udai Haracuchi W. Wootters
Scott Hill W. Wootters
Robert Jenks S. Bolton
Aaron Kammerer J. Strait
Zoe Leinhardt D. Krause
Douglas Martin S. Bolton
Christian Murphy Babcock/Crampton
B. Narasimham P. Majumder
Matthew Partlow J. Strait
Julie Rapoport P. Majumder
Joseph Reiner D. Krause
Andrew Stortz D. Krause
Leo Tsai P. Majumder

Michelle Adams A. Thapar
Aleta Angelosante L. Heatherington
Faith Cinquegrana R. Kavanaugh
Dana Critchell B. Zimmerberg
Julie Finch K. Kirby
Jonathan Gardner P. Solomon
James Mura B. Zimmerberg
Stephanie Nelson A. Thapar
Marilyn Samuels P. Solomon
Samuel Somers S Kassin

Summer Science [Pre-Freshman Program]

Moges Abebe
Vanessa Alavarez
Johana Castro
Jeantel DeGazon
Miguel Fernandez
Mya Fisha
Biniam Gebre
Duarte J. P. Geraldino
Stefan H.F. Hwang
Melissa Motta
Andrea Pyatt

Andrew Nguyen `99
Krystal Williams `96
Georgina Parra `99

Ollie Beaver
Charles M. Lovett
David P. Richardson
Cesar Silva
David L. Smith
David Dethier
Nancy Roseman
Dr. Michael Payne

Full or partial federal, foundation and alumni support for summer student stipends was provided by the following sources: Source of Funding # Students College funds 27 NSF and NIH research grants to individual faculty 21 NSF/REU 18 Keck Geology 12 Howard Hughes Medical Institute 11 Essel Foundation 8 Center For Environmental Studies 4 Research Corp. 4 Keck Foundation (Astronomy) 3 Petroleum Research Fund 2 Dreyfus 1 Pfizer 1 APS-LSTG 1 Departmental Funds and Related Grants 1 AACS/PRF 1

Summer Research Colloquia 1995

A luncheon is provided every Tuesday for participants in the summer science program. Faculty members from the science departments give talks on their research at these lunches, with opportunity for discussion afterwards. The speakers this summer were:
Anne Skinner, Department of Chemistry
"Do I HAVE To Do This? An Introduction to Lab Safety"
Prof. Frank Morgan, Department of Mathematics
"The Double Soap Bubble Breakthrough"
Prof. Cesar Silva, Department of Mathematics
"Mixing Systems"
Prof. Charles. M. Lovett, Department of Chemistry
"Regulatory Proteins: What Are They And How Do You Find Them?"
Prof. Wendy Raymond, Department of Biology
"This Way Out: How Cells Exit Mitosis"
Prof. Sarah Bolton, Department of Physics
"The How and Why of Short Pulse Lasers"
Prof. Elizabeth Adler, Department of Biology
"Use-dependent Changes in Synaptic Function: Remembrance of Ions"
Prof. Birgit Koehler, Department of Chemistry
"Stratospheric Ozone Depletion and Aircraft Jet Exhaust"

Academic Year Bag Lunch Colloquia

During the academic year the science faculty meets weekly on Tuesdays in the Science Common Room to have lunch, to discuss matters of interest to the sciences as a whole, and to hear informal reports of faculty research and other science developments. The following talks or discussions were held during l995-96:
Prof. Donald Beaver, Department of History of Science
"Scientific Anniversaries"
Prof. Thomas Murtagh, Department of Computer Science
"Self-Adjusting Rings"
Prof. Philip Maini, Visiting Prof. from Oxford University, Department of Mathematics
"Mathematical Modeling in Embryology"
Prof. Betty Glick, Department of Psychology
"Your Brain is a Sex Organ"
Prof. Dennis Dalton, Department of Chemistry
"Chiral Drugs"
Prof. Dennis Krause, Department of Physics
"The Quantum Vacuum: Much Ado About Nothing"
Prof. Ted Floyd, Department of Biology
"Insects That Eat Creosotebush"
Prof. Jay M. Pasachoff, Department of Astronomy
"Advances In Astronomy: Hubble Space Telescope, Galileo at Jupiter, New Solar Systems"
Prof. Andrew Koch, Department of Chemistry
"How Positive Charged Pyridinium Moieties Can Be Utilized in Materials"
Warren Washington, Sr. Scientist/Head Climate Change Research Section,
Climate & Global Dynamics Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research
"What Will Be The Future for Science Funding of Research and Education"
Prof. Kim Bruce, Department of Computer Science
"JAVA: What Is It and Why Is It Hot"
Prof. Paul Karabinos, Department of Geology
"How Bedrock Geology Influenced the Landscape in Western Massachusetts"
Prof. Sarah Bolton, Department of Physics
"The How and Why of Femtosecond Pulses"
Prof. Colin Adams, Department of Mathematics
"Knotted Molecules: How to and How Not to Make Them"
Prof. Anne Skinner, Department of Chemistry
"The Cold Facts About Hot Rocks"
Prof. Robert Kavanaugh, Department of Psychology
"Causal Reasoning in Young Children"

Pre-First Year Summer Science Program

With its tenth summer in 1996, the Summer Science Program again finished strong in the endeavor to provide an enriching and intensive five-week immersion in science, mathematics and English for a talented group of science-oriented Williams pre-first year minority students. The goal of the Program is to promote and encourage continuing participation in science and science related studies by members of minorities that have historically been underrepresented in the sciences.

The Program ran for five weeks during July and August of 1996. Students took classes in chemistry (including a major laboratory component), mathematics and English (literature and expository writing). Although not replicas of Williams' academic year offerings, the Summer Science Program classes are taught at a college level, thus introducing participants to the rigors and demands of college academics.

In addition to regular classes, students participated in biology and geology in-the-field experiments. The students engaged in a variety of extracurricular activities, including the Williamstown Theater Festival, and a day trip to Boston. They also participated in many of the activities of the Williams science students who were on campus doing research in the sciences.

Since the first Summer Science Program in 1987, over 120 minority students have participated. Enthusiasm for the Program has been high. Participants have taken full advantage of the opportunity to study at Williams in the summer. Their academic year experiences have, as a result of the Program, been successful and many of the students have continued their studies in science or mathematics. A significant number of former participants have returned to campus in the summertime as summer research students in science and mathematics, have become tutors for the Summer Science Program or have secured positions elsewhere in science research institutes. Since 1987, over 90% of SSP participants have graduated from Williams College, with nearly 50% continuing on to graduate programs in science, medical schools or science related positions. Those students who have left science related activities bring to their careers a strong background in science and mathematics.

Professor Olga R. Beaver continued to direct the Program and to teach a mathematics component. Professor Charles M. Lovett taught the chemistry classes, Professor David P. Richardson conducted the laboratory sessions, Professor Cesar Silva taught the other mathematics component and Professor David L. Smith ran the English sessions with Professor Kristin Carter-Sanborn. Also, Professor David Dethier conducted the geology laboratory and Professor Nancy Roseman presented the biology components. Dr. Michael Payne led the students in discussions of goals, data management, and approaches to college life. The excellent tutors for the Program in 1996 were Krystal Williams `96 (SSP-`92), Anh Nguyen `99 (SSP-`95) and Georgina Parra `99 (SSP-`95). Several former SSP students were on campus in the summer to do science research and contributed much to the spirit of the 1994 Program: Vy Bui `97, Lauren Burwell `97, Jin Kwon `97, James Mura `97, Ramona Nicholson `98, Jean Raphael `97 and Mike Tae'97.

The Summer Science Program has been principally funded by Williams College as part of the institution's commitment to encourage the participation of women and minorities in the sciences. From 1987 to 1990, follow-up activities during the academic year were also supported by a GTE Focus Grant for Minorities. In 1991, SSP received additional funding from a five-year biological sciences award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. This grant contributed support for several SSP components, including the biology laboratories, travel to Boston, the support lectures of Dr. Payne. Special thanks go to the many science faculty and students of Williams College who, both during the summer as well as during the academic year, have taken time to encourage the successes of the Program and of the students.

Williams College Sigma Xi Club

The Williams College Sigma Xi chapter, has played an active role on the Williams campus since it was founded as the Sigma Xi Club in 1969. Sigma Xi is a national society honoring and encouraging research in science. At Williams it also sponsors a number of outreach programs designed to stimulate interest in science among grade school, junior high, and high school students. Officers for 1995-96 were President, Professor Jay M. Pasachoff of the Astronomy Department and Secretary-Treasurer, Assistant Professor Protik Majumder of the Physics Department.

As a result of a change in the constitution and by-laws of the national organization, the William College Sigma Xi `Club' officially became the Williams College Sigma Xi `Chapter' on July 1, 1995. With this change, the Chapter is entitled to all of the benefits of chapter status including the right to elect scientists to full (in addition to associate) membership.

During the 1995-96 academic year, our club sponsored two speakers in its annual Sigma Xi Research Lecture series. In October, Professor Andrew Koch of the Chemistry Department presented lectures titled, "Light-Harvesting: How Organic Materials Can Solve Some Problems" and "A Investigation on the Stability of Pyridiniumquinones and Their Possible Use in Light-Harvesting" In April, Professor Steven Fein of the Psychology Department presented a two part lecture titled, "Stereotyping and Prejudice: An Overview of the Social Psychological Approach" and Stereotyping and Prejudice: Cognitive and Motivational Influence. Both sets of lectures were interesting and informative and receptions were held to honor each speaker.

Our Sigma Xi Chapter co-sponsored the fifth annual Math/Science Event at Williams to honor the seventh and eighth grade winners of regional science fairs. On May 4, approximately 40 students came to the campus for a morning of activities and presentations. These students represented the following schools: Abbott Memorial School, Adams Memorial Middle School, St. Mark Middle School, Conte Middle School, and Williamstown Elementary School.

Professor Frank Morgan of the Department of Mathematics began the Math/Science Event program with his very popular presentation, "The Soap Bubble Geometry Contest." Afterwards the students were divided into six groups and attended the following presentations and activities hosted by Williams faculty, staff and students: "Water Chemistry Experiments," Ms. Sandra J. Brown, Center for Environmental Studies; "Making' Waves: Neat Wave Phenomena with Water, Sound, and Light," Prof. Dennis Krause, Department of Physics; "Adventures of Julius and Floyd: Slippery, Slimy, and Scaly," Amy Smith `97, Emilie Grossman `96, Department of Biology; "Science and the World Wide Web," Mr. Peter Giordano, Librarian, Williams College; "Scanning Electron Microscopy," Ms. Nancy Piatczyc, Bronfman Science Center; "Observing Comets," Christina Reynolds `97, Department of Astronomy; and "Biology Super Scavenger Hunt," Sylvia Park `97, Heather Pierce `97, Department of Biology. After the presentations, the participants enjoyed a pizza lunch courtesy of Specialty Minerals, Inc.

In addition to the local Sigma Xi Chapter, the entire program was cosponsored by North Adams State College and Specialty Minerals, Inc. Programming and planning of this successful event was accomplished with the aid of Gus Liebowitz, Berkshire Community College, Ed Filiault and Leslie Tustin, North Adams State College Math/Science Consortium, and Butch Parrott, Specialty Minerals, Inc. Alice Seeley and Barb Madden's timely help during the morning was invaluable. Despite the terrible weather, responses to the Science Day program from those who attended were wonderfully positive and enthusiastic.

The Sigma Xi Club also sponsored a High School Science Award for a student at Mount Greylock Regional High School in recognition of a high level of motivation and accomplishment in science courses. This year, the award was made to Kimberly Kwasniowski.

One of the primary purposes of Sigma Xi is to recognize graduating science students who have demonstrated exceptional ability and promise for further contributions to the advancement of scientific research. These students are elected as associate Members of Sigma Xi and are inducted into the Society at a ceremony during Class Day on Commencement Weekend. On Saturday morning, June 2nd, the Chapter honored forty newly elected associate members from the class of `96 in a short and very well attended ceremony in the Bronfman Library. A detailed description of the research projects of these students is presented later in this Report.

Associate Sigma Xi Members from the Class of 1996


Daniel I. Bolnick (T. Floyd)
Justin P. Wright (H. Williams)
Michelle L. Gonzales (W. Raymond)
Janet Rebecca Alter (M. Altschuler)
Alvaro Sagasti (W. Raymond)
Jonathan W. Snow (D. Lynch)
David William Long (G. Meyer)
Adam R. Smith (H. Williams)
Brian Wayne Spitzer (G. Meyer)
Emilie B. Grossmann (H. Art)
Magdalene M. Moran (E. Adler)


Erin S. Whitney (B. Koehler)
Amy Lucia Prieto (L. Park)
Chia-Yu Hwu (J. H. Markgraf
Steven W. Singer (D. Dalton)
Joshua M. Hubbard (A. Koch)
Seddon Y. Thomas (R. Evans)
Michael Charles Miller (C. M. Lovett)
Justin M. Cole ((R. Evans)

Computer Science

Leaf E. Peterson (K. Bruce)
Alice Jane Bernheim (D. Bailey)
Forrest Power Trepte (D. Bailey)
Christopher M. Umans (W. Lenhart)


Rebecca B. Thomas (R. A. Wobus)
Mary Ann Hirshfeld (D. Dethier)


Michael P. Touloumtzis (C. Silva)
Jonathan M. Todd (E. Burger)
Alexander M. Meadows (T. Garrity)
Daniel H. Ebert (T. Garrity)
Teon Elizabeth Edwards (R. DeVeaux
Takeshi Yokoo (S. Johnson)


Seth Travis Mehr (B. Zimmerberg)


Paul F.X. Boerner (P. Majumder)
Joshua S. Grossman (W. Wootters)
Benjamin K. Evans (J. Strait)


Amy L. Bradfield (G. Goethals)
Lisa G. Blaskey (B. Zimmerberg)
Eric W. Fish (B. Zimmerberg)
Tiffany Lynn Steinwert (P. Cramer)
Katherine L. Neumann (S. Kassin)

<< >> Title Contents