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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 facilitated through the sharing of core research equipment and services; through interdepartmental programs; and, to a great extent, 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 carry out 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 1997-98, individual Williams College science faculty received over $1,000,000 from active federal grants for the purchase of equipment and support of student-faculty research projects.

Student Summer Research Participation

The summer research activities of more than 145 students were supported by Williams in 1998. Some of these students were entering their senior year and beginning their honors research. Those entering their sophomore or junior years were getting their first taste of independent research. Still others were on exchange from sister institutions, funded through the NECUSE program. Students were given stipends of $300 per week and free housing. While the support for some of the students came 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 the competition of course work to interrupt collaborative efforts between students and faculty. In addition to the actual research experience, Bronfman also sponsors a weekly Tuesday luncheon featuring a member of the faculty lecturing on current research and an annual science division picnic. Summer is truly one of the most enjoyable seasons in Williamstown.

1998 Summer Science Students and Their Faculty Advisors


James Bates K. Kwitter
Kelli Corrado K. Kwitter
Tim McConnochie J. M. Pasachoff
Benjamin Knowles J. M. Pasachoff
Kevin Russell J. M. Pasachoff
Leila Zelnick J. M. Pasachoff


Paul Alsdorf S. Swoap
Gail Anderson E. Adler
Kevin Bolduc N. Roseman
J. Gildade Boursiquot S. Zottoli
Dafina Brody S. Zottoli
Pamela Bromley D. Lynch
Patrick Burton S. Swoap/D. Smith
Julie Cantatore D. Lynch
Saruddin Chandani H. Williams
Denise Connor H. Williams
Roshni David S. Swoap
Erin Davies N. Roseman
Jennifer DeNiro D. Smith
Leah Doret M. Altschuler
Kate Dreher M. Laskowski
Sylvia Englund W. Raymond
Biniam Gebre S. Zottoli
Mary Gehring M. Laskowski

Joshua Goldstein D. Lynch
John Haney S. Swoap
Janet Iwasa R. Savage
Ricky Joshi E. Adler
Yuneng Li D. Lynch
Katherine Liao J. Edwards
Brett Linck H. Williams
Veena Mandava D. Lynch
Sarah Moline H. Art
Farrah Musani S. Zottoli
Anthony Ndirango S. Zottoli
Andrew Nguyen M. Altschuler
Kim Nguyen M. Laskowski
Zachary Niman G. Meyer
Georgina Parra S. Zottoli
Amy Patterson W. Raymond
Jillian Pesin D. Lynch
Ethan Plunkett J. Edwards/D. Smith
Jennifer Pogoriler N. Roseman
Ariana Sainz R. Savage
Melissa Schmidt W. Raymond
Boudharyan Sen S. Zottoli
Lauren Singer N. Roseman
Daniel Suver R. Savage
Deborah Van Allen S. Swoap/D. Smith
Andrew Werbrock H. Art
Christine Whitcraft H. Art

Emily Simpson D. Dethier
Eleanor Shoreman D. Dethier
Alexandra Burr D. Dethier

Feyisara Akanki C. M. Lovett
Gregory Albert B. Koehler
Susan Asiyanbi D. Richardson
Karen Chachu C. M. Lovett
Austin Chang D. Richardson
Erin Davies C. M. Lovett/
N. Roseman
Michelle Dunn D. Weiss
Martijn de Koning B. Koehler
Jacques Edelin C. M. Lovett
David Finkelstein C. M. Lovett
Thomas Fleming J. H. Markgraf
Michael Goldstein R. Peacock-Lopez
Haibo Gu A. Skinner
Elissa Hallem D. Weiss
Michael Hurwitz C. M. Lovett/
W. Raymond
Christine Kim T. Smith
Nii Koney L. Park
Veena Mandava D.Richardson/D.Lynch
Mason L. J. Kaplan
Molly Moore C. M. LovettAnnabel Muenter B. Koehler
Daniel Nehmad E. Peacock-Lopez
Daniel Nelson L. J. Kaplan
Rachel Piatczyc G. DemantJames Rowe L. Park
Erica Schmitz C. M. Lovett
Carolyn Stickney J. H. Markgraf
Nicholas Swann L. J Kaplam
Meghan Tierney C. M. Lovett
Zuzana Tothova L. Park/A. Skinner
Cortni Tyson C. M. Lovett
Bart Van Der Geest D. Weiss
Richard von Bargen G. Demant
Andrew Werbrock D. Richardson/H. Art
Matthew Whalin D. Weiss/E. Friedman
Christina Williams C. M. Lovett
Samuel Young C. M. Lovett

Computer Science
Joshua Fincke T. Murtagh
A. Gonzalez del Riego W. Lenhart
Neelay Shah T. Murtagh
Joeseph Vanderwaart K. Bruce
Christopher White K. Bruce

Jana Comstock R. Cox
Philip Groth D. Dethier
Ethan Gutmann R. Cox
Erik Klemetti R. A. Wobus
Jennifer Newton R. A. Wobus
Martin Wong P. Karabinos

David Biddle T. Garrity
Nero Budur F. Garrity
Mark Florenz F. Morgan
Andrei Gnepp S. Loepp
Zachary Grossman C. Silva
Carol Gwosdz F. Morgan
Richard Haynes C. Adams
Jeffrey Kaye C. Adams
Davina Kunvipusilkul S. Loepp
Ting Fair Ng C. Silva
Kathy Paur C. Silva
Scott Reynolds F. Morgan
Alexandre Wolfe C. Adams
Junghee Yang T. Garrity
Cara Yoder T. Garrity

Jennifer Ackles P. Majumder
Nurit Baytch W. Wootters
Meredith Dill J. Strait
Brian Gerke D. Aalberts
Ginel Hill K. Jones
Alexander Jarvis P. Majumder
Robert Lyman P. Majumder
Allegra Martin J. Strait
Jonathan Pyle D Aalberts
Qiang Sun D. Aalberts
Leo Tsai P. Majumder
Alexander Wong W. Wootters

Akeela Ali R. Kachelski
Jennifer Berson B. Zimmerberg
Kelly Becker E. Friedman/
Tara Crowley G. Buchanan
Deborah Frisone B. Zimmerberg
Mary V. Gorges P. Cramer
Jennifer Hendi P. Solomon
Dahra Jackson L. Heatherington
Edward Murphy G. Goethals/S.Fein
Kate Neiderhoffer P. Solomon
Gabriela Pereira P. Cramer
Joshua Rempell B. Zimmerberg
Eric Smith B. Zimmerberg
Amy Sprengelmeyer R. Kavanaugh
Alexander C. Wong B. Zimmerberg


Full or partial federal, foundation and alumni support for summer student stipends was provided by the following sources:

Source of Funding

# Students

College funds


NIH research grants to individual faculty


Howard Hughes Medical Institute


Essel Foundation






Departmental Funds and Related Grants




Keck Foundation (Geology)


Keck Foundation (Astronomy)




Petroleum Research Fund


Global Studies










Lewis S. Somers




Center for Informational Technology


Research Corp




1998 Summer Science Students (continued)1998 Summer Science Students (continued)Summer Research Colloquia 1998

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
"Safety in the Lab: Use It or Lose It"

Prof. Daniel Aalberts

Department of Psychics
"The Ultrafast Dynamics of Rhodopsin, the Molecule Which Makes Us See"

Prof. J. R. Davenport

University of Oregon
Department of Chemistry
"RNA Polymerase: It Stops, It Goes, You Can See It"

Prof. Paul Solomon

Department of Psychology
"Identification of the Alzheimer's Disease Patient: The 7 Minute Screen"

Prof. Wendy Raymond

Department of Biology
"How Can Studying Yeast Help Fight Cancer"

Prof. Frank Morgan

Department of Mathematics
"Minimizing Perimeter via Freiburg, Toronto, and TV"

Prof. William Wootters

Dept. of Physics
"Quantum Entanglement"

Prof. Ronadh Cox

Dept. of Geosciences
"Hot Rocks, Cool Geology: Summer Fieldwork in the Mazatzal Wilderness, Arizona"

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 l997-98.

Prof. Jay Pasachoff
Department of Astronomy
"Some Astronomy Spectaculars: Hubble and Mars"

Prof. Heather Williams

Department of Biology
"The Role of Puberty in Bird Song Learning"

Prof. Daniel Aalberts

Department of Physics
"Solitonic Excitations in Rhodopsin, the Molecule that Makes Us See"

Prof. Olga Beaver

Department of Mathematics
"Summer Science Program"

Prof. Gregory Buchanan

Department of Psychology
"He's Better Looking Than Me -- He Must Be A Jerk"

Prof. R. A. Wobus

Department of Geosciences
"Tracking Ancient Volcanics by Their Geochemical Footprints"

Prof. Richard Blake

Department of Chemistry
"Thermodynamic Stability of DNA: Biological Consequences"

Colin Adams

Department of Mathematics
"Computer Trips Through Possible Universes: A Travelogue"

Prof. Nancy Roseman

Department of Biology
"Viruses as Model Systems"

Prof. Kim Bruce

Department of Computer Science
"Programming Language Design: Balancing Safety With Expressiveness"

Prof. Prof. Edward Burger

Department of Mathematics
"Amorous Rabbits, Beautiful Flowers, and Williams Students: How Numbers Lead to Love, Nature and New Results"

Prof. Ken Savitsky

Department of Psychology
"Close But No Cigar: Counterfactual Thinking and the Psychology of the Near Miss"

Prof. Charles M. Lovett

Department of Chemistry
"A Deadly Amino Flip"
"Update on Science Building Project"

Prof. Daniel Lynch

Department of Biology
"An Update on Plant Sphingolipid Biochemistry"

Prof. Donald deB. Beaver

Department of History of Science
"Serendipity, Service and Survival in Carving out a Career in Natural History: The Case of Sarah Bowdich (1791-1856)"

Prof. Dave Richardson

Department of Chemistry
"Searching for the Source of Toxicity in Southeast Asian Dart Poisons"

Prof. Joseph S. Francisco, Sterling Brown Visiting Prof.

Department of Chemistry
"Do We Really think We Understand the Chemistry in the Atmosphere?"

Prof. Markes Johnson

Dept. of Geosciences
"Tracking Paleowinds in the Gulf of California"

Pre-First Year Summer Science Program

In its twelfth summer in 1998, the Summer Science Program provides 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.

Nine 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, the students participated in biology and geology laboratory and field experiments. They also engaged in a variety of extracurricular activities, including the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and a weekend trip to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

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.

Professor Charles M. Lovett, Director of the Summer Science Program, taught the chemistry lectures, Professor David P. Richardson conducted the laboratory sessions, Professor Olga R. Beaver and Cesar Silva taught the mathematics component and Professor David L. Smith taught the English sessions. Professor David Dethier conducted the geology-in-the-field 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 tutors for the Program in 1998 were Susan Asiyanbi `01, Karen Chachu `01, and Roshni David `01.

The Summer Science Program has been funded primarily by Williams College as part of the institution's commitment to encourage the participation of women and minorities in the sciences. Since 1991, SSP has received additional funding from a biological sciences award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. This grant contributed support for several SSP components, and has provided summer research stipends for SSP students after their first year at Williams. Special thanks go to the many science faculty and students of Williams College who, during the summer as well as during the academic year, have contributed to the success of the Program and of its participants.

Pre-First Year Program Participants

Students (`02)
O'Neil Campbell
William Green
Nicholas Hiza
Tracey Jackson
Haydee Lanza
Akan Ntia
Kisha Watts
Willie Wu
Jennifer YazzieTutors (`01)
Susan Asiyanbi
Karen Chachu
Roshni David
Charles Lovett, Director
Olga Beaver
David Richardson
Cesar Silva
David L. Smith

Williams College Sigma Xi Chapter

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 outreach programs designed to stimulate interest in science among grade, junior high, and high school students. Officers for 1997-98 were President, Professor Jay M. Pasachoff of the Astronomy Department, and Secretary-Treasurer, Assistant Professor Antonia Foias of the Anthropology Department. Prof. Betty Zimmerberg served as Vice-President to represent the Williams College Chapter at the annual national Sigma Xi Meeting.

During the 1997-98 academic year, our chapter sponsored our usual fall and spring events. In the fall, we had a special symposium on Science and the Media. Speakers included: Paula Aspell, executive producer of NOVA; John Rennie, editor-in-chief, Scientific American; John Noble Wilford, Pulitzer Prize winner and science correspondent for The New York Times; and Victor McElheny, director of the Knight Science Writers Program at MIT. The speakers all joined in a well-attended luncheon with students prior to the symposium. In the spring, Professor Henry Art of the Biology Department presented a two-part lecture entitled, "Natural and Unnatural History of the Hopkins Memorial Forest." The first presentation, was subtitled "From Forest to Farms to Forest Service," an examination of the ecological history of the landscape from the pre-colonial forest, to the agricultural in the 1920's, to the advent of the U.S. Forest Service at the site in 1935. The second presentation, "From Forest Service to Electronic Forest," revealed the patterns embedded in the long-term data on vegetation changes in the Hopkins Forest. His second lecture was followed by a reception.

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 Laura Anderson.

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 6, the Chapter honored thirty-two newly elected Associate Members from the class of '97 in a short and very well attended ceremony in the Bronfman Auditorium. A detailed description of the research projects of these students is presented later in this Report

Associate Sigma Xi Members from the Class of 1998

Timothy McConnochie J. M. Pasachoff

Meghan E. Byrne N. Roseman
Matthew Garland H. Williams
Mary A. Gehring M. Laskowski
Deborah A. Hirschmann H. Williams
Carolyn S. McBride D. Smith
Benjamin R. Montgomery J. Edwards
Joshua A. Shapiro D. Smith
Matthew A. Wheeler S. Swoap
William N. Woodfield J. Edwards

Jessica A. Charland C. M. Lovett
Bo Yoon Choi J. H. Markgraf
Matthew L. Crawley J. H. Markgraf
Allison C. Lamanna D. Weiss
Victoria T. Nicholson B. Koehler
James M. Rowe L. Y. Park

Computer Science:
Brendan D. Burns A. Danyluk

Stephanie K. Kampf D. P. Dethier
Eliza S. Nemser P. Karabinos
Catherine A. Riihimaki D. Dethier
Katherine W. Wearn R. A. Wobus

Kariane Calta E. Burger
Andrew S. Raich C. Silva
Tristan B. Smith W. Lenhart

Elizabeth W. Kajunski Betty Zimmerberg

Christopher N. Elkinton S. Bolton
Robert A. Jenks S. Bolton
Christopher A. Murphy K. Jones
Peter C. Nicholas P. Majumder

Sarah E. Nelson L. Heatherington
Sharon Rackow B. Zimmerberg


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