April 25, 2018

Father-daughter scientists represent Tarleton at Austin Research Day

STEPHENVILLE (April 13, 2017) — Tarleton State University junior Kassie Marble is becoming a well-traveled scientist, presenting her research across the country. Her most recent stop was the Texas Legislature’s Undergraduate Research Day earlier this month, where she shared how to collect ions and particles in a cylindrical Penning trap.

Kassie’s faculty mentor—and father—Dr. Daniel Marble, professor of physics at Tarleton and director of the Texas Physics Consortium, accompanied her.

“I really enjoy spending time with my father at these conferences,” said Kassie, the winner of Tarleton’s 2017 Calculus Bowl and 2016 Student Research Symposium. “I’ve actually done that several times. This trip was particularly nice because I was able to spend quality time with him on a road trip, and talk with him about my research.”

The Council of Public University Presidents and Chancellors, the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas Inc., and the Texas Association of Community Colleges coordinate Undergraduate Research Day.

“The Texas Legislature devotes a day to undergraduate research to show what the state is doing at all the campuses,” Dr. Marble said. “Each campus gets to choose one student to present. Kassie was Tarleton’s representative.”

Dr. Marble said Kassie has presented her research on collecting ions and particles at the Texas State Meeting of Physics in San Antonio and at the Division of Nuclear Physics in Vancouver, where the keynote speaker cited her ideas as important findings in the field.

“As a father, and even as a mentor, what’s really cool is to get kids out, to give them a chance to interact,” he said. “To present and, not only to talk to physicists, but to talk to people not in the field.”

Tarleton State University undergraduate student Kassie Marble (left) and her father Dr. Daniel Marble, professor of physics, recently attended the Texas Legislature’s Undergraduate Research Day at the state capitol in Austin. There, the father-daughter duo presented her research on collecting ions and particles in a cylindrical Penning trap.

Dr. Barry Lambert, associate vice president of research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies, was part of the Tarleton contingent in Austin. “It was inspiring to see so many young researchers from across Texas presenting in the rotunda of the state capitol,” he said. “Of course, I was very pleased that Kassie Marble was able to represent Tarleton.”

President of the Society of Physics Students at Tarleton, Kassie is active in student outreach, leading teams that have sponsored several Service Day activities for children.

“We’re introducing physics to children in fun new ways,” Kassie said, “using things like smoke cannons and hoverboards.”

After graduating from Tarleton, she plans to work on a doctorate at Texas A&M University, either in high-energy nuclear physics or quantum optics, and then follow in her father’s footsteps and teach.

Her father inspired her interest in physics.

“I fell in love with physics my senior year of high school,” Kassie said. “I wasn’t sure what I was going to do after I graduated. When my dad decided to teach a trig-based physics course on campus for area high school students, he encouraged me to take part. I did, and it made everything clear for me. It allowed me to start thinking about what I want to do with my life.”

For more information on Tarleton’s Office of Student Research and Creative Activities, visit www.tarleton.edu/studentresearch/. To learn more about the university’s College of Graduate Studies, go to www.tarleton.edu/graduate/.

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