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Janis-Roadt (2)


Eau Claire


Physics and Astronomy



Have you done research?

Yes, I work with Dr. Hendrickson and Dr. Thomas on electromagnetics and I have also worked with Dr. Thomas on my Service Learning project to create a Planet Walk for Downtown Eau Claire.

What is your research about?

The  purpose of the research I am doing on electromagnetics is to get a good classroom simulation of an induced magnetic field by a planet on an orbiting satellite, such as the interaction between Jupiter and Europa. This would show the magnitude of the induced field in comparison to the original field, and would make it easier to understand why a subsurface saline ocean is suspected on Europa.
The Planet walk contains scale models of each planet placed along a path of reasonable walking distance to show the true scale of the solar system. The sun is at one end, slightly larger than a beach ball, and Pluto (yes Pluto is included) is 1.08 miles away and about the size of a poppy seed. We want this project to spark an interest in the community about science, show the vastness of our universe, and hopefully create an opportunity to attract tourists to the downtown business district.

What is your favorite course?

I try not to play favorites, but I have the most fun in physics and astronomy courses. I really liked Physics 226, the Solar System, because I got to write a paper on terraforming Mars (using planetary engineering to make it suitable for life). I also like the labs in all of my Physics courses because you get to put what you learn into action!

Who is your favorite professor?

Once again, I don’t want to play favorites, but I haven’t had a physics professor I haven’t liked! I guess the one professor who has helped me out a ton in my journey through college is Dr. Thomas. He is a terrific mentor and an all around great person. But ALL of the physics professors I have had have been nothing short of spectacular!

What skills or techniques have you learned at UW - Eau Claire as a physics major?

Resilience. How to keep an official lab notebook. Critical thinking, and common sense approaches to science. But most importantly, if there is no current running through the slinky coil, it’s not connected to the power source.

"UW-Eau Claire is a beautiful, diverse campus, with a ton of very educated and experienced professors to learn from."

Have you done any UW - Eau Claire related field trips/study abroad experiences? 

For Biology 110, we took a field trip to the Pigeon Lake Field station as part of our Ecology Studies. And this summer I will be participating in the Penn State Astrobiology Summer 2010 program in Pennsylvania. I will be working with some of the most active scientists in the astrobiology community.

Favorite place to eat on campus? 

The diner in Davies(Student Center). I love those chicken quesadillas!

Where is your favorite UW- Eau Claire spot?

The couches on the second floor of the library, next to the computer lab. Oh no, I just gave away my secret lair! :) That’s my normal spot for late night study sessions and homework catch-up.

What have been some of your favorite experiences in Physics? 

Physics lab with Dr. Miller was beyond fun. He has a great sense of humor and is an expert in getting a person excited about lab, even when it seems boring. Also getting to know the physics department. These people are dedicated to what they do!  I know any of those professors are willing to go out on a limb for any of their students, and it is a really great feeling to have such a fun group of people helping you get through school.
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