Macarthur Foundation Â??genius’ to Speak as Part of Csu’s Distinguished Women in Science Program

Professor Margaret Murnane of the University of Colorado at Boulder, a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" and world leader in ultrafast laser science, will speak as part of Colorado State University’s Distinguished Women in Science and Engineering Lecture Series Nov. 1 and 2 at the CSU-Fort Collins campus.

Murnane will offer two lectures:

– Nov. 1, 4-5 p.m., Clark Building, Room A203: In her technical talk, "Harnessing Attosecond Science in the Quest for Coherent X-Rays," she will describe new approaches to generate and use laser-like beams of light at wavelengths 10 to 1,000 times shorter than visible light. These wavelengths, in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and soft X-ray (SXR) region of the electromagnetic spectrum, make it possible to "see" smaller features and "write" smaller patterns in applications such as biological and materials microscopy and high-resolution lithography.

– Nov. 2, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Lory Student Center, Room 228: In her second talk, "Recruiting and Retaining the Best Minds in Science and Engineering," Murnane will outline concrete steps toward cultivating a positive and highly productive academic environment. Murnane has genuine interest in recruiting and retaining talented students, and she has been actively involved in activities to increase the numbers of women in science by serving as faculty adviser for SWE and AWIS student groups and chairing the American Physical Society Committee on the Status of Women in Physics.

"Margaret is a tremendous role model for women in science and engineering," said Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Carmen Menoni, who, along with colleagues in other colleges, started the CSU Distinguished Women in Science and Engineering lecture series in 2004. "By highlighting the impressive achievements of eminent female scholars, the Distinguished Lecture Series serves also to enhance the visibility and the careers of women on campus, mentor female students and introduce them to opportunities and possibilities available to them in their educational and professional careers."

In addition to her significant contributions to ultrafast laser science, Murnane is recognized for helping to establish the foundations for the new field of attosecond science. Her work is published in more than 160 top peer-reviewed journals such as "Nature," "Science" and "Physical Review Letters." Murnane was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2004 and to the American Academy of Arts and Science in 2006, and she is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America.

Murnane serves as deputy director of the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Research Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Science and Technology. The $37 million center is a partnership between Colorado State University, CU-Boulder and the University of California-Berkeley and is affiliated with numerous research and educational institutions nationwide.