“We Were Googled!”

Study co-authors Kelly Usakoski, Jeff Bartz and Nic West.
Study co-authors (l-r): Kelly Usakoski, Jeff Bartz; and Nic West.

Or—alternate headline: “How to Ruin a Spring Break.” Though Professor of Chemistry Jeff Bartz quickly notes that the ruination was sweet indeed, given that it led to the publication of a paper in the The Journal of Chemical Physics (September 7, 2011) on which he and two students—Nic West ’12and Kelly Usakoski ’14—are co-authors.

The story begins last spring break when Bartz was getting ready for the start of a new term. Scientists in the department of chemistry at Texas A&M wanted to do an experiment on molecular imaging, and to start they did a literature search seeking similar experiments. In that search they discovered an abstract of experimental work West had presented in June 2010 at the 65th International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy at the Ohio State University.

They contacted Kalamazoo College—“We’d been Googled!” laughs Bartz.

Thus began a research collaboration on further imaging experimentation that culminated in this month’s publication of “A method for the determination of speed-dependent semi-classical vector correlations form sliced image anisotropies.” The paper involves work that Usakoski performed in Bartz’ lab during spring quarter 2011.

In addition to his on-campus contributions to the partnership last spring, West also traveled in the summer to A&M’s College Station campus and conducted related work that is the basis of his Senior Individualized Project. And Bartz “lost” a spring break to the start-up of the “K” and A&M research collaboration. “It was well worth it,” he says. Pictured are the study’s three Kalamazoo College co-authors (l-r): Kelly Usakoski, who is considering declaring her major in either chemistry or physics this year; Jeff Bartz; and Nic West, a chemistry and physics double major.