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College of Science and Mathematics

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News and Events



Cal Poly Contributes to Study on Ways to Increase Sea Otter Population

Dr. Daniel AlmeidaSea otters have made a comeback in two estuaries, Morro Bay and Elkhorn Slough. This recovery led researchers to wonder how including estuaries in conservation plans could affect the marine mammals. A new study concludes that California could more than triple its population of 3,000 southern sea otters to nearly 10,000, by repopulating the San Francisco Bay — the largest estuary on the coast.

Read more about the repopulation of otters



Cal Poly Leads Project to Increase Diversity of Faculty in the CSU System

Dr. Daniel AlmeidaA more diverse faculty improves the education of all students, according to multiple studies, yet faculty of color face greater challenges than their white colleagues. With a $2.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Cal Poly education professor Daniel Almeida aims to increase the retention of faculty of color across the California State University (CSU) system. 

Read more about increasing retention


Biological Sciences Professor Receives Prestigious Honorary Appointment

Biological Sciences Professor Nishanta ‘Nishi’ Rajakaruna Biological Sciences Professor Nishanta Rajakaruna will travel to North-West University (NWU) in South Africa this spring as part of a prestigious honorary appointment by the university’s School of Biological Sciences. 

Read more about Rajakaruna's honrary appointment


Biological Science Professor Earns 2019 Ocean Stewardship Award

Architectural rendering of a brick and glass buildingThe Central Coast Aquarium (CCA) recognized Biological Science professor Nikki Adams with the 2019 Ocean Stewardship Award. The annual award recognizes an individual who has made a positive and lasting impact on marine science in San Luis Obispo County in the areas of research, conservation, volunteerism or philanthropy.

Read more about Adam's achievement


Breaking Ground on the Future of Undergraduate Research

Architectural rendering of a brick and glass buildingOn May 3, Cal Poly broke ground on what will be one of the centerpiece facilities on campus: the William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation. In this four-story, 102,000-square-foot complex, students and faculty will work side-by-side to discover answers to real-world questions. 

Read more about the new building


College Honors Graduating Students

Dean Wendt and student awardeeThis year's graduating seniors and master's students boast a wide range of accomplishments. Some maintained perfect 4.0 GPAs while others raised money for the local homeless shelter. 

Read more about student achievements


Digitizing the State's Botanical History

Staff and students examine dried plants in the university herbariumCal Poly's Robert F. Hoover Herbarium contains information crucial to assessing the impact of climate change on California’s plants, and it's all going digital. 

Read more about the digitization effort


American Astronomical Society Honors Physics Student for Research Presentation

Physics Professor Louise Edwards (right) and Priscilla Holguin West (left) having a discussion.Physics major Priscilla Holguin West translated her passion for astronomy into a Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Award at the national American Astronomical Society meeting this year. The awards recognize exemplary research by undergraduate and graduate students who present a poster at the meeting.

Read more about the recognition of Priscilla Holguin West


Cal Poly Hyperloop Club to Compete in SpaceX Competition

Students work on constructing their prototype for the spaceX competition.A team of around 80 engineering and physics students is the only first-year team ever to make it through the preliminary design round in SpaceX's annual Hyperloop Pod Competition. Cal Poly’s team is one of 22 finalists selected from more than 700 entries worldwide, a remarkable accomplishment for a group that formed less than a year ago.

Read more about the SpaceX competition


Cal Poly Leads Effort to Digitize State's Botanical History

Katie Pearson picks up a piece of paper with a dried plant on it from a stack of more paper and plants. Three students watch her.The herbarium contains information crucial to assessing the impact of climate change on California’s plants, as do similar collections around the state. To move the data out of herbarium cabinets and make it accessible to researchers and citizen scientists alike, biology Professor Jenn Yost is leading a statewide effort to digitize images and life-cycle history of the Golden State’s flowers.

Read more about digitizing California's Botanical History


Associate Dean Camille O’Bryant Receives Cal Poly Cross Cultural Centers’ First Martin Luther King Legacy Award

Camille O'Bryant and Dean Wendt celebrate O'Bryant receiving MLK award Jan. 16, 2019.An associate dean in Cal Poly’s College of Science and Mathematics, recognized as a staunch advocate of inclusion and equity efforts for underrepresented students, is the inaugural recipient of the campus MLK Legacy Award.

Read more about O'Bryant's efforts


Cal Poly Study Explores Effects of Neighborhood Type on Immigrant Health

Professor Marilyn TsengProfessor Marilyn Tseng and Cal Poly students will investigate the relationship between the health of immigrants and their new environment in Philadelphia. Tseng chose to dive deeper into how group isolation affects physical health.

Read more about immigrant health in varying neighborhoods





Cal Poly Research Measures Effects of Wildfires on Air Quality

Matt Zoerb and Cal Poly students collecting air samplesChemistry professor Matt Zoerb, set up two air stations in San Luis Obispo that each picked up evidence of materials that burned in fires hundreds of miles away.

Read more about the effects of wildfires on air quality



Cal Poly Partners with SLO NOOR Foundation to Provide Mobile Health Clinic in Northern Santa Barbara County

Mobile health unit.Mobile health unit will provide free women’s health and newborn care to uninsured families in Santa Maria and Guadalupe.

Read more about the Mobile Health Unit


Physics Professor Receives Grant to Improve Particle Collider

Cal Poly mechanical engineering student Edwin Rainville, adjusts a thermistor — an instrument that measures temperature — underwater in Morro Bay.Physics Professor Themis Mastoridis and his student research team will play a key role in the coming upgrade of the world’s largest particle collider, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

Read more about Mastoridis and his research team


New Study Aims to Give Babies Healthiest Possible Start

Cal Poly professor Alison Ventura and her students are working to decode the unspoken mysteries between a mother and her baby.Cal Poly professor Alison Ventura and her students are working to decode the unspoken mysteries between a mother and her baby.

Read more on the effects maternal interactions have on babies


Faculty and Staff are Distinguished and Outstanding

Ed HimelblauFaculty and staff in the College of Science and Mathematics are acknowledged for the great work in their respective fields and for the impact they have had on their student's lives.

Read more about the achievements of Cal Poly faculty and staff


Cal Poly Receives Almost $1M to Support STEM Educators

Stamatis VokosThe 2017-18 awards fund campus projects that will lead to a more robust and diverse talent pipeline of K-12 science and math teachers — with a focus on recruiting candidates from underrepresented communities.

Read more about funding supporting educational opportunities


Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Inspire the Next Generation Today

Professor David Mitchell and Student TeamPhysics and liberal studies Professor David Mitchell led a team of aspiring educators on a journey to develop a curriculum designed to inspire young students to be curious about our galaxy.

Read more about developing classroom activities


From Eelgrass to Mudflat: New Cal Poly Research Dives into Morro Bay Mystery

Cal Poly mechanical engineering student Edwin Rainville, adjusts a thermistor — an instrument that measures temperature — underwater in Morro Bay.Morro Bay’s eelgrass beds nearly disappeared from 2007 to 2017. This new Cal Poly study helps explain why levels remain low.

Read more about the research into Morro Bay's eelgrass beds


Cal Poly Biology Student to Receive CSU Trustees’ Award and $6,000 Scholarship

Cal Poly biology junior, David DenisovA Cal Poly biology junior, David Denisov, who plans to pursue a career in emergency medicine has received a 2018 California State University Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Read more about biology student's award


Cal Poly Celebrates Neutrino Discovery

VERITAS telescope in front of the night skyFor the first time, scientists have located the source of a high-energy neutrino from another galaxy. Cal Poly professors Jodi Christiansen and Stephanie Wissel explain the significance of this discovery.

Read more about how this discovery gives scientists a new way to learn about the universe


Physics professor Colleen Marlow receives the prestigious Marsden Award from the Royal Society of New Zealand

Marlow ColleenMarlow's technique is based on measuring the complex electrical sensitivity of carbon nanotube networks. A carbon nanotube is a tube-shaped carbon crystal structure with a diameter about 10,000 times smaller than a human hair and unique electrical properties.

Read about how this work may represent an advancement in biosensors commonly used for routine medical diagnostics

Cal Poly Receives U.S. Department of Justice Campus Program Grant for Gender-Based Violence Prevention

Cal Poly is one of 53 universities nationwide to receive the Campus Program grant through the federal justice department’s Office on Violence Against Women.

Read about how these funds will be used to enhance gender-based violence prevention and response efforts on campus


Physics Professor Wins Prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award

Physics Professor Stephanie Wissel received the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious award for new faculty, the Faculty Early Career Development Program, or CAREER, Award. Only five other Cal Poly faculty members have ever received a CAREER Award, and only 450 are given each year.

Read more about how this award supports Wissel’s research with a grant of nearly $670,000 over five years


Jupyter Collaboration Led by Cal Poly and UC Berkeley Receives Top Software Award

Image Matt RitterProject Jupyter may be the best-kept secret on the Cal Poly campus, but it’s well-known at companies such as Microsoft, Google, and IBM. These tech giants have created entire commercial data science and AI platforms based on the open-source software project.

Read more about Project Jupyter


Biology Professor and Author Publishes Guide to Iconic California Plants 

Image Matt Ritter Biology professor and author Matt Ritter is on a mission to “get people stoked on plants.”

Learn more about Ritter's new book, “California Plants: A Guide to Our Iconic Flora"


Biology Professor Helps Develop Model for Sustainable Ocean Use

image. Cal Poly student working with local elementary student on solar suitcaseA team of universities that includes Cal Poly has developed a new analytical model that could lead to more environmentally sustainable ocean usage and management. 

Read more about this sustainable model


Interdisciplinary Teams Bring Power of the Sun in a Suitcase  

image. Cal Poly student working with local elementary student on solar suitcaseAn interdisciplinary team of Cal Poly students brought the power of the sun in a suitcase to a local elementary and high school. The school children learned about the impact of solar energy by building a small solar-powered system - and then figuring out how to improve it.

Read more about this interdisciplinary team


Cal Poly Kinesiology and Public Health Professor Wins CSU Award for Outstanding Scholarship

Cal Poly kinesiology and public health Professor Suzanne Phelan has received the $20,000 Wang Family Excellence Award for outstanding commitment to student achievement and scientific contributions. Phelan was one of five California State University faculty and staff members to receive the award.

Read more about the professor who won a CSU Award


Cal Poly Research Finds Strong Support for Ocean Protection Worldwide

People around the world strongly support ocean conservation measures, according to a new study of public perceptions of marine threats and protection. The study, which was published in the journal Ocean and Coastal Management, provides a rare comparison of how the public views marine threats by human activity and protection efforts around the globe.

Read more about this support for Ocean Protection


Collaborative Cal Poly Study Finds Noise from Oil and Gas Operations Stresses Birds and Hinders Their Reproduction

Birds exposed to the persistent noise of natural gas compressors show symptoms remarkably similar to those in humans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to new research from Cal Poly and two partner schools.

Read more about this collaborative study




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