Department of Biology offers three BS tracks, a general track, a secondary education track and pre-professional track and an M.S. program. Additionally, the department participates in the honors track designated for academically gifted students. The primary goal of the biology program is to develop a strong diversified background in modern biology appropriate to the individual student goals with an emphasis on critical-thinking and problem-based learning skills.
Faculty expertise and research interest is diversified and broad and can be grouped into two major themes – ecological/environmental biology and biomedical/molecular biology.
The department has acquired several research-grade instruments including high-speed and ultra-centrifuges, ELISA readers, RT-PCR, gel imagers, fluorescence microscopes, spectrophotometers and LC/MS. Additionally, the department has an animal house and a cell-culture facility.
Faculty members are actively pursuing research funded by NIH, NSF and industry.
The Chemistry Department is composed of faculty from a broad array of backgrounds and expertise to provide a high quality, personal academic environment, underlined by an active undergraduate research experience that is the hallmark of our chemistry program. Under the direction and guidance of a faculty member, students actively engage in competitive and publishable scientific research projects. With the support of external grants (e.g. NSF, NIH, The Petroleum Research Fund, Research Corp), the students are able to access and operate a range of research quality instrumentation, including a 400 MHz NMR spectrometer, CD spectrometer and Molecular Kinetics Stopped Flo Apparatus, Nd:YAG-pumped dye laser, Ultra-High Vacuum apparatus, Inert atmosphere glove box, Near IR-Vis-UV spectrometers, etc. In addition, the Department of Chemistry was chosen twice as a site for undergraduate research under the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) Program (1998-2000 and 2003-‘06).
Since the year 2000, three of our students have received the nationally competitive and widely esteemed Goldwater Scholarship. One of these students was likewise awarded the prestigious Marshall Scholarship which is one of the highest awards of national achievement for an undergraduate student. A number of our students have gone on to succeed in recognized graduate chemistry research programs in the nation, such as Cornell, Stanford, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), Texas A&M, UCLA, Georgia Institute of Technology, UGA, University of Colorado, and the like. In this last year several of our students have gone into graduate programs at places such as Berkeley University, University of Texas, and the University of Utah. Similarly, our premedical students have achieved strong standing in such well known medical programs at Emory, Johns Hopkins, Mercer, Georgia Regents University and with full scholarships to Duke and Vanderbilt University.
Department of Computer Science offers an ABET accredited BS and MS in Applied Computer Science (ranked # 6 nationally as a best online graduate computer and information technology program by US News and World Report). The Computer Science department is student-centric and teaching-focused. The curriculum provides knowledge foundations and cutting-edge technical skills needed to succeed in today’s information technology job market, and it covers a variety of areas including programming, software engineering, web technologies, databases, systems and networks, artificial intelligence, and interactive media and gaming. The faculty research expertise includes: Computer Science Education, Computational Logic, Software Engineering and Database Systems.
Department of Geosciences offers BS in Geology, and BA and BS in Geography. The department also offers a post-bac certificate program in GIS. The research in Geosciences is very diverse. It includes teaching and learning such as web-based GIS for middle school teachers and designing technology-enhanced, inquiry-based lessons using GIS. The study of hurricane impact on coastal areas, rising sea level, assessment of shoreline change, and coastal vulnerability is research that includes the United States and Puerto Rico. Research in GIS includes LiDar projects that range from the Okefenokee Swamp to analysis of natural gas supply and demand. Faculty and students do detailed geologic mapping of the Piedmont and Valley and Ridge. Investigation is in human geography in Atlanta that includes field observations, interviews, and archival work. Research in paleontology is focused on how sample selection relates to morphology and Assembling the Echinoderm Tree of Life. The study of climate change in the Arctic is coupled with contested sovereignty and Inuit sovereignty. Research in progressive metamorphism and deformation is being done by studying the progress of mineral reactions and change in rock texture. Dendroarchaeological dating research is applied to dating historic structures and fire regimes in forest of the southern Appalachian Mountains. Cloud-to-ground lightning flashes in urban areas are being researched. Additionally, research is being done on urban surfaces and heat island mitigation and the effect of vegetation on apparent albedo in residential communities. Other research includes the hydrogeology and sedimentology of the floodplain of the Little Tallapoosa River, long-term experimental study of dissolution of echinoid in the Gulf of Mexico, and chemical weathering rates of minerals.
Much of the Department’s research involves undergraduate students so that in a typical year 10-30 undergraduate students present their research at the national and sectional meetings of the Geological Society of America and the Association of American Geographers. Other research that involves students is long-term water quality monitoring, arsenic in groundwater and soil, distribution of lead wheel weights in urban settings, study of emeralds from North Carolina, mineralogy of pegmatites from Pikes Peak Batholith, Colorado, goethite pseudomorphs after pyrite, origin of topaz and red beryl in topaz rhyolites of Utah, teaching mineralogy with experiential learning, and new Periodic Tables for teaching geology.
Department of Mathematics offers the BS degree in Mathematics with tracks in Secondary Education/UTeach, Traditional Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and Statistics. The Department offers courses and programs of study that will ensure that the student learner will be able to contribute to today's society in a variety of ways. The students will obtain the ability to critically assess numerical and graphical information; learn to formulate strategies for solving problems; and acknowledge the importance of being intellectually curious throughout their adult lives. The department is a leader in undergraduate research; all mathematics majors engage in a senior project course which provides a first research experience to the student. The department contributes to the body of knowledge in the discipline through traditional research, applied research, and research in the teaching of mathematics.
The faculty members conduct research in Applied Mathematics, Discrete Mathematics, and Mathematical Education. The Applied Mathematics group focuses on Inverse and Ill-posed problems, spectral theory, dynamical systems, integral transforms and special functions. The Discrete Mathematics group conducts research in graph theory, combinatorics, block designs, and number theory. The Mathematics Education group focuses on the areas of secondary education, elementary teacher education, culturally-relevant teaching, and standards-based mathematics instruction.
The Department includes the Marion Crider Distinguished Chair, the only such position in the University. The Department is home to two highly-respected research journals. It bi-annually hosts the Integers Conference, and international research conference with many distinguished speakers. For three years, it recently ran a summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates, a program sponsored by the National Science Foundation; and it will do so for three more years beginning in 2014. It hosts “Math Day” every year, which attracts hundreds of regional high school students to a day of contests and other mathematics-related activities. The Department runs seminars in discrete mathematics, mathematics education, and applied mathematics, featuring talks by UWG faculty as well as guest speakers, and is directed toward both students and faculty.
The faculty members received funding for NSF REU programs, conference grants from NSF and STEM education transformation grant from NSF.
Department of Physics offers a BS degree to prepare majors for employment or graduate studies. One option includes certification to teach high school physics. The Department also has a 3+2 dual-degree program in Physics and Engineering jointly administered by UWG and the Georgia Institute of Technology, Auburn University, and Mercer University.
The major research focus of the department is faculty-directed undergraduate research. The faculty research expertise is broad in both experimental and theoretical physics. Research areas include computational physics; condensed matter physics (band structures and densities of states of alloys), physics education research; spectra of planetary nebulae; formation of exotic elements; spectroscopic signatures of heavy elements; photometry of variable stars; optical and electrical properties of inorganic and organic nano-sized particles and devices; high pressure effects on matter; and high temperature superconductivity.
The department has an astronomy observatory, an optics lab, electronics lab, and computational physics classroom.
COSM Undergraduate Research Competition
The annual COSM Undergraduate Research Competition was help on Thursday, March 24 with 15 presenters representing all six of the COSM departments. Each presentation was well researched and informative. Congratulations to the winners listed below:
1st Place: Amanda Mashburn, "Element Abundances in Planetary Nebulae from Deep Optical Echelle Spectroscopy". Faculty Advisor- Dr. Sterling (Physics)
2nd Place: Kasey Swilley, "Identification and Molecular Characterization of a Light-Sensitive Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Mutant, 10E35". Faculty Advisor- Dr. Mitra (Biology)
3rd Place: Aaron Wolfgang Ashley, "SEM-EDS Analyses of Iron Phyllosilicate Minerals in Ironstone Ooids". Faculty Advisor- Dr. Chowns (Geoscience)
We are very proud of everyone's hard work!!