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Better storm track prediction over the past few decades has allowed for timely preparation and evacuations but understanding how these storms form and intensify remains a challenge for scientists. A Florida State University researcher was part of an international team studying the origin of tropical cyclones that found an infrared radiative feedback from clouds accelerates storm development. Deep clouds that are heavily laden with water droplets and ice crystals trap outgoing infrared radiation, creating a localized greenhouse effect that traps heat and warms the atmosphere in the area of the developing storm.

The designers of solar cells know their creations must contend with a wide range of temperatures and all sorts of weather conditions — conditions that can impact their efficiency and useful lifetime. Florida State University Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Lea Nienhaus and former FSU postdoctoral researcher Sarah Wieghold are helping to understand the fundamental processes in a material known as perovskites, work that could lead to more efficient solar cells that also do a better job of resisting degradation. They found that small tweaks to the chemical makeup of the materials as well as the magnitude of the electrical field it is exposed to can greatly affect the overall material stability.

Ian Carter is a student in the Department of Computer Science, part of the College of Arts and Sciences, and is pursuing a minor in the School of Communication. Inspired by his own experience as a transfer student, Carter is now a mentor in the FSU Transfer Genius program, a pilot program that aims to help Florida State transfer students succeed in their first semester and beyond.

The Sunshine State’s next generation of scientists, mathematicians, and engineers are getting an early start on career preparation, thanks to the unique engagement and educational opportunities offered by Florida State University’s Office of STEM Teaching Activities, part of the College of Arts and Sciences.

As the need for highly trained educators continues to grow, so too grows the need for a new generation of education scientists seeking to inform those practitioners. Aiming to address this need, Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) Professors Nicole Patton Terry and Sara Hart of Florida State University have launched a new interdisciplinary research training program in education sciences for doctoral students. 

Whether it’s on the golf course or in the classroom, Elle Johnson shines. Johnson, a sophomore from Inman, S.C., has excelled academically and athletically since she arrived at Florida State in 2019. Only a sophomore, Johnson is a rising star for the Seminoles on the golf course. She carded her career-best single round score of 71 in the fall 2019 Jim West Challenge. She is also a star in the classroom.

Researchers are learning more about the brightly colored bacterial mats threatening the ecological health of coral reefs worldwide. In new research released this month, a Florida State University team revealed that these mats are more complex than scientists previously knew, opening the door for many questions about how to best protect reef ecosystems in the future.

The Florida State University Department of Physics will host the 2020 Dirac Lectures virtually from Monday, Oct. 19, through Friday, Oct. 23, including a special public lecture by Rainer Weiss, a 2017 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on gravitational waves. The FSU Department of Physics organizes the Dirac Lectures to celebrate the memory of Paul Dirac, a late FSU Physics faculty member, namesake of the university’s Dirac Science Library and recipient of the 1933 Nobel Prize in Physics.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the lives of people across the country. To encourage healthy and safe practices to help stop the transmission of the coronavirus, FSU iSensor Lab, led by School of Information Associate Professor Shuyuan Mary Ho (pictured right), developed an app for Android devices called “CV19 SelfDefense.” “This Collaborative Collision is a wonderful research opportunity that the Office of Research has created for researchers across campus,” said Ho. In partnership with Professor Xiuwen Liu from the Department of Computer Science and Professor Gordon Erlebacher from the Department of Scientific Computing, the team developed CV19 SelfDefense as part of a grant from FSU Collaborative Collision titled “Achieving economic normality and public health via deep learning modeling and contact tracing.”

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to three individuals for their seminal work on black holes. Florida State University Professors of Physics Bill Green and Peter Hoeflich shared their explanation of the prize.

Florida State University will hold a virtual commencement ceremony for its fall graduates Friday, Dec. 11. President John Thrasher will preside over the ceremony, which will be streamed on the university’s website, Facebook and YouTube channels. The ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET. The virtual ceremony will incorporate many of the traditional customs associated with the usual on-campus commencement exercises, such as an opening processional to “Pomp and Circumstance,” the playing of the National Anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, the official conferring of graduate and undergraduate academic degrees, and the turning of tassels on the graduates’ caps.

A Florida State University researcher is part of a team that has found varying projections on global warming trends put forth by climate change scientists can be explained by differing models’ predictions regarding ice loss and atmospheric water vapor. The work will help climate scientists reconcile various models to improve their accuracy, said Florida State University Meteorology Professor Ming Cai, one of the authors of the study published in Nature Communications.