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Dr. Elizabeth Jensen

Email Address: ejensen@psi.edu
Research Institution: Planetary Science Institute
Program of Study: Space Hazards
Area of Interest: The heliosphere and interstellar wind


The vacuum of space is not an empty place. The Sun's atmosphere extends not just from its glowing 6,000 Kelvin photosphere to its 6,000,000 Kelvin corona. It speeds up to become the solar wind; an electromagnetic "fluid" that supersonically slams the planets and any other objects (to wit dust, asteroids, comets, micrometeoroids, and so on) in its path to the space between the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud, where it mixes with the interstellar wind. Planets such as the Earth react to the solar wind's magnetic and ram pressure with the necessary electric currents in the ionosphere, plasmasphere, and magnetosphere to reconfigure its dipole into a bow shock for a force balance. The solar wind that continues to reach the Earth creates the aurora. I'll discuss the research being conducted to learn about the plasma which fills our solar system such as the "coronal heating problem" (essentially the problem is how do you boil water with an ice cube?) and the variety of hazards that make understanding this fluid so important (space weather).


Dr. Malcolm Dcosta

Email Address: malcolmdcosta@hotmail.com
Research Institution: University of Houston
Program of Study: Computer Science
Area of Interest: Computational Physiology


Turning Security Monitoring into an Engaging High Performance Task
I will present a novel method to improve the engagement and performance of security guards in tasks involving the monitoring of multiple video feeds. The method is based on multiplexing to the monitoring task symbiotic activities that are entertaining in nature and supportive to (not detracting from) this task. A longitudinal crossover experiment that lasted 10 days on n=15 security guards confirmed the method’s superiority in terms of task engagement and performance with respect to the standard method.