STEM Spots

Thursdays at 9:45 a.m.

STEM Spots is a weekly look into science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Hosted by Dr. David Cornelison, professor in the department of Physics, Astronomy and Materials Science at Missouri State University, STEM Spots invites local experts to discuss advances, issues and theories dealing with all matters of STEM.

Cheek Hall
Chloe O'Neill / KSMU

As many people know, Computer Science is a burgeoning field, with students flocking to it in their search for a suitable major.  But what really does the major entail and what will students do with their degrees after they graduate?  To answer that question, we turned to Dr. Ajay Katangur, a professor and the head of the CSC department at Missouri State University.  He stops by to talk about the field, students’ expectations and the goals of the department this week on STEM Spots.

Joe Houghton, Flickr

In this edition of STEM Spots, Dave Cornelison talks with Rhonda Lesley, director of the Missouri State University Counseling Center, about counseling services and issues faced by college students.

Michael Dorausch / Flickr via Creative Commons

Physics plays a large role in the field of medicine.  Just think about the techniques used to identify illness, with X-rays, MRI, ultrasound and nuclear imaging.  They all spring directly from research done in physics labs.  But less obvious is the use of physics in the treatment of disease, especially cancer, where high energy X-rays are the most common tool.  The specialized training required for this field is given by graduate programs in Medical Physics, like the one at the Medical School of  Washington University St. Louis.  Dr.

Bernie Goldbach / Flickr, Creative Commons


HungKhong-KGX / Flickr, Creative Commons

In this episode, Dave Cornelison muses on the possibility of extraterrestrial life, and what it could mean for science and life here on Earth.

Dave Cornelison interviews Abdullah Al Shafe, a material sciences student at Missouri State University, discussing his background in Bangladesh and his metallurgical engineering studies.

Phone Bank
davekonig / Flickr

Dave Cornelison speaks with MSU alumnus Steve Nunn, a formal naval scientist, about his work with speech recognition and his projects at MSU.

Missouri State Startup Program Helps Local Entrepreneurs

Sep 26, 2019
Scott Harvey / KSMU

The efactory was founded in 2013 to help small business owners and entrepeneurs develop their ideas. Dr. Cornelison interviews the director of the efactory, Rachel Anderson, about the story and future of this startup.

You can hear the interview by clicking on the "Play" icon below.

Missouri State University

From a physicists point of view, the study of materials is intended to give insight into the fundamental processes at work.  However, the scientists at MSU are also working to incorporate their findings into practical long-term applications.  Dr. Kartik Ghosh, a Distinguished Professor of Physics, has been doing this sort of work in Springfield for many years.  He stops by STEM Spots to talk about his efforts, collaborators and the atmosphere of diversity needed to get the job done.

mararie / Flickr, Creative Commons

When thinking of all the solids we use in our everyday life, it is striking how many are made by humans instead of occurring naturally. In the past, making new mixtures of common elements was done in the search for better tools and weapons.  Now, scientists search for materials with properties better suited for harvesting solar energy or acting as components in an electronic device.  One such scientist is Dr. Tiglet Besara, a physicist at Missouri State University. He stops by STEM Spots to talk about the need and search for new crystals.

Economics: The "Dismal Science?"

Sep 5, 2019
Nicole Daae / Bēhance

Host Dr. Dave Cornelison discusses the study of economics with Kennith Brown, who's the department chair of the college of Humanities and Public Affairs at Missouri State University. How does economics relate to other sciences and what can be learned from its study?

NRCS Montana / Flickr

STEM Spots host Dr. David Cornelison discusses the effects of climate change with geoscientist and MSU professor Toby Dogwiler. The topics range from research into the effects of climate change and possible responses to the changing world.

Anders Sandberg, Creative Commons

Nuclear power has been struggling for years with a perception that it is inherently unsafe.  At the same time, other considerations, like climate change, have made the search for safer fuels and reactors an important area of research.  One of MSU’s researchers, Bob Mayanovic, happens to be studying these processes in collaboration with a team of MSU students and staff from Los Alamos National Lab.  He talks to STEM Spots about the larger problem and his work to better understand the underlying mechanisms in these materials.