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April 4, 2001

Rocket Scientist, Author Homer Hickam, Jr. to Cap off UMBC Research Week

Baltimore, Md. – For the first time, UMBC Research Week (April 17-25) will be capped off with a lecture by a prominent researcher who exemplifies the creative spirit of research. On April 25, NASA engineer and author Homer H. Hickam, Jr. will speak about his journey from the coalmines of West Virginia to the heart of NASA in a lecture to UMBC faculty, staff and students. Hickam's lecture, to be held at 7 p.m. in UMBC's Ballroom, will be followed by a book signing.

A retired space scientist, Hickam has written four books and numerous articles. The 1999 feature film “October Sky” is based on his bestseller “The Rocket Boys” and another movie based on his most recent book, “The Coalwood Way,” is in the works.

UMBC Research Week is a celebration of the accomplishments of UMBC graduate and undergraduate researchers. Highlighting the event are the Graduate Research Conference and Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day, sessions at which students make oral and poster presentations of their work. The week also features lectures by painter, sculptor and multi-media artist Renee Stout and Joe Tatarewicz, UMBC professor of history, who will discuss the role that space flight has had in imagination and reality, and how each has influenced the other.

Thanks to such events, “UMBC is achieving a reputation for excellence,” says Beth Pennington, assistant to the provost. Nineteen Undergraduate Research Award winners will present their work, 10 of which presented at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research at the University of Kentucky in March. “This year's group is about a 50/50 partnership between science and the arts and humanities,” says Pennington. “It is inclusive of all disciplines.”

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Posted by dwinds1 at April 4, 2001 12:00 AM