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UNM scientist pursues ultrafast laser technology to increase network speeds tenfold

A project to develop new ultrafast laser transmitter technology at The University of New Mexico is expected to have a revolutionary impact on the physics of semiconductor lasers, with potential applications that could result in ten times the speed of current fiber optic networks.

Grant funds political activism study at UNM

A new, National Science Foundation (NSF) grant is allowing researchers at The University of New Mexico to study how people are responding to the current political environment in the United States.

Earlier this spring, the NSF awarded UNM Political Science Professor Lonna Rae Atkeson a one year, $30,000 grant to research, “RAPID: Emotion Regulation, Attitudes, and the Consequences for Political Behavior in a Polarized Political Environment.” (NSF Award 1743846).

“Rarely do higher education faculty get awarded a timely grant,” Atkeson said. “But this funding comes at a time when it is particularly interesting to see how emotions are contributing to the political conversation.”

Groundbreaking discovery confirms existence of orbiting super massive black holes

For the first time ever, astronomers at The University of New Mexico say they’ve been able to observe and measure the orbital motion between two super massive black holes hundreds of millions of light years from Earth.

Lee Receives ORAU Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award

Dr. Sang Lee, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been awarded one of Oak Ridge Associate Universities (ORAU) 2017 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards.
His selection is especially significant because there were 125 applicants from which 37 awardees were chosen. Recipients of this award are faculty who are within the first two years of their tenure-track position.

This is a national award that recognizes the quality and promise of young faculty researchers. The University of New Mexico’s Office of the Vice President for Research matched this award, making the total award amount worth $10,000 for one year (June 1 to May 31).
“This is a great achievement for Dr. Lee and UNM is proud of his commitment to research excellence,” said Vice President for Research López.

DoD Information Day At UNM

The University of New Mexico recently welcomed Dr. Robin Staffin, Director of Basic Research, U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), to discuss DoD basic research programs and opportunities for faculty and students. The visit included meetings with University leadership, faculty and students about the on-going relationship between DoD and UNM. Faculty from across campus discussed their active research projects in DoD areas of interest including engineered biology, quantum information science, engineered optical materials, neuroscience, human and social behavior, political science and artificial intelligence/machine learning.

During an interactive information session, Dr. Staffin stressed the importance of basic research, highlighting relevant basic research programs and opportunities at DoD and addressed questions and comments from the audience. Dr. Staffin toured research laboratory facilities at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and Center for High Technology Materials. This visit was made possible by the Office of Government and Community Relations ( and the Office of the Vice President for Research ( For more information about DoD basic research programs and opportunities, visit: Check out the photos from Dr. Staffin’s visit:

Warming news from Russia

A new paper by UNLV Geoscience graduate student Jon Baker has hot implications for the climate future of Russia. Baker, working with UNLV Geoscience Professor Matthew Lachniet and colleagues Yemane Asmerom and Victor Polyak at The University of New Mexico, and Russian colleagues, have produced an 11,000 year-long climate record from the Ural Mountains of Russia that shows nearly continuous warming from the end of the last Ice Age to the present.

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