first_imgDr Christine Steenkamp is hailed asa pioneer in her field.(Image: SAASTA) Stellenbosch University’s Laser ResearchInstitute is renowned for its world-class scientific work.(Image: Stellenbosch University)MEDIA CONTACTS • Dr Christine SteenkampLaser Research Institute+27 21 808 3374 or +27 83 709 6482RELATED ARTICLES• SA scientist lauded for polar work• SA hosts world science meet• SA scientists win AU awards• Unesco fellowship for SA scientisJanine ErasmusLaser physicist Dr Christine Steenkamp is one of three African women scientists, out of a group of 12, who recently received international recognition for excellence in research.Steenkamp and her colleagues, from the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Africa, were honoured at the fourth General Assembly and international conference of the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSDW), formerly the Third World Organisation for Women in Science.This year’s OWSDW conference took place in June 2010 under the theme Women Scientists in a Changing World. The conference and General Assembly had a number of joint aims, among them to promote interaction and exchange between women scientists in the South; to boost awareness of OWSDW activities; and to increase assistance from national and international organisations for research projects carried out by women scientists.The awards were presented by funding organisation The Elsevier Foundation, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World and OWSDW, and are each worth US$5 000 (about R38 000).The 12 laureates are Zeng Fanyi, Ilkay Orhan and Priya Mahadevan from Asia; Uchechi Ekweny, Ndidiamaka Ezejiofor and Christine Steenkamp from Africa; Ghada Abdel-Salam, Lilyan Alsaka and Sakina Adam Ali from the Arab bloc; and Myriam Amezcua-Allieri, Aramis Rivera and Aimé Pelaíz-Barranco from Latin America and the Caribbean.Through a grant made as part of The Elsevier Foundation New Scholar’s programme, three disciplines in each region – biology, chemistry, and mathematics/physics – were recognised. The winners received their prizes from Chinese vice president Xi Jinping at a ceremony in the Great Hall of the People in Tianenmen Square, Beijing.“Encouraging the work of promising scientists in the developing world helps to promote wider participation and excellence in science. This is a key objective of The Elsevier Foundation’s New Scholars programme,” said the foundation’s executive director David Ruth.Submissions were reviewed by the relevant regional OWSDW committee, and shortlisted candidates went under rigorous scrutiny from OWSDW regional vice-presidents as well as the current president Kaiser Jamil, before receiving a grading.“The recognition that this provides will undoubtedly provide an invaluable boost to the promising careers of these young women scientists,” said Jamil.Innovation in physicsSteenkamp took the mathematics/physics prize for Africa for her excellent contribution to science, particularly her pioneering work in the field of vacuum ultraviolet laser spectroscopy. She delivered a lecture at the conference on this highly specialised field of research.Steenkamp obtained her BSc in physics and chemistry from Stellenbosch in 1996 and completed her MSc and PhD in laser physics at the same institution.She is now a senior physics lecturer at her alma mater, and conducts her research at the university’s Laser Research Institute, where the small academic staff complement and postgraduate students carry out fundamental and applied research in laser science and technology, and related applications.She attributes her choice of career to her father, also a physicist, who specialised in wood science. She has worked at the Max Planck Institute in Jena, Germany, and spent time doing research at the University of Colorado in the US – at the personal invitation of distinguished Nobel physics laureate Prof Carl Wieman.Her research interests range from laser cooling and trapping of atoms, to chlorophyll fluorescence and nonlinear optics.Steenkamp’s consistently high-quality output is all the more remarkable, said her OWSDW citation, because when she started her career in experimental physics there was very little research infrastructure available. Since then she herself has developed much of the equipment used in her work, and most of it is still not commercially available.For instance, her design of a vacuum ultraviolet laser source is scientifically important, because the device is not only used to investigate the properties of super-cooled carbon monoxide (CO) molecules, but can also be used to measure spectra of CO isotopomers in a lab – something which has not been possible before.Laser sources that provide light in the vacuum ultraviolet region of the spectrum are very limited, said Steenkamp in her TWOWS lecture, with only a few in existence worldwide.Isotopomers are isomers – molecules with the same chemical formula, but different structural formula – that contain isotopic atoms. The latter are atoms of the same chemical element but with differing numbers of neutrons – they are found in the same numbers but in different positions on the molecule.CO isotopomers are important because their spectra are implicated in the interpretation of results of interstellar space scans obtained by space stations. The astrophysics community, therefore, is keenly interested in Steenkamp’s innovation. She has published two papers on this work, one in the Astrophysical Journal and the other in the Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy.This is not Steenkamp’s first award. In 1997 she received the Stellenbosch University Chancellor’s Award, given to the top final year student at the university. In 2003 she was one of three recipients of the Department of Science and Technology’s Women in Science fellowships, and in 2009 she took the Silver Jubilee Medal of the South African Institute of Physics.Steenkamp has also published in well-established peer-reviewd journals, and has presented papers at a number of local and international conferences.last_img read more

first_imgAs 2016 is the year of a presidential election, it was quite fitting that SHRM’s Annual Conference and Exposition was held in Washington D.C.  While storm clouds may continue to gather and brew on our political horizon, the weather and atmosphere for SHRM was quite the opposite.We are lucky that the HR and Benefits industry has SHRM because it doesn’t just attract industry professionals seeking to improve themselves – but to improve others and the industry we are in.What better example of that than a presentation by Sal Khan of the Khan Academy. Sal spoke about the humble beginnings of his career as an educator – starting off as a means to tutor his cousin online in mathematics – and growing into what’s known now as the Khan Academy. The academy video channel has millions of subscribers and his work has led to him being listed by Time as amongst the 100 most influential people in the world in 2012.This got me thinking about our roles as HR leaders and employee benefit advisors and what makes our industry so special. Much like Sal, we too are driven by a desire to improve the human elements of organizations across the country. At HUB International, for example, many of our employees specialize in communicating and educating employees to better understand their benefits options as the ACA continues to turn much of the benefits world, as we knew it, upside down. Flunking your math test will lead to a bad grade average. But aren’t the potential consequences for an employee flunking their benefits enrollment by selecting a bad plan choice far, far, greater? The importance of SHRM’s work, and our work as industry professionals and educators, goes on.Another terrific (and very topical) highlight of the event was a heated ‘crossfire session’ between CNN commentator Paul Begala and Fox commentator and Daily Caller editor, Tucker Carlson, on the coming presidential election.  Perhaps inevitably, their opinions on what the answers to some of the looming health care compliance issues we face differed greatly. Whatever your opinion of our presidential candidates – and the likely winner, I’m sure you’ll agree that the need for cool heads and our services as educators will remain whoever wins.I have the great honor of being a co-chairman of SHRM’s next conference in 2017 – an event that will be held here in my hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana.  As you’d expect, the Louisiana Chapter of SHRM is eager to put on a great show of charm and hospitality for everyone that can make it down here. Whatever storm clouds pass over D.C. this November, we can all look forward to a tactical refresh and regrouping of our craft in The Big Easy.Jim Casadaban, MBASenior Vice President, HUB International Gulf Southlast_img read more

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market sarah perez Related Posts Tags:#NYT#search#web center_img TinyURL, one of the most popular URL-shortening services (although not our favorite) is now being used by cybercriminals to redirect web surfers to pages that contain viruses, trojans, and other sorts of malware. According to Finjan’s Malicious Code Research Center, these criminals are using the service to avoid having their web sites flagged by the Safe Browsing mechanisms built in to modern web browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. Both web browsers employ Google Safe Browsing, a feature which warns users about phishing sites and other malware. Yet bypassing this filter within your browser is easy to do, apparently. All that’s necessary is for a cybercriminal to create a TinyURL that hides the original, malicious URL. Then, instead of getting the warning message “Reported Attack Site!”, unsuspecting web surfers will be sent directly to the dangerous web page when clicking the link. In tests, the reason that the TinyURLs were able to be used in this way is because the pages they masked were not at the domain level, but were rather sub-pages of a domain marked as “safe.” This actually points to a weakness in the Safe Browsing feature and not really a security risk in the TinyURL service in and of itself. Because Safe Browsing only ranks sites at the domain level, infected sub-pages will always be ranked as “non-malicious” as long as the domain is categorized as “safe.” TinyURL isn’t the only service being abused in this way. Other URL-shortening services mentioned in the article include bit.ly, w3t.org and is.gd. However, during their research, the firm also found bit.ly being used by the same cybercriminals. Both TinyURL and bit.ly were notified and the malicious links were removed. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more