Southern University at Baton Rouge is a historically Black, public, Land Grant institution of higher education whose mission comprises quality instruction, research, and service. Departments of the College of Sciences include those of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, and Speech Pathology and Audiology. Research centers in which the College faculty members are heavily involved include the Health Research Center, the Center for Molecular Biology, the Center for Social Research, and the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies.
The Department of Physics at Southern University offers the Bachelor's degree (B.S.) and Master's degree (M.S.) in Physics. The Master's degree program started in the Fall of 1996. Presently there are seventeen(17) full-time and four (4) part-time faculty members, all of whom have earned Ph.D. degrees in physics or related fields. The Department serves over two hundred fifty (250) science and engineering majors per semester, over sixty (60) of whom are physics majors, and about 200 general students.
The Department just completed a five year campaign to upgrade its instructional and research facilities. Over $900,000 of Federal and State grants have been acquired for this purpose. New acquisitions include: a variety of pieces of equipment for instructional laboratories; a departmental computer network of more than forty-five (45) Pentium multimedia workstations, 8 SiliconGraphics O2 workstations, and an Origin2000 Server, In addition, department owns variety of computing systems such as Sun Sparc20. SGI Indigo2, Digital Vax 4000 and Alpha200, and IBM RS6000. All the computers in the department are connected to the Internet through a T1 fiber optics connection. The High Performance Computing Laboratory (HPCL) provides video conferencing on two of its O2s. The software library of the department includes compilers, wordprocessors, simulation graphics, and other packages.
Current departmental research projects are in the areas of electronic structure and related properties of materials, molecular dynamics, simulation of high temperature superconductors, spectroscopy of rare earth elements and their alloys, magnetic and transport measurements, fuel cells, experimental investigations of electrical and dielectric properties of materials, atomic physics, stochastic processes, particle physics and detector research, astrophysics-gamma busts, and cognition.
At the web site of the Department (http://www.phys.subr.edu) there is an illustrative list of alumni of the Department who earned Ph.D. (physics, material science, material engineering, etc. ) and M.D. degrees. Graduates of this Department account for at least ten percent (10%) of African-Americans who earned a Ph.D. degree in physics from 1984 to 1989, according to data from the American Institute of Physics. At the above web site, there is a listing of recent graduates of the Department who are pursuing advanced degrees at universities across the country.
The Department continues to raise scholarship funds for current and prospective physics majors. The support of corporate and philanthropic America is being sought for these endeavors. The highly enhanced facilities and resources place the Department in an ideal position for recruiting purposeful and talented students. The Timbuktu Academy, an integral part of the Department, is an umbrella for honor students' research, advisement, and mentoring with an annual budget of $800,000. The track record of the Department and its outstanding status were recently confirmed by out-of-state consultants of the Louisiana Board of Regents. They wrote: "the undergraduate physics program at SUBR is among the best we have encountered anywhere...The vehicle for this has been the altogether remarkable organization, the Timbuktu Academy." (Page 27, 1994 Physics Review Report to the Louisiana Board of Regents). The M.S. degree program is doing no less than upholding and enhancing the standards of quality and of productivity set by the undergraduate program.