by George Zamora
SOCORRO, N.M., May 27, 2005 — New Mexico Tech astrophysics graduate student Mala Mateen recently was invited by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) to join a select delegation of top young researchers who will be attending the 55th Annual Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates and Students on June 26-July 1 in Lindau, Germany.
Mateen, a graduate of Ward Melville High School in East Setauket, N.Y., is the daughter of Rafia S. and Dr. Abdul Mateen. Before graduating from high school, she attended Lahore Grammar School in her hometown of Lahore, Pakistan.
The DOE, NSF, and ORAU selected this year’s participants from among a national pool of second-year graduate students whose university research is funded in part by the federal agencies.
Recently, Mateen has conducted a high sensitivity search for CH masers in extra-galactic sources using the NSF-funded Arecibo Observatory’s 305-meter radio telescope in Puerto Rico. She also has used the NSF-funded National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Very Large Array (VLA) of radio telescopes, which is located about 36 miles west of Socorro, to make observations of formaldehyde absorption toward the nearby starburst galaxy NGC 520.
“The idea is to use formaldehyde as a high-density tracer to study the dynamics and structure in front of the nuclear starburst region,” she says of her research conducted at the VLA.
Mateen’s current research advisor is New Mexico Tech astrophysics professor Peter Hofner.
In addition, Mateen is currently analysing molecular line data obtained with the 100-meter Effelsberg Telescope in Bonn, Germany, and, as an undergraduate at Pennsylvania State University, worked on radio astronomy projects at the Raman Research Institute in India and at Columbia University in New York.
Mateen Mata's research is currently supported by NSF grant AST-0454665.
Continuing a tradition established in 1951, Nobel Laureates in chemistry, physics, or physiology and medicine convene each year in Lindau on a rotational basis by discipline to conduct informal talks and meetings with about 400 students and young researchers from around the world. This year’s international convention will break from tradition slightly and will adopt a multi-disciplinary approach, focusing equally on physics, chemistry, and medicine/physiology.
As one of about 60 selected U.S. participants, Mateen will attend informal roundtable sessions and small-group discussions led by any one of the Nobel Laureates attending the six-day conference at the picturesque island city of Lindau.
More information about the 55th Annual Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates and Students is available at www.orau.gov/lindau2005.