Our Math and Science faculty are engaged in research across several disciplines.
Research equipment in our department includes portable instrumentation for the in-situ, non-destructive analysis of works of art, namely an NMR MOUSE, an External Reflectance/ATIR FTIR, a Raman, an XRF and fiber optics UV/vis portable spectrometers. These instruments compose our “mobile laboratory” which is involved in field projects in Italy, Denmark and NYC. Our environmental sustainability researchers also utilize photon (gamma ray) and XRF spectrometers in the analysis of contaminant levels in a variety of media.
Our faculty are engaged in computer modeling, with active research into contaminant transport in drainage basins and sediments (Prof. Damon Chaky), sustainability of the built environment (Prof. Dan Wright and Prof. Richard Leigh), and modeling of group behavior as it relates to resource distribution in ecological systems (Prof. Chris Jensen).
Our faculty (Prof. Ágnes Mócsy) are also actively involved in high-energy nuclear physics researching the nature of nuclear matter (that’s matter that we are all made of) when it is heated and compressed to temperatures and densities the universe had one microsecond after the Big Bang.
Chemistry of Art Conservation
Dr. Eleonora Del Federico studies the chemistry involved in the degradation processes of ancient and traditional painting media. Her research involves the study of interactions between pigments and binders causing color alteration in mural paintings, flaking in medieval illuminated manuscripts and the formation of lead soaps in traditional oil paintings by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy.
In April of 2009, Dr. Del Federico and her students hosted a Science and Art Symposium on Science and Artists’ Materials, Techniques and Conservation on the Pratt campus.
Dr. Damon Chaky studies the sources, transport and fate of environmental contaminants in the New York metropolitan area. His research uses lake and river sediment to interpret the history of human exposure to pollutants in the urban environment.
High Energy Nuclear Physics
Dr. Ágnes Mócsy is a theoretical nuclear physicist, who performs research into the fundamental nature of matter. In particular she investigates what happens to quarks, the basic constituents of matter and their interactions in the hot and dense conditions present a few microseconds after the Big Bang. This form of matter, the quark-gluon plasma, is re-created in relativistic collisions of nuclei at the particle accelerator RHIC (Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider) at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island. Dr. Mócsy collaborates with Pratt students on visualizing this physics. For more information visit her website.
On the evening of March 11, 2014, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, theoretical physicist Dr. Ágnes Mócsy participated in the first of Brookhaven National Laboratory’s new quarterly science and conversation series, PubSci, at the Hoptron Brewtique in Patchogue, NY. Dr. Mócsy was joined by her nuclear physics colleagues Dr. Paul Sorensen and Dr. Berndt Müller as well as the two science writers Justin Eure and Chelsea Whyte who moderated the event. Dr. Mócsy and her colleagues shared their thoughts on the beginnings of the universe, the research at Brookhaven’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) that recreates the primordial soup from a millionth of a second after the Big Bang, the future of scientific exploration on Long Island, and their perspectives on the grand questions they ask in their work. Dr. Mócsy also displayed science-inspired artwork from current and former Pratt students, including several pieces by Pratt senior Sarah Szabo who was also in attendance. Read more here.
Pratt’s Math and Science Department is home to a variety of biologists and is particularly strong in the fields of ecology and evolution. Professors Jeremy Tausch and Chris Jensen are involved in diverse research projects that find homes on campus and on four different continents. The research done by our biology faculty informs our rich biology curriculum.