An image provided by the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, via National Science Foundation shows the first image of a black hole, from the galaxy Messier 87. The image, of a lopsided ring of light surrounding a dark circle deep in the heart of the galaxy known as Messier 87, some 55 million light-years away from here, resembled the Eye of Sauron, a reminder yet again of the power and malevolence of nature. It is a smoke ring framing a one-way portal to eternity.

Cornell Professors Weigh in on First-Ever Image of Black Hole

Prof. Paul Teukolsky, Hans A. Bethe Professor of physics and astrophysics, and Prof. Dong Lai, astronomy, expressed their enthusiasm about how this development can influence and advance the gravitational wave research being done at Cornell.

A Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane at the Boeing plant in Renton, Wash., March 20, 2019. After the crash of a Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 jet in Indonesia, information largely went unshared as involved parties went into a defensive crouch, a New York Times investigation found.

Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Shares Insight on the Recent Boeing Plane Crashes

Over the course of six months the Boeing 737 Max 8 airplane model has been involved in two crashes, killing over 300 people in total. The similarities between the two crashes brought the model into question. Prof. Perrine Pepiot, mechanical and aerospace engineering, weighed in on the mechanics of the crashes based on preliminary data. The first of the two crashes, Lion Air Flight 610, occurred in Indonesia on October 29, 2018. The latter of the two, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, crashed on March 10 en route to Nairobi, Kenya.

The project team gathers before the app is launched.
Top: Andrew Gao ‘22, Kaushik Ravikumar ‘21, Evan Welsh ‘21, Raymone Radi ‘19, Ashneel Das ‘22, Matt Coufal ‘20, Andrew Xiao ‘20
Bottom: Kathy Wang grad, April Ye ‘21, Neha Rao ‘20, Kaitlyn Son ‘19

App Designed by Cornell Project Team Estimates Crowd Density of Campus Facilities

After more than a semester of development, a team of 10 undergraduates and one graduate student within the Cornell Design and Tech Initiative released an app that allows the user to preview the crowd density of Cornell campus facilities without having to physically visit. Using current and historical ID swipe data provided by Cornell IT, Flux’s algorithm makes estimations of how many people are in a certain facility at a given time and presents crowd density information in a way that users can understand. At the time of writing, Flux provides data from all ten of the All You Care To Eat dining rooms as well as Cafe Jennie and Libe Cafe. An older version of the app was released last December under the name Density, which was intended to gain feedback from the general student population outside of DTI. However, because of legal issues, they were forced to temporarily halt distribution and revise their brand.

Professor Paula Heron, University of Washington, presents her Physics Education Research findings to Cornell faculty and students

How Can Students Most Effectively Learn Physics?

Prof. Paula Heron, physics, University of Washington suggests that students make mistakes as a result of imperfect ideas and failure to override intuition rather than an actual lack of knowledge.


Spotlight on NTRES 2100: Introductory Field Biology

The course does not follow the typical prelim and final schedule; instead, students have several species identification quizzes scattered throughout the course of the semester. For these exams, students often roam the Cornell Botanical Gardens, identifying different types of trees.


Cornell Mathematician’s New Book ‘Infinite Powers’ Reveals the Scintillating World of Calculus

With the rise of computer algebra systems, the limits, integrals and derivatives that plague freshman calculus are no longer a problem. However, learning calculus has other advantages. Indeed, while not necessary for every occupation, knowledge of higher mathematics does allow one to attain jobs in advanced STEM fields, from quantitative finance to engineering.