Montana State University

Third MSU student chosen to meet with Nobel laureates

June 23, 2005 -- By Evelyn Boswell, MSU News Service


Keith Gilmore (MSU photo by Erin Raley).   High-Res Available

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For the third year in a row, a Montana State University graduate student has been chosen to gather with Nobel Prize winners in Germany.

Keith Gilmore, a doctoral student in physics, will participate in the June 26-July 1 conference in Lindau. Like Karl Sebby and Katie Reardon before him, Gilmore will attend lectures and interact informally with Nobel laureates and some of the world's top graduate students in the sciences. Fifty-three Nobel winners and 600 graduate students are expected to attend the 55th annual assembly that encourages international conversations among scientists.

"Out of all the people I know in the physics department, he thinks about the big problems very deeply," said Yves Idzerda, Gilmore's advisor. "I thought he would appreciate these people who also think about these problems on a deep level."

Gilmore has always expressed interest in knowing other students, Idzerda added. A native of Philadelphia, Gilmore also enjoys traveling.

"That's one of the fun things about physics," Idzerda said. It's an international activity."

Idzerda nominated Gilmore for the Nobel experience. After MSU administrators approved the nomination, Gilmore was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy and National Science Foundation to join approximately 75 other students in the U.S. contingent. The DOE paid for Gilmore's trip.

Before leaving Montana, Gilmore said this year's assembly brings together Nobel laureates from a variety of disciplines instead of just one like previous years. The conference Web site said this is only the second time in 55 years that the gathering has had an interdisciplinary focus.

The broader focus is fitting for him, said Gilmore who routinely works with students and faculty in chemistry and biology. Gilmore measures the magnetic properties of nanomaterials, those ultra-miniature materials that can be used in computer memory, targeted drug delivery and a variety of other ways.

"It will be interesting to see how people who have been studying very indepth in their own field put all the pieces together when they are able to get together with each other," Gilmore said.

Sebby, a native of Lynnwood, Wash., attended the Nobel conference last year. He is pursuing his doctorate in chemistry at MSU. Reardon, from Burley, Idaho, attended the conference in 2003. She is working on her doctorate in environmental microbiology at MSU.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or evelynb@montana.edu