Category Archives: Research|Penn State magazine


The winner of our fall At Large contest is this photo of a Mongolian horse herder gathering his mares prior to milking. The photo is featured in the Fall 2017 issue of Research/Penn State magazine, which arrived on campus last week.

Every autumn this horseman, like others in the region, harvests milk from his mares and ferments it to create a mild alcoholic beverage called airag. Kirk French, a senior lecturer in anthropology, took this photo in 2016 as part of his research on the social and economic impacts of small-scale production and use of alcoholic drinks in cultures around the world. His work has taken him to Mexico, where locals ferment agave sap and distill whole cane sugar; Scotland, where whiskey production is a fine art; and North Carolina, to interview moonshiners.

Thank you to all who sent images for consideration in this contest.

We now announce the contest to find another superb image for the At Large pages of our Spring 2018 issue. In addition to publication in Research/Penn State, the winner will receive a high-quality print of the At Large spread, suitable for framing.

Here are the contest guidelines:

  • Deadline for submission is Friday, January 5, 2018.
  • Image must relate to research being conducted by someone at Penn State.
  • Image must be a strong horizontal so it can completely fill a two-page spread, and must be visually compelling.
  • Image must be available at high resolution, at least 300 dpi at a size of 11” x 17”. Keep this in mind as you shoot, especially through microscopes. We have had to eliminate beautiful images from consideration because they were not shot at a high enough resolution to be enlarged to publication size.
  • Image can be a scenic, close-up, or micrograph. It can be realistic or abstract, color or black & white or colorized. Archival shots will also be considered. Previous winners can be seen here, here, and here.
  • Although we may use a shot with a person (or people) in it, portraits will not be considered.
  • You may submit more than one image, but please be selective; do not send a link to an entire collection of images and expect us to look through them all.
  • Please provide basic information about the image, such as where it was shot, by whom, and what research it relates to.

Please send your photos to Cherie Winner at Lo-res versions are fine at this stage. If we select your image, we’ll ask for the hi-res version. For more information, drop me a line via email or call me at 3-4750.

Books Galore

If you’re looking for a holiday gift—or a special treat for yourself—consider a book by a Penn State author. In addition to their scholarly and technical works, many PSU faculty members also write books with a general audience in mind. Here are a few we’ve heard about in recent months.

Continue reading Books Galore

Optical illusions and the view from space

Take a good look at the photo below. Shot from a satellite, it shows a section of the Grand Canyon, with the dark ribbon of the Colorado River winding through it. Notice anything “off” about the image? Especially in the upper portion and in the area of the big hairpin turn at lower right?

nanedivallis_comp copy
Google Earth image courtesy Sonny Harman

Continue reading Optical illusions and the view from space

New issue of Research|Penn State is now online

For those of you who haven’t seen our magazine, Research|Penn State, and those who receive the print magazine but would like to read an e-version, our Spring 2016 issue is now available online in flipbook and downloadable PDF formats. Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find.


Continue reading New issue of Research|Penn State is now online

Lively layers, our winning photo; and a new contest

8-9 At Large copy

The winner of our spring At Large photo contest is Flavio Griggio, whose image reveals the complexity and beauty of multiple layers in a manufactured film. The photo (above) is prominently featured in the April 2016 issue of Research|Penn State, which arrived on campus last week.

Flavio was a doctoral student in the lab of Susan Trolier-McKinstry, director of the W. M. Keck Smart Materials Integration Laboratory.

Continue reading Lively layers, our winning photo; and a new contest