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Around the Columns

The science guys

Science is much more than theories, research and formulas; it is the constant search for knowledge, a yearning to understand the world and how it works. Three MU students who exemplify this curiosity earned 2008 Goldwater Scholarships.

The scholarship honors the work of Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz., who served for more than 30 years in the U.S. Senate. Created in 1986, its mission is to provide a continuous flow of qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers. It is awarded to roughly 300 students nationally a year.

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Name: Daniel Tappmeyer

  • Hometown: Warrenton, Mo.
  • Major: Chemical engineering
  • Class: Senior
  • Involvement: Tappmeyer has worked with nanoenergetics that bring fuel and oxides closer in relation to eachother to create nontoxic explosives. He has greatly expanded his research in nanotechnology — technology on the atomic and molecular level — with biotechnology to understand the positive comparative applications of animal and human medicine.
  • Goals: Tappmeyer hopes to attend a veterinary school and complete a doctoral program before becoming a professor and researcher.
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Name: Kevin Karsch

  • Hometown: St. Louis
  • Major: Computer science
  • Class: Senior
  • Involvement: Karsch studies how to make computer graphics such as MRI images more lifelike. More realistic graphics allow researchers and clinicians to see more detailed images of brain structure. In one study the software creates MRI images that measure how the brain structures of children with autism differ from those without the disease.
  • Goals: Karsch plans to earn a doctorate and teach or work for a research company.
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Name: Tyler Faust

  • Hometown: St. Louis
  • Major: Biological sciences
  • Class: Senior
  • Involvement: Faust studies how ion channels create an action, such as memory, movement or physiological functions. In one study, he looked at how the networks within crabs’ brains maintain their memories. This research develops a lot more knowledge to understand the science behind neural networks and how they function.
  • Goals: After graduate school, Faust sees himself as a professor of molecular biology.