IUP Sigma Xi to Offer Program on Science of Stock Car Racing

Posted on 4/12/2013 3:44:48 PM

Note: This lecture starts at 7:30 p.m.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s chapter of the Sigma Xi Science Research Society will present a lecture on the science of stock car racing by Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, a physics professor at West Virginia University, on Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 7:00 7:30 p.m. in Eberly Auditorium.

The program is free and open to the community.

Leslie-Pelecky’s lecture, “The Science of Speed,” will focus on how physics and aerodynamics affect how NASCAR drivers compete. Her research has involved going to the Texas Motor Speedway and meeting with mechanical engineers, aerodynamicists, chemical engineers and physicists who are critical participants in the world of motorsports.

Her 2008 book, “The Physics of NASCAR,” was quoted in Time magazine and featured in The New York Times and Sporting News magazine. She also writes for the Building Speed blog at buildingspeed.org, in which she explains the math and science behind current events in motorsports.

Leslie-Pelecky earned degrees in physics and philosophy from the University of North Texas and a doctorate in condensed matter physics from Michigan State University. After 14 years as a professor at the University of Nebraska, she became director of the WVU Nano Initiative and a physics professor at the university. Her research seeks news ways to apply magnetic nanoparticles to make chemotherapy more efficient while decreasing side effects for patients.

Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, was founded in 1886 as an honor society for scientists and engineers. It actively promotes scientific research and the promise of science and technology. Its goals are to foster interaction among science, technology and society; to encourage appreciation and support of original work in science and technology; and to honor scientific research accomplishments.

Approximately 75,000 scientists and engineers are active members of Sigma Xi in North America and abroad. There are more than 500 chapters at academic institutions, government laboratories and industry research centers.

For more information about the event, contact Ed Donley, professor, IUP Mathematics Department, at (724) 357-3792.