Serge Rudaz

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Serge Rudaz (born August 19, 1954, pronounced "Rü-DAH") is a Canadian theoretical physicist and Professor of Physics at the University of Minnesota. He previously served as the Director of Undergraduate Studies of the University of Minnesota's Physics Department, and is now the Director of Undergraduate Honors at the University of Minnesota. Rudaz received his Ph.D. in 1979 from Cornell University and his undergraduate degree from McGill University. He has a Hirsch number of 22.

Teaching[edit]

Rudaz is a veteran instructor of physics. He finds it critical that students understand how more complex phenomena can be explained by the basic laws of physics. In introductory level courses, he emphasizes particularly Newton's second law, but he has noted that in more advanced topics and particularly in quantum physics, "It's not just F=ma!" Such an understanding of basic principles, he says, will prevent students from viewing physics as "an ad hoc collection of recipes." Rudaz is the recipient of the 1998 IT Best Instructor Award and the 1992 Outstanding Instructor Award, both from the IT Student Board of the University of Minnesota. On April 3, 2006, he was awarded the George W. Taylor/IT Alumni Society Award for Distinguished Teaching.

In the spring of 2007, Rudaz was named as the director of the University of Minnesota's new campus-wide Honors program, which began operation during the fall of 2008.

Research[edit]

In addition to being an instructor, Rudaz is a distinguished researcher. In 1995, he was Elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, an honor bestowed on "no more than one-half of one percent" of the society's membership. In 1985, Rudaz was the recipient of the Canadian Association of Physicists Herzberg Medal. He is the only physicist in the Herzberg Medal's history from a non-Canadian institution.

Rudaz's research interests include:

  • unified theories of elementary particle interactions and their phenomenology, applications to cosmology and the particle/astrophysics interface
  • relativistic many-body physics, including phase transitions in field theories at finite temperature and density; models of hadronic interactions
  • physics of topological defect formation in the early universe and in condensed systems

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