Engaging in the 'Creative Act' of Science

By Nealy, Michelle J. | Diverse Issues in Higher Education, January 8, 2009 | Go to article overview

Engaging in the 'Creative Act' of Science


Nealy, Michelle J., Diverse Issues in Higher Education


Dr. Stephon Alexander is as intricate as the quantum theories he works to demystify. Seduced by two activities so utterly engaging there is no escaping their allure, Alexander fills blackboards with mathematical equations by day and satiates the musical palate of jazz enthusiasts by night with melodies from his bass saxophone.

A theoretical physicist, Alexander deals with the science of ideas. He sheds light on the unknown and discovers new ways to test the seemingly impossible. "I work on big problems," Alexander says, explaining his most recent research endeavor.

"I'm working on the dark energy and matter problem, the recent observation that most of the substance in our universe around us is invisible to the eyes." Alexander is also known for his work on String Theory, a theory that describes All particles as one-dimensional strings.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Alexander's scientific roots stem from his childhood in the Bronx, N.Y., where his father, Keith Alexander, worked as a computer technician. When Alexander was 12 years old, his father brought home a used computer. Alexander used it to play video games.

"Video games were primitive back then, so I taught myself how to program better games. The computer was a perfect laboratory for me to learn the process of exploration, analysis and discovery; how to realize an idea and try to make it a reality," says Alexander. Eventually, Alexander's curiosity about the composition of computers led him to the library. "I discovered the words 'quantum mechanics.' Although I was mystified by the equations, I was hooked," Alexander says.

The Caribbean-born Alexander is trailblazing a path for other scientists of color. His accolades are extensive. Alexander recently received the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation and was honored by the National Geographic Society as an "Emerging Explorer," Alexander credits much of his success and perseverance to another African-American physicist, Dr. Sylvester James Gates, the John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland, College Park.

"When I met Jim Gates, saw him on the blackboards doing physics at the highest level. Having that sort of role model is more powerful than anything. It is what has inspired me to persist and become a professor. I didn't really nave African-American physics professors, says Alexander, who completed his undergraduate studies at Haverford College, where he now teaches.

From 1999 to 2004, only 62 Black males earned doctoral degrees in physics, according to 2005 data collected by the American Institute of Physics, and Alexander was one of them. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Engaging in the 'Creative Act' of Science
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.