f e a t u r e s
february 1, 2010page 3
w w w . O R E D I G G E R . n e t
Image: Downtown Chi-cago
“There are two kindsof truth; the truth thatlights the way andthe truth that warmsthe heart. The rst of these is science, and thesecond is art. Withoutart, science would be asuseless as a pair of highforceps in the handsof a plumber. With-out science, art wouldbecome a crude mess of folklore and emotionalquackery.” - RaymondChandler
Do you consider yourself ageek?
Yes, of course I consider myself a geek... but not in any standardgeek mold.
How did you come to be atMines?
I applied and was accepted atthree schools: Rensselaer, Rose-Holeman, and here. I had grown uphere and Ohio kinda blows. Need Isay more?
What is your favorite geeky pick up line?
Can’t say I’ve used many, butIch grethe Þae, maec Cwen. “Igreet you, my queen” in old Eng-lish.
What is the geekiest thing you have seen or done?
The geekiest thing would haveto be a pulley system to moveblocks and electrolysis to breathein a Dungeons and Dragons game.
What is your favorite geek joke?
“You’d better be prepared forthe jump into hyperspace, it’sunpleasantly like being drunk.”“What’s so unpleasant about be-ing drunk?” “Ask a glass of water.”-Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Star Wars or Star Trek? Why?
Star Trek. Scottish engineers areamazing.
What are your hobbies?
My hobbies would be rock climbing, mountain biking, Dun-geons and Dragons, World of War-craft, Ultimate Frisbee, Halo, read-ing, and music.
What is the geekiest thing you own?
That would be an autographedpicture of Chuck Yaeger.
Chuck Yeager, who rstbroke the sound barrier?
Yes, in the “Glamorous Glennis.”
What has been your favorite class atMines?
Hmmm, my favoriteclass is Statics.
Dear god why?
I love statics, itcomes naturally. I hadthe best professor whois no longer here.
What is your favor-ite piece of technol-ogy
?iPod, for sure.
What is your favor-ite movie?
It’s like1984 meets the Matrix.Really hard for me todecide since I watch alot of movies, but it hasChristian Bale in it.
What is your favorite book?
So very many... how about
Be- yond the Summerland
by LB Gra-ham.
What clubs or activities are you involved in?
Club Ultimate, RP club, Boardand Gaming Club, Campus Cru-sade for Christ, InterVarsity Chris-tian Fellowship, ASCE, and SWE.
Who is your role model andwhy?
Role model is fairly easy- IsaacNewton for a few reasons, butmainly he was a great leader, verydevout Christian and still brilliant.
What is your favorite OS?Why?
Windoze 7. Ease of use. I woulduse Linux if more were written for it,due to stability. But I have more of afavorite type of laptop.
Ok, then. How about your fa-vorite laptop brand?
Lenovo, they are indestructibleand have an ungodly battery life. Also I got a great deal [wink wink].
What is your favorite formulaand why?
Pythagorean Theorem, becauseof the Chinese proof, not the stupidSaxon proof...
If you were stuck on a de-serted island and you couldonly bring 3 items, what wouldthey be?
Knife, iPod with innite battery,and my hat.
If you were to come up with aclass for CSM what would it be?
Comparative Analysis and Prac-ticality of Science Fiction Series/ Movies.
If you could be anyone else,who would you be?
I like being me, I don’t want tobe anyone else.
What is one thing you loveat Mines? One thing you wouldlike to see changed?
The locale. I love the mountainsbeing so accessible. As for change,more residence halls would be nice.
...Stephen Bartels, Sophomore; Civil Engineering
Nearly every student mustendure a rigorous semester of Physics 200 here at Mines. It isone of the few commonalitiesshared as a student body. Tryingto make sense of the class formany undergraduates can be lik-ened to trying tounderstand whysome people goto a liberal artscollege. It justdoes not com-pute. This is whereDr. Patrick Kohlenters; a bril-liant man withthe unreal task of making sense out of electricityand magnetism.Dr. Kohl spent most his earlyyears growing up under the in-fluence of a military father. As aresult, Kohl spent many yearstraveling the country before brief-ly settling down in eastern Wash-ington as a teen. The next destination for thephysicsteacherwas West-ern Wash-ingtonUniversity.When de-ciding topursue aphysicsmajor, Kohllaughedthat, “[Be-ing a phys-ics ma- jor] wassomethingI settled onwhen I wastoo youngto knowwhat I wasdoing.”However,he admit-ted, “Physics is just a lot of fun,learning the fundamentals of theworld around us and how every-thing works.” As for teaching at Mines, Dr.Kohl explained it as the nextlogical stepafter obtain-ing his PhD atCU-Boulder.“It just kindof evolved.Like manystudents,I thought Iwould get intothe industry.” However, industrywas not calling the young physi-cist. Instead, Mines offered him a job he just could not turn down.“I was impressed with the qualityof students here. They are reallymotivated and are very interest-ing people.” He then joked that,“It is a bunch of nerds, but in agood way.”But as for his favorite part,Kohl simply said that “there isreally nothing bad about it.” Hehopes that students realize howwell they have it here. If he werea student at Mines, he expectsthat he would be excited to bein a place where the focus is onwhat he likes to do, especiallyas opposed to other campuses,which cultivate a more cutthroatenvironment.We all have some nerdy partof us, a part of math or sciencethat we think is just the coolestthing we have ever seen. As forDr. Kohl, he studied his favoritepart as agraduateprojectinvolvingultra-fastlasers. Hiswork in-volved thestudy of the lasers,their col-ors, andspeeds. “Lasers are just fun. And[the ultra-fast lasers] are quirky,interesting little beasts.”Dr. Kohl’s influence at the Col-orado School of Mines goes be-yond teaching Physics 200. He isinvolved in an educationally-fo-cused research group. He stud-ies the influences and techniquesthat provide the best learningexperi-ence forstudents.While notdirectlylinked tothe LON-CAPA system,Kohl likeshow thesystemimple-ments thehome-work forthe class.“If youforce stu-dents todo theirhome-work,they ac-tually dobetter,” he commented. Studiesshow that this method helps stu-dents better than the traditionalclassroom that leaves the rep-etition and homework up to thestudent, which leaves them withlittle structureor framework in trying tolearn a dif-ficult curricu-lum.Outside of Mines, Pro-fessor Kohllives at homewith his wife. Other hobbies in-clude a love for the outdoors of Colorado and an enjoyment of pet rabbits, which he describedas being “very cute, they are like16-year-olds, except that theydon’t burn the house down.”Dr. Kohl did not think any of his own experiences during col-lege would be very appropriatefor a school newspaper.But, as for advice for currentcollege students he concluded, “Iknow it is a cliché, but take ad-vantage of this opportunity. You’llnever have an opportunity likethis again.”
Faculty spotlight:Dr. Patrick Kohl
Art of science
“...and an enjoyment of petrabbits, which he described asbeing ‘very cute, they are like16-year-olds, except that theydon’t burn the house down.’” His work involved the studyof the lasers, their colors, andspeeds.
“Lasers are just fun.And [the ultra-fast lasers]are quirky, interesting littlebeasts.”
ERIK LORD / OREDIGGERCOURTESY STEPHEN BARTELSTREVOR CRANE / OREDIGGER