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USD Physics and Computer Science Major to Present Research to Congress

Photo of Joseph Mammo with research poster. Joseph Mammo will present a poster on his honor’s thesis research project at the annual Posters on the Hill event in Washington, D.C., April 25-26.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Joseph Mammo, a senior physics and computer science major at the University of South Dakota, will present a poster on his honor’s thesis research project at the annual Posters on the Hill event in Washington, D.C., April 25-26.

Mammo, who is from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, said he looks forward to meeting with members of Congress at the Posters on the Hill event. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it’s an honor to represent USD,” said Mammo.

Mammo is one of 60 students selected from hundreds of applicants to showcase their research to members of the U.S. Congress. The event is sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research, a national organization of individual and institutional members representing more than 900 colleges and universities.

The research Mammo will present during the two-day event centers on his work to develop a computer program system that monitors and controls conditions during nuclear and particle physics experiments. Working with his research mentor Jing Liu, USD assistant professor of physics, Mammo developed a system that monitors the temperature for germanium detectors—used for dark matter research—developed in the department’s radiation detector laboratory. The system allows researchers to collect and visualize data that show the conditions during experiments and to display this information on any device using a web-based interface.

Liu spoke highly of involving undergraduates like Mammo in research. “Undergraduate students have great potential to directly contribute to scientific research given appropriate guidance. They are best motivated by their own achievement to dedicate their career to technology and science,” said Liu.


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News