Prof. Dan McIntosh has followed Astronomy Magazine since the early 1980s when his Grandpa Bill and Grandma Tressie McIntosh gave him an annual subscription. Just recently, Prof. McIntosh published the answer to an “Ask Astro” question. Ask Astro answers reader questions about the science and hobby of astronomy in every issue of the magazine so it is especially gratifying for Prof. McIntosh to have the opportunity to provide an answer as a professional astronomer.
The reader asked, “Since a great number of galaxies are spiral in shape and there is a black hole in the middle of them, is the shape of the galaxy influenced by the “sucking” power of the black hole, like water spiraling into the drain of the bathtub?” Prof. McIntosh provides the answer.
Exceptional is just one word to describe Kameswara Mantha, doctoral student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Department of Physics and Astronomy.
He is one of five individuals who are vying to be the first physics doctoral graduate at UMKC specializing in astrophysics. He’s making a name for himself through his dedication to physics research, scholarship and mentorship.
Pure determination and talent brought Mantha to where he is. While physics is Mantha’s passion, the path to a career in the field hasn’t been easy. Owing to the very limited opportunities to pursue physics degrees in his native India, Mantha earned a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication engineering instead. In order to apply for graduate schools, “I self-taught to take the physics GRE,” Mantha said, and applied to top graduate schools in the United States. However, he was denied admissions by several institutes due to a lack of the right undergraduate degree.
So, armed with an engineering degree, Mantha joined the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering as a master’s student in August 2014. One day before the scheduled UMKC engineering student orientation, he learned about the UMKC Physics and Astronomy program, which stoked his hopes to pursue astrophysics. In a desperate search for an opportunity, Mantha pondered, “I’m going to try one last time” before approaching Professor Daniel McIntosh in the UMKC Physics and Astronomy Department.