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Professor Mary Kertzman


Mary Kertzman working on a project

Dr. Mary Kertzman has been a member of the physics department at DePauw since 1988. At the University of Minnesota she earned B.S. degrees in both Physics and Astronomy in 1980, and a Ph.D. in Physics in 1987. Her graduate work involved the measurement of the fragmentation cross sections of relativistic heavy nuclei on light targets, and the application of these cross sections to the problem of cosmic ray propagation. In 1987-1988 she held a post-doctoral research position at Purdue University where she studied very high energy gamma ray astronomy. Dr. Kertzman's postdoctoral work took her from the study of cosmic rays to the study of high energy astronomical gamma rays. From her postdoctoral time until 1991 she was a member of the Haleakala Gamma Ray Observatory. From 1995 to 2000 she was a member of the Whipple Collaboration. Since 1997 she has been an active member of the VERITAS Collaboration, which studies some of the highest energy phenomena in the universe including active galaxies, supernova remnants, and galactic micro-quasars. Her work has been supported by grants from the Research Corporation, NASA's Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, and the National Science Foundation.

During her time at DePauw Dr. Kertzman has taught most of the courses offered in the physics curriculum. She has developed several new astronomy courses including: "Stars and Galaxies", "Moons and Planets", "Introduction to Astrophysics", “Observational Astronomy” and “High Energy Astrophysics”. Dr. Kertzman is the co-director of DePauw's McKim Observatory. She uses McKim for the astronomy classes and for public Open House observing sessions. In 1992 she helped found DePauw's Women in Science Program and for many years served as its faculty coordinator.

When she is not busy at DePauw, Dr. Kertzman enjoys horseback riding, jewelry making, gardening and bee keeping. She and her husband, Randy, live "out in the country", a mere 2 miles from campus, in an old farmhouse. They share their lovely country place with dogs, horses and cats.