Academic Year: 2017-2018

My department requires that every Spring I complete a “mini-cv” and a brief analysis of my academic year. To help log my academic development I have included them below.


My summary of the year

During the academic year 2017-2018 I was in my fifth year in the History of Science program at the University of Oklahoma. In the Fall 2017 semester I completed my Prospectus Meeting and began focused work on my dissertation. By the end of the Spring semester, I will have completed a substantive rough draft of one dissertation chapter with significant progress made on a second chapter as well. During this process three opportunities have proven quite significant in my development: participation in the Newberry multidisciplinary Dissertation Seminar and two conference presentations.

The participation in the Dissertation Seminar provided me with critical feedback on my current dissertation chapter, and also allowed me the opportunity to perform dissertation research not only at the Newberry Library, but also at Loyola University and the University of Chicago. At each of the conferences, the Newberry Graduate Student Conference and the Midwest Junto for the History of Science, I presented a portion of a separate dissertation chapter and received helpful, critical feedback. I believe each of these three experiences, the Dissertation Seminar as well as the two conference presentations, have proven beneficial in the gradual development of my dissertation.

In addition to my dissertation work, I also published my first book review and began working on three separate articles, two of which are collaboratively written. The first collaborative article continues the project that Dr. Steven Livesey and I began a few years ago, which is an analysis of a newly found manuscript of Ockhamn’s Brevis summa libri physicorum. The second is a collaboratively written article with Dr. Kerry Magruder about the theory, development, and implementation of exhibitions in Galileo’s World. The third is an article developed from my Master’s thesis. All three are substantially written and will likely be submitted for publication in the coming academic year.

In addition to my formal academic development, I have also had the opportunity to continue working with Dr. Kerry Magruder on a variety of projects. The main one has been continued work on education outreach related to the Galileo’s Worldexhibition, now in reprise form. This effort corresponded with the co-teaching of HSCI 1113 in Fall 2017, as the course provided the occasion to put the entire exhibition guide on the education website ( as well as develop and publish more open educational materials on the same website. In addition to this I also worked closely with Dr. Magruder on the project SkyTonight ( which provided the occasion for the “Historic Star Atlas Stories” presentation in Spring 2018. Dr. Magruder and I also continued working on the T. F. Torrance bibliography project, which we began Summer 2018, and which will eventually entail a fully online critical bibliography of both primary and secondary sources of the works of T. F. Torrance, his two brothers, and the reception and influence of their work.

For the 2018-2019 academic year I plan to remain a full-time student in Norman, and will continue as a research assistant for Dr. Kerry Magruder. As such I am not requesting a position as a teaching assistant in the History of Science department.


My mini-cv for the year


1. Progress in Academic Program


Rienk Vermij (chair), Dr. Jane Wickersham (outside member), Dr. Kathleen Crowther, Dr. Kerry Magruder, Dr. Peter Barker, Dr. Steven Livesey

Courses taken during fall 2017:

  • HSCI 6980-012 – Research for Doctoral Dissertation (5 hours)

Courses taken during spring 2018:

  • HSCI 6980-012 – Research for Doctoral Dissertation (5 hours)

2. Teaching Assistantships

For the 2017-2018 academic year, I did not have a teaching assistantship. However, I did co-teach HSCI 1113 “Science, Nature, and Society” with Dr. Kerry Magruder for the Fall 2017 semester.

3. Scholarly Activity


  • Graduate Student Senate Research Grant, University of Oklahoma, Fall 2017, $506.40.
  • OU Libraries Conference Funding, University of Oklahoma, Fall 2017, $615.96.
  • Newberry Renaissance Consortium Grant, 2017-2018, $1000.
  • DeGolyer Travel Fellowship, University of Oklahoma, 2017-2018, $250.
  • College of Arts and Sciences Student Travel Assistance Program, University of Oklahoma, Spring 2018, $750.
  • Graduate Student Senate Research Grant, University of Oklahoma, Spring 2018, $160.
  • Linda Hall Short-term Travel Fellowship, (awarded for 2018-2019).

Conference Presentations:

  • Kerry Magruder and Brent Purkaple, “#GalileosWorld demonstrates the way @OU_Libraries is using @OUHOSCollection to transform the public domain,” a booth at the Domains 2017 conference, Oklahoma City, 06/05/2017.
  • Kerry Magruder and Brent Purkaple, Report on the T. F. Torrance Bibliography Project, The T. F. Torrance Theological Fellowship annual meeting, held in conjunction with the American Academy of Religion annual conference, Boston, MA, 11/17/2017.
  • “The Religious Experience of Optics,” Newberry Graduate Student Conference, Chicago, IL, 01/27/2018.
  • “‘For now we see in a mirror dimly’: Optical Illusions and Natural Theology in the Jesuit Order,” Midwest Junto for the History of Science, Minneapolis, MN, 04/15/2018. 


  • Review of ‘Measuring Shadows: Kepler’s Optics of Invisibility, by Raz Chen-Morris. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2016.’ Published in Early Science and Medicine22(2017) 387-389.

4. Academic Activities and Service

  • 2017-2018, Research Assistant for Dr. Kerry Magruder.
  • Co-presented with Kerry Magruder “Historic Star Atlas Stories” as part of the lecture series Postcards of the Universe, University of Oklahoma, 01/25/2018.

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