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Matthew Semak

Matthew Semak

Associate Professor

Physics & Astronomy
Natural and Health Sciences

Contact Information

Phone
(970) 351 2409
Office
Ross 0232G

Education

PhD Physics, University of New Mexico (2000)

MS Physics, Clarkson University (1991)
Complex Systems Summer School, Santa Fe Institute (1990)

BS Physics, Clarkson University (1989)

Professional/Academic Experience

Associate Professor, University of Northern Colorado (2020-present)

Assistant Professor, University of Northern Colorado (2014-2019)

Instructor, Assistant Professor, University of Northern Colorado (2013-2014)

Lecturer, University of Northern Colorado (2000-2013)

Research/Areas of Interest

Statistical mechanics of nonequilibrium nonlinear systems – temporal correlations in noisy systems, computer modeling of noisy systems with memory, computer/mathematical modeling of human unipedal balance, applying human balance strategies to robotics
Psychoacoustics – Intelligibility at high sound pressure levels, impedance characteristics of audio waveguides

Publications/Creative Works

Journal Articles:

Semak, M. R., Swchartz, J., Heise, G. (2020). Examining Human Unipedal Quiet Stance: Characterizing Control through JerkComputational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine, 15.

Semak, M., Dietz, R., Pearson, R. H., Willis, C. (2017). Examining Evolving Performance on the Force Concept Inventory using Factor Analysis. Physical Review: Physics Education Research, 13(1). 

Semak, M., Forgacs, G. (1991). Adsorption of a Directed Polymer-chain in the Presence of Monomer Attraction: Analytical Results. Journal of Physics A - Mathematical and General, 24(1), L779-L784.

Conference Proceedings:

Semak, M., Willis, C., Dietz, R. (2013). Predicting FCI Gain with a Nonverbal Intelligence Test (pp. 378-381). 2012 Physics Education Research Conference.

Semak, M., Dietz, R., Willis, C. (2011). Gender Bias In The Force Concept Inventory (pp. 171-174). 2011 Physics Education Research Conference.

Recent Presentations:

Semak, M. (Author & Presenter), Galovich, C. (Author), Dietz, R. (Author), Summer 2019 Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers, "An Examination of the Correlation between Cognitive Ability and Achievement on the FCI," Provo, UT (July 2019).
Semak, M. (Author & Presenter), Galovich, C. (Author), Summer 2019 Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), "Student-initiated Research in a Bachelor’s-only Physics and Astronomy Department," Provo, UT (July 2019).
Semak, M. (Author), Ensley, R. (Author & Presenter), Colorado Undergraduate Space Research Symposium, "Biomimicry: The Goliath Project," University of Colorado, Boulder. (April 20, 2019).
Semak, M. (Author), Avina, J. (Author & Presenter), Colorado Undergraduate Space Research Symposium, "Chaos and Randomness in an Electric Circuit," University of Colorado, Boulder. (April 20, 2019).
Semak, M. (Author), Smith, B. (Author & Presenter), Stottlemeyer, R. (Author & Presenter), Colorado Undergraduate Space Research Symposium, "Minimizing Pressure Changes within a High-altitude Balloon," University of Colorado at Boulder. (April 20, 2019).
Semak, M. (Author), Avina, J. (Author & Presenter), American Physical Society April Meeting 2019, "Chaos and Randomness in an Electric Circuit," Denver, Colorado. (April 13, 2019).
Semak, M. (Author), Blair, N. (Author & Presenter), American Physical Society April 2019 Meeting, "Constructing an Equation of State for a Diatomic Gas," Denver, Colorado. (April 13, 2019).
Semak, M. (Author & Presenter), Schwartz, J. (Author), Heise, G. (Author), Dynamics Days, "Postural Control: A Study of One-legged Stance - Update," Evanston, Illinois. (January 2019).
Semak, M. (Author & Presenter), Galovich, C. (Author), Dietz, R. (Author), Summer 2018 Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), "Doing Research with Undergraduates in a Bachelor’s-only Physics and Astronomy Department," Washington D.C. (August 2018).
Fender, J. (Author & Presenter), Morse, J. (Author), Ringler, J. (Author & Presenter), Galovich, C. (Author), Kuehn, C. (Author & Presenter), Semak, M. (Author), AAS Meeting #232, "Investigating the Impact of a Solar Eclipse on Atmospheric Radiation," American Astronomical Society, Denver, CO. (June 2018).
Semak, M. (Author), Miller, R. (Author & Presenter), AAPT 2018 Spring Meeting: Colorado –Wyoming Section, "A Computational Method for Finding the Path of Approach of an Ion to a Reaction Site," Laramie, Wyoming. (April 2018).
Semak, M. (Author & Presenter), Galovich, C. (Author), AAPT 2018 Spring Meeting: Colorado – Wyoming Section, "Doing Research with Undergraduates in a Bachelor’s-only Physics and Astronomy Department," Laramie, Wyoming. (April 2018).
Semak, M. (Author), Ringler, J. (Author & Presenter), AAPT 2018 Spring Meeting: Colorado –Wyoming Section, "Modeling long-range interactions in a 2D Ising ferromagnet," Laramie, Wyoming. (April 2018).
Semak, M. (Author), Helms, C. (Author & Presenter), Fender, J. (Author & Presenter), AAPT 2018 Spring Meeting: Colorado – Wyoming Section, "Robotics Challenge: Utilization of SLAM for Autonomous 3D Robotic Mapping with an Archimedes Screw Driven All-Terrain Vehicle," Laramie, Wyoming. (April 2018).
Semak, M. (Author), Avina, M. (Author & Presenter), Bullard, A. (Author & Presenter), Rathke, B. (Author & Presenter), Snouffer, Q. (Author & Presenter), AAPT 2018 Spring Meeting: Colorado – Wyoming Section, "The Speed of Sound as a Function of Altitude: UNC DemoSat," Laramie, Wyoming. (April 2018).
Semak, M. (Author), Morse, J. (Author & Presenter), Colorado Space Research Symposium, "Brain wave control of household appliances," Boulder, Colorado. (April 21, 2018).
Semak, M. (Author), Ringler, J. (Author & Presenter), Morse, J. (Author & Presenter), Fender, J. (Author & Presenter), Colorado Space Research Symposium, "Investigating the Impact of a Solar Eclipse on Atmospheric Radiation," Boulder, Colorado. (April 21, 2018).
Semak, M. (Author), Helms, C. (Author & Presenter), Fender, J. (Author & Presenter), Colorado Space Research Symposium, "Robotics Challenge: Utilization of SLAM for Autonomous 3D Robotic Mapping with an Archimedes Screw Driven All-Terrain Vehicle," Boulder, Colorado. (April 21, 2018).
Semak, M. (Author), Avina, M. (Author & Presenter), Bullard, A. (Author & Presenter), Rathke, B. (Author & Presenter), Snouffer, Q. (Author & Presenter), Colorado Space Research Symposium, "The Speed of Sound as a Function of Altitude, UNC DemoSat," Boulder, Colorado. (April 21, 2018).
Semak, M. (Author), Chacon, S. (Author & Presenter), Colorado Space Research Symposium, "Understanding Sonoluminescence," Boulder, Colorado. (April 21, 2018).
Semak, M. (Author & Presenter), Schwartz, J. (Author), Heise, G. (Author), Dynamics Days, "Postural Control: A Study of One-legged Stance," Denver, Colorado. (January 2018).
Semak, M., American Physical Society Four-Corners October Meeting 2017, "Doing Research with Undergraduates in a Bachelor’s-only Physics and Astronomy Department: Challenges and Successes," Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. (October 2017).
Semak, M. (Author & Presenter), Fender, J. (Author), Morse, J. (Author), Ringler, J. (Author), Summer 2017 meeting of the AAPT, "Investigating the Impact of a Solar Eclipse on the Creation of Atmospheric Muons," Cincinnati, OH. (July 2017).
Semak, M. (Author & Presenter), McMillan, T. (Author), Schwartz, J. (Author), Heise, G. (Author), Summer 2017 Meeting of the AAPT, "Modeling Human Balance Control," Cincinnati, OH. (July 2017).
Semak, M. (Author), Sweitzer, A. (Author & Presenter), AAPT 2017 Colorado-Wyoming Section Meeting, "Biomimicry: Design and Construction of a Mulitlegged Robot: Arick Sweitzer," Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. (April 2017).
Semak, M. (Author), Zadina, K. (Author & Presenter), Helms, C. (Author & Presenter), AAPT 2017 Colorado-Wyoming Section Meeting, "Electroencephalograpy and the Mechanical Operation of an Exoskeletal Arm," Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. (April 2017).
Semak, M. (Author), Morse, J. (Author & Presenter), Ringler, J. (Author & Presenter), Fender, J. (Author & Presenter), Angstead, R. (Author & Presenter), AAPT 2017 Colorado-Wyoming Section Meeting, "Investigating the Impact of a Solar Eclipse on Atmospheric Radiation," Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. (April 2017).
Semak, M. (Author), Heise, G. (Author), McMillan, T. (Author & Presenter), AAPT 2017 Colorado-Wyoming Section Meeting, "Postural Control: A Sample Entropy Approach to One-Legged Stance," Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. (April 2017).
Semak, M. (Author), Briggs, A. (Author & Presenter), AAPT 2017 Colorado-Wyoming Section Meeting, "Psychoacoustics: Understanding Sonic Intelligibility," Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. (April 2017).
Semak, M. (Author), Sweitzer, A. (Author & Presenter), Colorado Space Research Symposium, "Biomimicry: Design and Construction of a Multilegged Robot," University of Colorado, Boulder. (April 2017).
Semak, M. (Author), Zadina, K. (Author & Presenter), Helms, C. (Author & Presenter), Colorado Space Research Symposium, "Electroencephalography and the Mechanical Operation of an Exoskeletal Arm," University of Colorado, Boulder. (April 2017).
Semak, M. (Author), Helms, C. (Author & Presenter), Sweitzer, A. (Author & Presenter), Angstead, R. (Author & Presenter), Williams, B. (Author & Presenter), Colorado Space Research Symposium, "Increased Processing Power for an Autonomous Rover," University of Colorado, Boulder. (April 2017).
Semak, M. (Author), Morse, J. (Author & Presenter), Ringler, J. (Author & Presenter), Fender, J. (Author & Presenter), Colorado Space Research Symposium, "Investigating the Impact of a Solar Eclipse on the Creation of Atmospheric Muons," University of Colorado, Boulder. (April 2017).
Semak, M. (Author), McMillan, T. (Author & Presenter), Heise, G. (Author), Colorado Space Research Symposium, "Postural Control: An Entropy Approach to One-legged Balance," University of Colorado, Boulder. (April 2017).
Semak, M. (Author & Presenter), Schwartz, J. (Author), Heise, G. (Author), McMillan, T. (Author), Dynamics Days 2017, "Postural Control: A Study of One-legged Human Balance Control," Siiver Spring, Maryland. (January 2017).
Galovich, C. (Author), Semak, M. (Author & Presenter), Dietz, R. (Author), Summer 2016 Meeting of the AAPT, "A Nonverbal Intelligence Test as a Predictor of FCI Gain," Sacramento. (July 2016).
Semak, M. (Author), Buchanan, V. (Author & Presenter), Tellez, T. (Author & Presenter), Fender, J. (Author & Presenter), Fabian, R (Author & Presenter), Lausatianragit, T. (Author & Presenter), AAPT 2016 Colorado-Wyoming Section Meeting, "Demosat: Modular Payload Design and Radiation Flux with Altitude," University of Northern Colorado. (April 2016).
Semak, M. (Author), Harris, J. (Author & Presenter), Williams, B. (Author & Presenter), Helms, C. (Author & Presenter), Zadina, K. (Author & Presenter), AAPT 2016 Colorado-Wyoming Section Meeting, "Designing a Rover: Colorado Space Grant Consortium Robotics Challenge," University of Northern Colorado. (April 2016).
Semak, M. (Author), Hererea, D. (Author & Presenter), McMillan, T. (Author & Presenter), Lowery, S. (Author & Presenter), Nuzum, M. (Author & Presenter), AAPT 2016 Colorado-Wyoming Section Meeting, "Developing a Model: Re-entry into Earth's Atmosphere," University of Northern Colorado. (April 2016).
Semak, M. (Author), Williiams, B. (Author & Presenter), Zeller, D., AAPT 2016 Colorado-Wyoming Section Meeting, "Object Recognition and Artificial Intelligence," University of Northern Colorado. (April 2016).
Semak, M. (Author), Chacun, S. (Author & Presenter), Colorado Space Research Symposium, "Demonstrating Sonoluminescence," Community College of Aurora, Lowry Campus. (April 23, 2016).
Semak, M. (Author), Sweitzer, A. (Author & Presenter), Briggs, A. (Author & Presenter), Fabian, R. (Author & Presenter), Loftus, B. (Author & Presenter), Peak, J. (Author & Presenter), McMillan, T. (Author & Presenter), Angstead, R. (Author & Presenter), Lowery, S. (Author & Presenter), Hererea, D. (Author & Presenter), Nuzum, M. (Author & Presenter), Colorado Space Research Symposium, "Design of Probe to Investigate Atmospheric Re-entry," Community College of Aurora, Lowry Campus. (April 23, 2016).
Semak, M. (Author), Harris, J. (Author & Presenter), Williams, B. (Author & Presenter), Helms, C. (Author & Presenter), Zadina, K. (Author & Presenter), Colorado Space Research Symposium, "Designing a Rover: Colorado Space Grant Consortium Robotics Challenge," Community College of Aurora, Lowry Campus, (April 23, 2016).
Semak, M. (Author), McMillan, T. (Author & Presenter), Hererea, D. (Author & Presenter), Nuzum, M. (Author & Presenter), Lowery, S. (Author & Presenter), Colorado Space Research Symposium, "Developing a Model: Re-entry into Earth's Atmosphere," Community College of Aurora, Lowry Campus. (April 23, 2016).
Semak, M. (Author), Buchanan, V. (Author & Presenter), Tellez, T. (Author & Presenter), Fender, J. (Author & Presenter), Fabian, R. (Author & Presenter), Lausatianragit, T. (Author & Presenter), Colorado Space Research Symposium, "Modular Payload Design and Radiation Flux with Altitude," Community College of Aurora, Lowry Campus. (April 23, 2016).
Semak, M. (Author), Williams, B. (Author & Presenter), Zeller, D., Colorado Space Research Symposium, "Object Recognition and Artificial Intelligence," Community College of Aurora, Lowry Campus. (April 23, 2016).
Semak, M. (Author), Ismay, L. (Author & Presenter), Colorado Space Research Symposium, "Demonstrating Multi-robot Swarm Behavior," University of Colorado, Boulder. (2015).
Semak, M., Dietz, R., Galovich, C., Summer 2015 Meeting of the AAPT, "Aspects of Factor Analysis Applied to the Force Concept Inventory." (July 2015).
Semak, M. (Author), Schwartz, J. (Author & Presenter), Heise, G. (Author), Colorado Space Research Symposium, "Studying the Trajectory of a Human Foot's Center of Pressure," University of Colorado, Boulder. (April 2015).

Honors and Awards

Recent Grant Awards:

Semak, M. R. (Principal), Galovich, C. (Co-Principal), Colorado Space Grant Consortium Affiliate Award: Opportunities in NASA STEM, $25,000 (May 1, 2021 – April 30, 2022)

Semak, M. (Principal), Galovich, C. (Co-Principal), Walch, R. (Co-Principal), Colorado Space Grant Consortium Affiliate Award: Opportunities in NASA STEM, $25,000 (May 1, 2020 – April 30, 2021)

Semak, M. (Principal), Galovich, C. (Co-Principal), Walch, R. (Co-Principal), Colorado Space Grant Consortium Affiliate Award: Opportunities in NASA STEM, $80,280 (May 1, 2017 – April 30, 2020)

Semak, M. (Principal), Galovich, C. (Co-Principal), Walch, R. (Co-Principal), Colorado Space Grant Consortium Supplement Award: Opportunities in NASA STEM, $1,780 (May 1, 2017 – April 20, 2018).

Walch, R. (Principal), Galovich, C. (Co-Principal), Semak, M. (Co-Principal), Colorado Space Grant Consortium Affiliate Award: Opportunities in NASA STEM, $52,000 (June 1, 2015 - April 30, 2017)