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Academic Research

As a Loyola student, you have the opportunity to work alongside our talented professors to partner in collaborative research. Learn more about some recent research and projects currently underway.

First-Year Seminar on Cultural Blending

Islam, Spain, New Orleans
(This course is ONLY OPEN to students who are enrolled into the Honors program)

Professor Eileen J. Doll, Department of Languages and Cultures

Disciplines:  Literature, Medieval History

A Within Host Model of Dengue Virus Infection

Dr. Jeremy Thibodeaux and senior mathematics student Michael Hennessey have derived a system of differential equations that model certain blood cell and particle populations in the body when it is infected with Dengue virus. The model aims to capture the relevant physiological processes to provide researchers a tool to develop more effective antiviral drugs and treatments in the fight against Dengue Fever.


Both theoretically and observationally cosmology has growning in stature over the last decade or so. Still several puzzling questions remain: How did it all start, did our universe emerge from a singularity? Was there a beginning of time, or can one trace time all the way back to –infinity? What about dark matter and dark energy, what are they made of?

Dr. Biswas research tries to address these questions. His current projects involve cyclic cosmological models and the dark energy puzzle.


Gravitational Physics

Gravitational physics,  both theory (Dr. Brans and Dr. Biswas) and experiments (Dr. McHugh), has been a major focus of research in the physics department.

Physics Professor Emeritus Carl Brans research of relativity is closely related to Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Its presently known inadequacies have led to speculation on various alternatives to the standard Einstein equations. Dr. Biswas' research mostly focuses on investigating the consistency and viability of such alternative models of gravity. He is especially interested in cosmological applications of string theory inspired gravity models. Martin McHugh has worked on the experimental search for gravitational waves – most recently as part of the large international collaboration known as LIGO. While his more recent research interest involves quantum optics, he is also working on a project about the history of physics, which includes a biography of Robert H. Dicke. 

The participation of most undergraduates generally starts with learning the necessary mathematical tools to enter and make contributions to this field. This includes learning special and general theory of relativity, tensor calculus, and partial differential equations. The students can then get involved in research in areas such as dark energy, inflationary cosmology, experimental tests of gravity, etc.

Statistical and Computational Physics

Statistical Physics is the science concerned with how small-scale interactions among the building blocks of large systems influence the shape, design and behavior of macroscopic systems or phenomena. As such, its scope is vast and covers phenomena as complex as the folding of biopolymers, the dynamics of granular materials, the formation of droplets in liquids, etc. One of the goals of statistical physics is to explore the similarities among different phenomena and to develop mathematical descriptions, which can describe those universal aspects. The use of computer simulation is a powerful tool for working in statistical physics, and requires excellent programming skills. Undergraduate students interested in working in statistical physics learn the necessary basic skills of computer programming. As part of ongoing research projects, students learn how to model large-scale systems at the microscopic level, and are guided to observing and studying the dynamics exhibited by such systems under the change of external or internal conditions. 


Chemistry students have the opportunity to study the secondary structure of large biomolecules using circular dichroism spectroscopy under the direction of Chemistry Professor William Walkenhorst. Dr. Walkenhorst and his research students also investigate antimicrobial peptides in collaboration with scientists at Tulane.

Just Desserts

Dr. Karen Rosenbecker has an article “Just Desserts: Reversals of Fortune, Feces, Flatus, and Food in Aristophanes’ Wealth” that will appear in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, vol. 108, spring 2015.

Currency Exchange

Dr. Karen Rosenbecker and Professor Artemis Preeshl have had their article, “Currency Exchange: Staging Aristophanes’ Wealth in New Orleans” published in the journal, Didaskalia.

Greeking Out

Dr. Karen Rosenbecker and Mr. Brian Sullivan have had their article  “‘Greeking Out’: Creating Digital Tutorials and Support Materials for Beginners” published in the journal Teaching Classical Languages (5.2, spring, 2014). 

From Alpha to Omega: A Beginning Course in Classical Greek

Karen Rosenbecker, Assistant Professor of Classical Studies and Brian Sullivan, On-Line Learning Librarian, created Screen Cap Video Tutorials for “From Alpha to Omega: A Beginning Course in Classical Greek”, a series of animated tutorial modules to accompany the text. The video tutorials are keyed to the fourth edition of From Alpha to Omega and are being promoted by Focus/Pullins Publishers as part of their new expanded support materials for the text. View a sample tutorial