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High Point University
Society of Physics Students
Michael Welter_SPS Presentation 2018.pdfAbstract:
The intersection of art and science has a history dating as far back as the Renaissance with revolutionaries like Da Vinci and Michelangelo, but what is the current state of that relationship? During my summer with the Society of Physics Students as the Communications Intern I got a first-hand look into the role that graphic design plays in the seemingly unartistic world of physics research and outreach. Color, composition, and font choice all play an integral role in an audience’s perception of information, but is often overlooked as insignificant by STEM researchers. By examining how the general public responds to visual media and incorporating fundamental design concepts to scientific articles, posters, and infographics we can begin to diminish the commonly assumed “right-brain/left-brain” view of art and science–which, in turn, benefits both the public by making complex data more digestible, and the scientific community by allowing the public/governing bodies to make more informed policy decisions.
I am a senior at High Point University in sunny High Point, North Carolina, pursuing a B.S. in Physics while minoring in Math and Graphic Design. Our HPU SPS community has participated in and initiated many annual outreach events that work to engage the children and families of the surrounding community–--events that have earned our chapter local and national recognition--–and I am proud to have helped coordinate those inspiring experiences.
I'm currently the president of our local SPS chapter and also the president of an on-campus organization that I've named HPUminds: a group of physics and computer science students working with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to build a self-driving, autonomous golf cart campus tour guide. I'm using my background in physics and graphic design to become a scientific illustrator to help bridge the ever-widening communication gap between STEM researchers and the general public. I've started a freelance graphic design business called Brush & Beaker Designs.