The KAMSC experience only starts when you witness a Starwars debate, leading to rather strong words.
Ava Feirer-Garrison (2011)
Dr. Michael Elzinga


Mathematics Faculty - at KAMSC from 1997 thru 2004

Former Bio:
Dr. Elzinga earned his Ph.D. in physics from The University of Michigan . His B.S. and M.A. degrees are from Western Michigan University where he majored in physics and mathematics, also obtaining a teaching certificate in secondary education. He has been enjoying a successful career in teaching and research in several areas including optics and holography, ultrasonic imaging, electrostatic accelerators, low temperature physics, superconductivity, and computerized instrumentation. At the Eastman Kodak research labs he worked on the theory, development, and characterization of infrared detecting CCD imagers and other CCD imagers for specialized applications. He was the Accelerator Engineer in Western Michigan University's physics department during the installation and initial years of operation of their 12 MeV tandem Van de Graaff accelerator lab. He also taught physics and electronics at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Dr. Elzinga's interest in science and mathematics showed up fairly early, and he had an unquenchable thirst to know how everything worked. As a young boy growing up on a Michigan farm, he was constantly raiding junk piles and taking things apart for their mechanical and electrical components. He was twelve the day his first bicycle arrived in the mail. He promptly disassembled it, including the coaster brake, to see how it all worked, and then successfully reassembled it. A few months later, he used the bicycle's generator and the principle of inductive kick to electrify the bike with high voltage and stop a school yard bully from repeatedly wresting it away and riding off with it. (This got young Elzinga considerable respect from the bully, but also got him a few painful electrical jolts of his own.)

Another part of his early exposure to physics and electronics came during four years in the U.S. Navy aboard a submarine in the Pacific. The physics of navigating and surviving under water, sound propagation in the oceans, radar, sonar, oceanography, and marine biology, all helped to solidify his budding scientific interests.
Dr. Elzinga feels that one of the more satisfying aspects of his career has been his good fortune to be a teacher and mentor to many excellent students headed into science or engineering careers.

He is an active member of the American Association of Physics Teachers, The American Physical Society, The Mathematical Association of America, and the Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

He is also interested in the history and philosophy of science, is a serious amateur photographer, and enjoys playing folk music on guitar and harmonica. He met his wife, Connie, at Western Michigan University where she was a senior majoring in music. They have three children, now in their twenties.
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600 West Vine Street Suite 400, Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Phone: (269) 337-0004; Fax: (269) 337-0049