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Source: Tim Bolton, 785-532-1664,
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-6415,

Thursday, April 2, 2009


MANHATTAN -- The science behind a cochlear implant and how it has changed a deaf physicist's life will be the topic of the upcoming James R. Neff Lecture in Physics for Kansas State University's department of physics.

Ian Shipsey, the Julian Schwinger Distinguished Professor of Physics at Purdue University who received a cochlear implant in 2002, will speak at 4 p.m. Monday, April 13, in Hale Library's Hemisphere Room. The lecture is free and will provide understandable information of interest to the general public.

Shipsey lost nearly all of his hearing in 1989 at the age of 30. The cause was a strong antibiotic he was taking for pneumonia, which caused irreversible damage to his cochlea. Despite his disability, Shipsey is an award-winning teacher and physicist whose research includes experimental elementary particle physics and heavy quark flavor physics. His many honors include being named a Fellow of the American Physical Society, Texas National Research Laboratory Superconducting Super Collider National Fellow and the National Science Foundation's Young Investigator Award.

The James R. Neff Lectureship in Physics is sponsored by the James R. Neff Lecture Endowment. Neff was an internationally recognized orthopedic surgeon and professor of at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha who received his undergraduate degree from K-State in 1962. Neff established the lectureship in 1995 to perpetuate and honor his parents, Everett and Florine Neff, and his sister, Janice K. Neff Standish; and also to express his gratitude for the opportunities and education he received at K-State. Neff died in 2005. More information on the lectureship is available at: