November 27, 2018
Lipi Gupta grew up in Corvallis, Oregon. She earned her undergraduate degree in physics from Cornell University and is now pursuing a PhD in physics. We interviewed her about her experience at the University of Chicago.
Why did you choose UChicago?
I was drawn to the resources available to UChicago through its collaboration with Argonne National Lab and Fermi National Lab. UChicago also has collaborations with other universities, including my alma mater. Aside from the highly collaborative department culture, I also fell in love with Chicago when I visited and got along very well with others in my cohort, so I knew UChicago was the right choice for me.
What noteworthy academic, research, or teaching activities you have pursued while at the UChicago?
I am part of the Center for Bright Beams, which is a collaboration based out of Cornell University. My research with the CBB focuses on understanding the fundamental causes of electron beam-distorting effects, and studying how we can eliminate or reduce these effects in order to meet our goal of improving charged-particle beams. As such, I get to spend time working at my alma mater with several of my old professors.
What activities do you participate in outside of the classroom?
I am very involved with the Women in Physics group, which is a community created to bring together women and other gender minorities in a field that tends to be highly male-dominated. This community provides support and training for women in the department, such as regular practice talk opportunities and professional development. We also participate in science outreach, such as planning and running an Expanding Your Horizons workshop about electromagnetism, in which the students made a fully functioning speaker out of a cup and some wires.
What are your plans post-UChicago?
At this time, I am not sure, but I would like to continue participating in accelerator physics research. I’m also interested in becoming a science communicator and am practicing writing about science in an approachable way.
What support have you received at UChicago?
When I arrived at UChicago, I received the Robert Millikan Teaching Fellowship from the Physics Department, which allowed me to get one quarter of teaching experience, and three quarters of research assistance.
If you were speaking to a prospective student, what would you tell them about UChicago?
UChicago has several close ties to the DOE labs (Argonne and Fermilab), which offer a breadth of research opportunities that most universities do not have access to. Being able to tap into those resources and projects is a huge advantage, and can open up a lot of doors for graduate students beyond what just the university could offer.