News: Awards


Five awarded 2020 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

April 8, 2020

NSF logo

Congratulations to UChicago PSD’s five 2020 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program recipients, David Zegeye and Cory Cotter in astronomy, LeeAnn Marie Sager in chemistry, and Jordan T Kemp and Amanda Mirna Farah in physics.

Statistician Rina Foygel Barber wins Peter Gavin Hall Early Career Prize

March 30, 2020

Rina Foygel Barber

Prof. Foygel Barber wins Hall Award “for outstanding
contributions to the development of methodology and theory for structured
high-dimensional data problems such as sparse regression, sparse
nonparametric models, and low-rank models, as well as scalable
optimization techniques for nonconvex problems.”

PSD in the News - March 2020

March 30, 2020

PSD in white against a maroon background

This month PSD researchers have been featured for the efforts of chemists to decode RNA of the new coronavirus, using AI to decode cuneiform tablets, and predicting a new state of matter.

Mark Levin awarded Cancer Research Foundation Young Investigators Prize

March 24, 2020

Mark Levin

Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry Mark Levin was awarded the Cancer Research Foundation Young Investigators Prize for his proposal to find a new way to create a synthetic tracer compound which will significantly improve the effectiveness of current PET scan technology. If he is successful, his technology will open the door to a whole new class of more effective imaging compounds.

Margaret Gardel awarded the Sackler Prize in Biophysics

March 24, 2020

Margaret Gardel

Margaret Gardel, Professor in the Department of Physics and Director of the Material Research Science and Engineering Center, was awarded $25,000 for work on how cells sense mechanical forces and respond to those forces with chemical activity.

Astronomy Professors John Carlstrom, Wendy Freedman, and Michael Turner named AAS Legacy Fellows

February 26, 2020

John Carlstrom, Wendy Freedman, and Michael Turner

American Astronomical Society has announced their new Fellows program, kicking it off with an initial group of 200 Legacy Fellows. Astronomy Professors John Carlstrom, Wendy Freedman, and Michael Turner were among those named Legacy Fellows.

Astronomy Asst. Prof. Leslie Rogers has been selected for a 2020 Cottrell Scholar Award in support of her study of exoplanets

February 11, 2020

Leslie Rogers headshot

The Research Corporation for Science Advancement has selected astronomer Leslie Rogers for a Cottrell Award

Prof. Eugene Parker wins prestigious Crafoord Prize in Astronomy

January 30, 2020

Eugene Parker

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Jan. 30 that University of Chicago Prof. Emeritus Eugene Parker has been awarded the 2020 Crafoord Prize in Astronomy.
Awarded every three years, the prestigious Crafoord Prize consists of a gold medal and a sum of six million Swedish krona (about $600,000)—one of the largest prizes in science. 
The Academy, which is also responsible for selecting Nobel Prize winners, cited Parker for his “pioneering and fundamental studies of the solar wind and magnetic fields from stellar to galactic scales.”

Asst. Prof. Orecchia earns NSF CAREER Award

January 15, 2020

For his work developing new methods for the large-scale optimization challenges that underlie many modern computing applications, UChicago CS assistant professor Lorenzo Orecchia received the NSF CAREER award. The CAREER program is one of the most prestigious NSF awards, supporting early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.

PSD faculty members receive named professorships

January 2, 2020

Physical Sciences data map logo

Stuart A. Kurtz has been named the George and Elizabeth Yovovich Professor in the Department of Computer Science and the College. Kurtz is a theoretical computer scientist who studies computational logic, type theory, complexity theory and randomness. He also has made research contributions in biological computing, bioinformatics and constructive logic. 

Matthew Stephens has been named the Ralph W. Gerard Professor in the Departments of Statistics and Human Genetics and the College. Stephens’ research focuses on a wide variety of problems at the interface of statistics and genetics. His lab often tackles problems where novel statistical methods are required, or can learn something new compared with existing approaches. 


Asst. Prof. Moellering earns NSF CAREER Award

December 20, 2019

Ray Moellering

Asst. Prof. Raymond Moellering earned a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program award for his project "Reactivity-Driven Metabolic Signaling: A Feature not a Flaw in Metabolic Regulation." Moellering's research aims to develop cellular probes, proteomic methods, and cellular models to illuminate the role of methylglyoxal, a reactive metabolite that is hypothesized to link cellular metabolism with cell stress response, inflammation and many diseases like diabetes, cancer and aging. With this award, Moellering hopes to identify proteins that serve as metabolic sensors, which transmit signals resulting in physical changes in cells and organisms.

UChicago ranked fifth among top physics programs 

December 4, 2019

Physical Sciences data map logo

U.S. News & World Report ranked UChicago fifth among top physics programs. Japan, the U.S. and the U.K. are home to the highest-ranked physics institutions.

Alum and pioneering inventor of the lithium-ion battery to receive Nobel Prize on Dec. 10 

December 4, 2019

John B Goodenough

At a Dec. 10 ceremony in Sweden, John B. Goodenough will be honored for pioneering breakthroughs that led to the widespread use of the lithium-ion battery—and helping spark the wireless revolution. The descendants of his batteries now power modern smartphones and hold the potential to one day sustainably harvest solar and wind power.

Chemistry students win American Vacuum Society national doctoral research awards

November 25, 2019

Becca Thompson and Ross Edel hold AVS awards

Graduate students Becca Thompson and Ross Edel won two of the five named national awards at the 66th Annual American Vacuum Society (AVS) Meeting for their doctoral research. Becca won the Nellie Yeoh Whetten Award, while Ross won the Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Scholarship, both for their “outstanding achievement in vacuum science and technology.”

UChicago chemistry student runner-up in Nature essay contest

November 5, 2019

Headshot of Zajac wearing blazer and glasses in front of laboratory.

Matthew Zajac, graduate student in the Department of Chemistry at UChicago, was runner-up in Nature's Young Scientist Essay Competition. Reproduction, rethought, his essay about the desire for science to develop same-sex reproduction technology, has been published online.