News: Faculty


Prof. Laura Gagliardi awarded Royal Society of Chemistry Prize

June 10, 2021

Professor Laura Gagliardi has been named the winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Faraday Lectureship Prize, celebrating the most exciting chemical science taking place today. She was cited for contributions to the development of multireference quantum chemical approaches to describe catalysis and excited state phenomena. The prize awards £3000 and a medal.

In special send-off to graduates, PSD students perform “Novi Scientiam”

June 9, 2021

As a special send-off to the 2021 graduates, students of the PSD came together to perform “Novi Scientiam,” a 21-part song composed by Dean Olinto’s husband, Sérgio Assad, and inspired by the “Alma Mater” Convocation theme of University of Chicago. The student musicians featured practiced during remote learning and submitted their recorded parts to be woven together into a film, debuting at the ceremony June 9.

The first nuclear reactor, explained

June 7, 2021

In 1942, the Manhattan Project needed to create a chain reaction—a crucial step toward proving that it would be possible to make an atomic bomb. The scientists achieved this sustained nuclear reaction, the first created by humans, on Dec. 2, 1942, in a squash court under the stands of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago.

Nicknamed “Chicago Pile-1,” the world’s first nuclear reactor kicked off the Atomic Age and has a complicated legacy, including the rise of both nuclear energy and nuclear weapons.

Big Brains Podcast: Solving the biggest mysteries of our universe, with Dan Hooper

June 3, 2021

Prof. Dan Hooper discusses what happened after the Big Bang, ‘breaking’ the Standard Model of Physics

Dark Energy Survey releases most precise look yet at the universe’s evolution

June 1, 2021

The Dark Energy Survey, an international collaboration coordinated through the University of Chicago-affiliated Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, surveyed almost one-eighth of the entire sky over six years, cataloguing hundreds of millions of objects. The new results announced May 27 draw on data from the first three years to create the most precise maps yet of the distribution of galaxies in the universe at relatively recent epochs.

Profs. Rich Kron and Chihway Chang comment on new DES analysis of largest ever map of dark matter

May 28, 2021

Profs. Rich Kron and Chihway Chang of DES comment on “a smoother Universe” that is less dense than previously thought, based on an analysis of the largest ever map of dark matter created using light from 100 million galaxies.

Four named to DOE Early Career Research Program

May 27, 2021

Four PSD members are among 83 scientists selected for the DOE Early Career Research Program, awarding $150,000 annually for five years. Sarah King of Chemistry, Chihway Chang and Brian Nord of Astronomy & Astrophysics, and Lindsey Bleem, PhD'13, of KICP.

PSD in the News - May 2021

May 26, 2021

This month PSD researchers have been featured for their efforts to theorize non-reciprocal interactions, push the frontiers of human computer interaction, and cut nitrogen atoms from molecules, opening up avenues for constructing molecules.

Chemistry professor Weixin Tang named 2021 Searle Scholar

May 25, 2021

Neubauer Family Assistant Professor Weixin Tang of the Department of Chemistry has been named a 2021 Searle Scholar, which supports the independent research of exceptional young faculty in the biomedical sciences and chemistry. She will be awarded $300,000 to pursue research on sequencing and epigenetics to understand biological processes critical to cellular functions.

Prof. Beilinson accepts Shaw Prize Award

May 21, 2021

Prof. Beilinson, Department of Mathematics, accepted the Shaw Prize Award in Mathematical Sciences for his achievements in representation theory. Watch the acceptance speech.

A material with memory

May 21, 2021

A research team at the University of Chicago is now exploring the properties of a material found in cells which allows cells to remember and respond to environmental pressure. In a paper published on May 14, 2021 in Soft Matter, they teased out secrets for how it works—and how it could someday form the basis for making useful materials.

PSD faculty among 2021 winners of Quantrell and Graduate Teaching Awards

May 20, 2021

Blase Ur, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Computer Science, is a recipient of the Quantrell award, one of the nation’s oldest prize for undergraduate teaching. Daniel Fabrycky, assistant professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, is the recipient of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentorship. Read more about the awards and recipients.

2021 Arthur L. Kelly Faculty Prize for Exceptional Service in the Physical Sciences Division

May 19, 2021

The 2021 recipients of the Arthur L. Kelly Faculty Prize for Exceptional Service in the Physical Sciences Division are Aaron Dinner, Professor of Chemistry, and Stuart Kurtz, the George and Elizabeth Yovovich Professor of Computer Science in recognition of their leadership in the Division.

Ten papers at CHI 2021 flourish frontiers of HCI research at UChicago CS

May 18, 2021

Computer Science participated in CHI 2021, a Human Computer Interaction conference, with an emerging group of UChicago faculty and student researchers representing the many different corners of HCI. This year, ten UChicago papers were accepted to the prestigious conference, with one receiving a Best Paper Award (given to the top 1 percent of submissions) and three others receiving Honorable Mentions (top 5 percent).

Incoming president Paul Alivisatos to join Department of Chemistry and PME

May 13, 2021

The Physical Sciences Division is pleased to announce incoming President of the University of Chicago Paul Alivisatos will become a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, starting September 1. Alivisatos is a pioneer in nanotechnologies and materials sciences.