News: Faculty

2021

Chemist Mark Levin named 2021 Packard Fellow

October 14, 2021

Assistant Prof. Mark Levin of the Dept. of Chemistry has received a 2021 Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering. Levin is one of 20 early-career scientists and engineers nationwide to receive the fellowship, providing $875,000 over five years to support his research into inventing a new chemical reaction that can “live-edit” molecules down to the level of single-atom precision.


To watch a comet form, a spacecraft could tag along for a journey toward the sun

October 14, 2021

Darryl Seligman, T.C. Chamberlin Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences, says ‘Centaurs’ near Jupiter could provide a unique opportunity to learn about the solar system.


Three UChicago scientists named 2021 fellows of American Physical Society

October 13, 2021

Prof. Yau W. Wah of the Dept. of Physics is among three UChicago professors to have been named 2021 fellows of the American Physical Society. Wah was recognized for “leadership in the experimental study of rare neutral kaon decays, in particular, the search for KL to pi0 nu nu-bar, the so-called ‘golden mode’ of rare kaon decays.” Prof. Liang Jiang and Prof. Aashish Clerk of Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering were also recognized.


New wearable device controls individual fingers for sign language, music applications

October 11, 2021

Computer science researchers in Asst. Prof. Pedro Lopes’ Human Computer Integration Lab recently presented their design for DextrEMS, a wearable device combining electrical muscle stimulation and mechanical brakes to control individual fingers.


Asst. Prof. Edwin Kite awarded funding from first RSCA Scialog initiative

October 8, 2021

Assistant Professor Edwin Kite, Department of the Geophysical Sciences, has been awarded funding from the first Scialog initiative, which is short for “science + dialog.” Created by Research Corp. for Science Advancement, the Scialog format brings together early-career scientists to write proposals for high-risk, high-reward collaborations. Kite’s group proposed to create stochastic simulation of evolving planetary biospheres. They were among 20 groups selected, with $55,000 granted from Simons Foundation.


Dust collected from a speeding asteroid analyzed with massive accelerator

October 1, 2021

A team that includes UChicago, Argonne beamline scientist Barbara Lavina and physicist Jiyong Zhao will be among the first to study asteroid fragments from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft. This summer they took readings of asteroid fragments using X-ray scattering methods at beamline 3-ID-B at the Advanced Photon Source. Next, the fragments will return to Argonne for more extensive readings using Mössbauer spectroscopy techniques.
 


Prof. Jiwoong Park leads scientists to create material that can both move and block heat

October 1, 2021

By stacking ultra-thin layers of crystal on top of each other, rotated slightly, researchers led by Jiwoong Park, professor of chemistry and molecular engineering, created a material that is extremely good at both containing heat and moving it—an unusual ability at the microscale.
 


Scientists use nuclear physics to probe Floridan Aquifer threatened by climate change

October 1, 2021

As rising sea levels threaten coastal areas, scientists like Reika Yokochi in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences are using an emerging nuclear dating technique to track the ins and outs of water flow.
 


QuSTEAM initiative awarded $5M to advance quantum science education

September 27, 2021

The University of Chicago and the Chicago Quantum Exchange are among the partnering institutions awarded $5 million from the NSF’s Convergence Accelerator. QuSTEAM: Convergence Undergraduate Education in Quantum Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics will be a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional program led by Ohio State intended to revolutionize and create more equitable pathways to quantum science education.


Center for Bright Beams awarded $22M to boost accelerator science

September 24, 2021

UChicago is a partner a collaboration of researchers led by Cornell University that has been awarded $22.5 million from the National Science Foundation to continue gaining the fundamental understanding needed to transform the brightness of electron beams available to science, medicine and industry.


Revolutionizing technology at the nanoscale, podcast with Paul Alivisatos

September 24, 2021

The Big Brains podcast speaks with Paul Alivisatos, the new UChicago president and nanomaterials pioneer. He discusses his field-defining research and how universities can support scientific discovery.


Introducing new faculty in the Physical Sciences Division

September 23, 2021

Welcome to the new faculty joining the Physical Sciences Division in '21-22 academic year!


Sebastian Hurtado-Salazar wins 2022 New Horizons in Mathematics Prize

September 22, 2021

Assistant Professor Sebastian Hurtado-Salazar of the Department of Mathematics has been awarded the 2022 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics “for contributions to the proof of Zimmer’s conjecture.” He shares it with Aaron Brown of Northwestern University. Their work has shown there is a cutoff in how many dimensions a space can have and also have special symmetries called higher-rank lattices.


Rethinking the logic behind cells’ molecular signals

September 22, 2021

Scientists are exploring combinatorial rules for new models of the molecular wiring of cells. Assistant Professor Arvind Murugan, Department of Physics, contributed to modeling work that showed how promiscuous systems of molecular interactions could offer advantages over one-to-one sets of interactions.


PSD Spotlight: Dave Schmitz

September 21, 2021

PSD’s September spotlight is Dave Schmitz, Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and the Enrico Fermi Institute and newly appointed Deputy Dean of Diversity and Inclusion for the PSD. Dave has been with the University of Chicago since September 2012.