News: Faculty


PSD climate grants foster belonging while socially distanced

April 13, 2021

The Physical Sciences Division funded creative efforts to impact climate and foster belonging with the Inclusive Climate Grants program administered by the EDI Office. Four winning projects found innovative ways to further the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion on campus during the pandemic.

CDAC Discovery Challenge awardees train data science on medicine, clean water, and education

April 13, 2021

The CDAC Discovery Challenge awardees will train data science experts from across the UChicago campus, its national laboratory partners, and government, non-profit, and industry collaborators, to run projects that target transformative impact in medicine, public health, molecular engineering, genomics, and education. 

UChicago, Fermilab physicists build a quantum bit that can search for dark matter

April 13, 2021

UChicago and Fermilab physicists, including Assoc. Prof. David Schuster, have built a quantum bit that can search for dark matter. In the team’s new technique, qubits are designed to detect the photons that would be produced when dark matter particles interact with an electromagnetic field.

Esya Labs provides novel research assays to accelerate drug discovery efforts

April 8, 2021

Professor Yamuna Krishnan and CEO Dhiyva Venkat's startup, Esya Labs, provides novel research assays to accelerate drug discovery efforts. Their effort, made possible in part by funding from UChicago Polsky, is profiled for

A tiny particle’s wobble could upend the known laws of physics

April 8, 2021

An international team of 200 physicists from seven countries found that muons did not behave as predicted when shot through an intense magnetic field at Fermilab. The Muon g-2 results will set the agenda for physics moving forward: to find forms of matter and energy vital to the nature and evolution of the cosmos that are not yet known to science. Cosmologist Gordan Krnjaic and Prof. Marcela Carena, of Fermi and KICP, comment on the importance of the observations.

Oceans and atmospheres: geophysical sciences professor with a passion for climate change

April 7, 2021

David Archer, professor in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago, became a passionate advocate for educating students and the public alike about the oceans, the climate, and the significance of global warming. At least five thousand students have taken his course on climate change over the years, and more than 40,000 more have taken his free online course. 

Physics & Contemporary Art public lecture series returns

April 7, 2021

A top flight of architects and structural engineers will present public lectures on some of the most innovative work being done in contemporary structural design as part of a unique physics undergraduate course offered this Spring Quarter at the University of Chicago, Physics & Contemporary Architecture (PHSC11800) taught by Professors Sid Nagel and Heinrich Jaeger. Enrolled undergraduate students, as well as the interested public, can join online for free Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. CST.

Most of Earth likely formed during the solar system’s first million years, study finds

April 7, 2021

Prof. Fred Ciesla of the Department of the Geophysical Sciences and colleagues at Caltech, the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota laid out a history of carbon in the formation of the solar system. By examining carbon, they found most of Earth likely formed during the solar system’s first million years—much earlier and more precise than the previous estimate of sometime within the first 150 million years.

With CAREER Award, Asst. Prof. Pedro Lopes explores human-computer integration

April 6, 2021

Computer Science Asst. Prof. Pedro Lopes explores what’s possible with technologies that sit on the body: wearable devices that influence a user’s motion and perception. His vision of human-computer integration creates new interactive devices that “borrow” parts of the user’s body for input and output to expand potential and accessibility. With a new NSF CAREER grant, Lopes will embark upon the next phase of that mission, inventing and testing technologies that interface with smell, touch, temperature, and other senses.

Pandemic helps stir interest in teaching financial literacy

April 5, 2021

Rebecca Maxcy, director of the UChicago Financial Education Initiative, tells the NYT courses need to go beyond writing a check or filing taxes, to discuss financial systems and how personal values and attitudes about money influence behavior.

Profs. Mark Rivers and Stephen Sutton of GeoSci awarded 2021 APSUO Arthur H. Compton Award

April 1, 2021

Professors Mark Rivers and Stephen Sutton of the Department of the Geophysical Sciences have been awarded the 2021 APSUO Arthur H. Compton Award. The two scientists co-directed the design, construction, and operation of the GeoSoilEnviroCARS (GSECARS) Sector 13 at the Advanced Photon Source, which provides users with high-pressure diffraction and spectroscopy, x-ray microprobe, x-ray absorption spectroscopy, and microtomography research techniques.

Prof. Rebecca Willett, Departments of Computer Science and Statistics, named SIAM Fellow

April 1, 2021

Prof. Rebecca Willett, Departments of Computer Science and Statistics, selected as a SIAM 2021 Fellow. She was recognized for her contributions to mathematical foundations of machine learning, large-scale data science, and computational imaging.

PSD in the news - March 2021

March 29, 2021

This month, PSD community members have been featured for their work to confirm the third-nearest star with a planet, prove that bacteria know how to exploit quantum mechanics, and recreate how magnetic fields grow in clusters of galaxies. In case you missed it, review our news headlines from March 2021.

Max S. Bell, prolific educator and author of definitive math curriculum, 1930–2021

March 26, 2021

Pioneering educator and longtime UChicago faculty member, Max S. Bell, AM’58, AMT’59, was the co-author of the definitive math curriculum, Everyday Mathematics. He and his wife and research partner, Jean, used the royalties to help establish what would become UChicago STEM Ed. He died Mar. 6, at age 90.

Neil Shubin to discuss ‘Your Inner Fish’ in University of Chicago Ryerson Lecture

March 23, 2021

Prof. Neil Shubin, a pioneering University of Chicago paleontologist and evolutionary biologist and bestselling author, has been selected to give this year’s Nora and Edward Ryerson Lecture.