News: Faculty


NSF announces $25 million institute in Chicago for quantum biology research

September 2, 2021

As part of a nationwide initiative to boost research in quantum science, the National Science Foundation will establish a $25 million institute in Chicago to investigate quantum sensing for biology and train the quantum workforce. Headquartered at the University of Chicago and in partnership with Chicago State University, the University of Illinois at Chicago and Harvard University, the institute will be funded for five years.

U.S. Department of Energy funds center to build a foundation for quantum chemistry

September 2, 2021

illustration of molecules at the atomic level

UChicago chemists specializing in mathematical physics, materials chemistry, and physical chemistry are part of a team of scientists who have received $3 million in funding to support three years of quantum information science research. Working with Harvard University and Purdue University, the collaboration will try to build the foundations for using quantum computers to model molecules at the atomic level—yielding not only insights that could lead the way to new chemical discoveries, but potentially laying the groundwork for quantum computing as a whole.

New College data science major: From foundations to insight to impact

September 1, 2021

Mike Franklin

A new data science major will help UChicago undergraduates learn how to analyze data and apply it to critical real-world problems in various disciplines. Students also have the option to combine data science with a second major.

UChicago turbocharges quantum computing quest

September 1, 2021

David Awschalom

Crain’s Chicago Business profiles UChicago’s major investment in quantum computing research in hopes of putting itself and Chicago at the forefront of the next big innovation in technology.

President Paul Alivisatos begins tenure with focus on engaging the UChicago community

September 1, 2021

Paul Alivisatos

In a letter sent to members of the University community on his first day in Levi Hall, the leading chemist and new president wrote he will spend the fall in listening and planning sessions. He would like to explore two particular aspects: the UChicago of deep inquiry and scholarship, and the “engaged” UChicago in the world of practice.

Internet protocol for different quantum information encoding awarded DOE funding

August 26, 2021

an illustration of light penetrating a quantum scenario

As part of a new $61 million investment from the Department of Energy in quantum research, a consortium of scientists from University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign were awarded funding to design a new internet protocol that manages different types of quantum information encoding.

Machine learning provides a shortcut to simulate interactions in materials for solar energy harvesting

August 25, 2021

Artistic representation and diagram depicting how Artificial Intelligence can describe how light is absorbed by a solid, liquid or molecule

Professor of Chemistry Giulia Galli is among a team of scientists at Argonne National Laboratory using machine learning to speed up development of materials that can harness energy from sunlight. The team was able to simplify the solution of the quantum mechanical equations that describe how light is absorbed by a solid, liquid or molecule.

2011 paper co-authored by Prof. Hank Hoffmann receives Test of Time honor

August 24, 2021

Hank Hoffman

In 2011, a team of MIT researchers including UChicago associate professor Hank Hoffmann (then a graduate student) proposed a “loop perforation” algorithm that gave computers a generalizable option to go off-script and sacrifice accuracy in favor of performance. Though the paper was controversial when originally presented at FSE (The ACM Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering), its tradeoff principles have since become widespread in computer science. To celebrate this forward-thinking research, FSE recently awarded Hoffmann and his co-authors Stelios Sidiroglou, Sasa Misailovic, and Martin Rinard the honorable mention in their annual Test of Time award.

New startup from CS Prof. Fred Chong and Pranav Gokhale, PhD’20, builds software to make quantum computing faster

August 18, 2021

CS Professor Fred Chong and his quantum startup partner and former advisee Pranav Gokhale

Just out of stealth, Seymour Goodman Professor of Computer Science Fred Chong and Pranav Gokhale, PhD’20, have a new startup for software that makes quantum computing faster. Part of Duality, the first accelerator in the U.S. for quantum startups, is building software to power next-gen quantum computing.

How a genetic breakthrough could address global hunger, podcast with Chuan He

August 9, 2021

Chuan He

The University of Chicago podcast network interviews PSD biochemist Chuan He about his breakthrough discovery manipulating RNA for higher yields and greater drought resistance in rice and potatoes, for "Big Brains Podcast: How a genetic breakthrough could address global hunger."

Noel Swerdlow, one of the ‘greatest scholars’ of the history of science, 1941-2021

August 2, 2021

Noel Swerdlow

Prof. Emeritus Noel M. Swerdlow of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, a distinguished historian of science and the world’s foremost expert on Ptolemy and Copernicus, died July 24. He was 79.

PSD in the News - July 2021

August 2, 2021

PSD against a white and turquoise background

This month PSD researchers have been featured for their efforts to understand how manipulating RNA can allow plants to yield dramatically more crops and increase drought tolerance, explain why planets with oxygenated atmospheres like ours could host alien life, and extol what billionaires mean for the changing arc of aerospace history. And, a Nobel-winning biochemist, Jack Szostak, will join the faculty in 2022.

Chicago Quantum Exchange adds new international and regional partners

August 2, 2021

(From left): Prof. Roland Kawakami, Dr. Camelia Seclu, Prof. Chris Hammel and Prof. Jay Gupta (not shown) in the lab at The Ohio State University.

The Chicago Quantum Exchange, a growing hub for the research and development of quantum technology that is based at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, has added to its community two world-leading research institutions at the forefront of quantum information science and engineering: the Weizmann Institute of Science and The Ohio State University.

Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Jack Szostak to join University of Chicago faculty

July 27, 2021

Jack Szostak

Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Jack Szostak will join the Department of Chemistry faculty, effective Sept. 1, 2022. A pioneering scholar of genetics who examines the biochemical origins of life, Szostak shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2009. He will become the 24th person to hold a University Professorship, and the 11th active faculty member holding that title.

Neubauer Prof. Ben Zhao discusses online privacy and de-anonymization on MSNBC

July 26, 2021

Ben Zhao speaking to MSNBC

The outing of a top Catholic official using supposedly anonymous data from his cell phone is raising questions about privacy. NBC’s Joshua Johnson asks Ben Zhao, Neubauer Professor of Computer Science, to explain the practice of de-anonymization and whether or not you need to be concerned about your data.