News: Students


In the News - December 2021

January 3, 2022

PSD against a white and turquoise background

This month PSD researchers have been featured for their efforts to find extremely energetic particles from outer space with the PUEO Antarctic balloon mission, teach students how to design, build and calibrate their own devices in the creative machines class, and assemble global experts to discuss internet equity and access.


Suzuki Postdoctoral Fellowship Award 2021-2022

December 21, 2021

Aleksandr Lykhin and Koushambi Mitra

Two postdocs, Aleksandr Lykhin and Koushambi Mitra, have been named recipients of the 2021-2022 Suzuki Postdoctoral Fellowship Award. Yuji Suzuki, SM’70, a longtime supporter and former Council member of the Physical Sciences Division, established the Yuji and Lorraine Suzuki Postdoctoral Research Fund in 2016 to recognize outstanding postdoctoral researchers.

Earthside assistance: Dave Fischer, AB’87, of Astroscale helps declutter space

December 16, 2021

An illustration demonstrating that there was no space trash surrounding planet earth in 1950 and there is 100 million pieces of it by 2019.

UChicago Magazine catches up with Dave Fischer, AB’87, who works for the Japanese company Astroscale launching solutions to help declutter the 100 million pieces of human-made debris floating in space.

University of Chicago, City Colleges of Chicago partner to increase diversity in science careers

December 14, 2021

A new partnership between UChicago and the City Colleges of Chicago will help strengthen STEM education and career opportunities and create a more diverse field of professionals entering the sciences. The collaboration will include a CCC degree program in

The University of Chicago and City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) are joining forces at an institutional level to strengthen STEM education and career opportunities and create a more diverse field of professionals entering the sciences. The institutional partnership will spark new collaborations and programs to advance inclusion in the growing field of data science.

PSD in the News - November 2021

November 18, 2021

PSD against a white and turquoise background

This month PSD researchers have been featured for their efforts to invent chemical haptics, to detect internet censorship in real time, and to extract water from the air of even the driest deserts.

Shaoxiong ‘Dennis’ Zheng, SM’21, devoted scholar and friend, 1997-2021

November 16, 2021

Shaoxiong ‘Dennis’ Zheng, SM’21, 1997-2021

The University remembers the recent PSD graduate, Shaoxiong ‘Dennis’ Zheng, SM’21, devoted scholar and friend, 1997-2021, who was killed on November 9. The University will hold a memorial service on Thursday, November 18 at 3:00 pm CT at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel.

Meet physics student, Carlos Sierra

November 15, 2021

Carlos Sierra

Carlos Sierra was born in Santa Ana, California, and grew up in the nearby city of Anaheim. Before coming to the University of Chicago, he attended Fullerton College, a community college in Southern California, and transferred to UC Berkeley, where he received his bachelor’s degree in physics. Afterwards, he started a doctoral program in applied physics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. After three years he moved with the McMahon group to UChicago, where he will complete his doctoral research in the Department of Physics. He is currently in his fifth year and conducting research in experimental cosmology. He develops and tests instruments for the Simons Observatory, a series of telescopes that will soon be making precise measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) from high atop the Atacama Desert in Chile.

Future VR haptics may use chemicals on the skin to make you feel

November 12, 2021

A woman is shown using a robotic haptic feedback device on her arm and a virtual reality headset

Researchers from the Human Computer Integration Lab have developed an entirely new approach called chemical haptics, which directly triggers receptors in human skin in different ways.

Using chemistry to extract water from the air, even in the desert

November 3, 2021

Desert scene

Laura Gagliardi, the Richard and Kathy Leventhal Professor in chemistry, and a team of scientists developed a device to extract water out of air. The breakthrough can work even in dry climates like deserts, and could have implications for water shortages associated with climate change.

PSD in the News - October 2021

October 28, 2021

PSD against a white and turquoise background

This month PSD researchers have been featured for their efforts to create materials that can move and block heat, use a massive accelerator to analyze dust from an asteroid, and build wearable devices for signing ASL and playing piano.

From the deserts of Wyoming to the Human-Computer Integration Lab: PSD graduate students engage in summer research projects

October 12, 2021

Washakie Basin, Wyoming, against a large blue sky, to show where fossils are hunted

From an expedition to hunt for fossils in the deserts of Wyoming to building a virtual reality headset, University of Chicago Physical Sciences Division graduate students were exploring a range of questions during the Summer Quarter. Here is how six students spent the summer.

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

October 11, 2021

a hand with a wearable electronic device affixed

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.

Students granted DOE Graduate Student Research Award for HEP at Fermi, data science at Argonne

October 8, 2021

Daniel King, left, Alexander Hryciuk

The Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program has selected two PSD students for its national laboratory research award. Chemistry students, Daniel King, will join research on data science for AI applications to chemical, geological, biochemical, and materials sciences at Argonne National Laboratory. Physics student, Alexander Hryciuk, will join experimental research on high energy physics at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Sixty-five students were awarded nationwide.

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

October 1, 2021

Illustration of ultra-thin layers of crystal on top of each other indicating heat exchange

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.

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

September 24, 2021

A UChicago postdoc works in a clean room at Cornell University doing electron beam research

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.