News: Students


Study finds fascinating link between photosynthesis, supercooling of atoms

May 16, 2023

Screenshot of CBS video where you can see Chicago's skyline

University of Chicago professor David A. Mazziotti, and grad students LeeAnn M. Sager-Smith and Anna O. Schouten, explained how they discovered the link and what it could mean for the future of how we power our homes and cities.

Smart glove enhances your sense of touch in virtual reality

May 13, 2023

Person with virtual reality device and a smart glove

Stimulating nerves on the back of your hand makes it feel like you are grasping things in VR without needing to have your palms covered in material.

Two PSD undergraduates earn 2023 Barry Goldwater Scholarships

May 4, 2023

Cameron Chang and Steven Lebalme

Two PSD undergraduate students, Cameron Chang and Steven Labalme, have received Barry Goldwater Scholarships, awarded annually based on academic merit and undergraduate research in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering. They are among the 417 U.S. college students to be selected for this award out of a pool of over 5,000 applicants. Considered the preeminent undergraduate award of its kind, the scholarship covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to $7,500 per year. It also helps STEM students fund their research during their final years of undergraduate study.

Meet GeoSci student, Emma Stoutenburg

April 24, 2023

Emma Stoutenburg is a second-year UChicago GeoSci PhD student, with a bachelor’s in Earth Science and a specialization in Geophysics from Ohio State University. Emma works in the field of mineral physics, where she studies the physical properties of the minerals within the deep interiors of planets.  

Researchers capture first atomic-scale images depicting early stages of particle accelerator film formation

April 7, 2023

Steven Sibener, Sarah Willson, and Rachael Farber in a lab

Researchers from Prof. Steve Sibener's group have captured the first atomic-scale images of tin on niobium during the growth process of the next generation of particle accelerators, Nb3Sn. 

Winners of the 2023 UChicago Science as Art competition announced

April 6, 2023

The grand prize winner of UChicago’s 2023 Science as Art contest is “Origami in a Tube” by Di Wang. These are exceptionally tiny structures which scientists think may be useful for future electronics and energy storage devices, but had previously be

The University of Chicago has announced the winners of its 2023 Science as Art contest, which highlights images of innovative scientific research from the UChicago community. The grand-prize winner is “Origami in a Tube” by Di Wang, chemist and Ph.D student.

Incoming planetary sciences postdoctoral researcher selected for the Heising-Simons Foundation 51 Pegasi b Fellowship

April 3, 2023

Maria Steinrueck working in front of a blackboard

Fellowship provides exceptional postdoctoral scientists with the opportunity to conduct theoretical, observational, and experimental research in planetary astronomy.

2023 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

March 31, 2023

Physical Sciences data map logo

Nine PSD graduate students have been awarded 2023 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.

Meet chemistry student, Lauren McNamara

March 29, 2023

Lauren McNamara wearing a grey sweater against a vivid and colorful background.

Lauren is a third-year UChicago chemistry PhD student, with a bachelor’s in chemistry from UC Davis. She is a synthetic inorganic chemist and works primarily with a carbon and sulfur-based scaffold that she links between transition metals. We interviewed her about her experiences at UChicago. 

UChicago scientists discover easy way to make atomically thin metal layers for new technology

March 24, 2023

A scanning electron microscopy image reveals the beautiful shapes of tiny structures known as MXenes, which are of interest to scientists for new devices and electronics but were previously hard to create. These were grown with a new easier and less toxic

A new breakthrough by UChicago scientists shows how to make MXenes far more quickly and easily, with fewer toxic byproducts. Researchers hope the discovery, published March 24 in Science, will spur new innovation and pave the way towards using MXenes in everyday electronics and devices.

Image by Di Wang

New study casts doubt that Venus was ever habitable

March 23, 2023

side-by-side rendering of Earth and Venus

By examining the composition of Venus’ atmosphere today and running simulations of its past to recreate those conditions, UChicago researchers found very few scenarios in which Venus could have sustained liquid water and moderate temperatures for long.

Images by NASA/JPL

Is it a fossil? Is it a beehive?

March 14, 2023

Physical Sciences data map logo

New Scientist article discusses Asst. Prof. Pedro Lopes and graduate student Jasmine Lu's work to create a smartwatch that is partly made of slime mold, a living entity that must be fed adequately and often enough or the watch will stop working.

New study shows Venus likely didn’t have ancient oceans for long

March 8, 2023

Red planet against starry sky, half obscured by darkness

Assoc. Prof. Edwin Kite and graduate student Alexandra Warren work to model the history of Venus' atmosphere.

Image: Inverse/Shutterstock

PSD in the News - February 2023

February 24, 2023

PSD against a white and turquoise background

This month PSD researchers have been recognized for their pioneering discoveries, the quality and innovation of their research programs, and their unique contributions to new fields of inquiry. 

Meet computational and applied mathematics student, Mark Olson

February 8, 2023

Mark Olson

Mark A. Olson was raised in Buffalo, New York, and San Luis Obispo, California. After studying mathematics and computer science at UC Berkeley, he joined the PhD program in Computational and Applied Mathematics (CAM). He is currently researching Liouville quantum gravity, a topic in theoretic probability, with Assoc. Prof. Ewain Gwynne.