News: Students


Dark Energy Survey releases most precise look yet at the universe’s evolution

June 1, 2021

The Dark Energy Survey, an international collaboration coordinated through the University of Chicago-affiliated Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, surveyed almost one-eighth of the entire sky over six years, cataloguing hundreds of millions of objects. The new results announced May 27 draw on data from the first three years to create the most precise maps yet of the distribution of galaxies in the universe at relatively recent epochs.

Graduate students recognized for exceptional teaching of undergraduates

May 27, 2021

A graduate student in the Department of Chemistry, Frank Gao, has been named among the 2020 winners of the Wayne C. Booth Prize for Excellence in Teaching, awarded annually to graduate students for outstanding instruction of undergraduates. Additionally, three graduate students have been awarded the Physical Sciences Teaching Prizes for 2020-21: Gourav Khullar of the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Sean Lee of the Department of Chemistry, and Victor Zhang of the Department of Physics. Read more about what inspires their teaching.

PSD in the News - May 2021

May 26, 2021

This month PSD researchers have been featured for their efforts to theorize non-reciprocal interactions, push the frontiers of human computer interaction, and cut nitrogen atoms from molecules, opening up avenues for constructing molecules.

Two computer science alumni named to 2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 list

May 24, 2021

Forbes 30 Under 30 recognized Leslie Jones-Dove, AB’19, and Devshi Mehrotra, AB’19, who met as computer science majors, for their contributions to social impact. The pair took their capstone project for an “Entrepreneurship in Technology" class and built it out into a public defense software called JusticeText.

PSD recognizes ten students with a William Rainey Harper Dissertation Fellowship

May 19, 2021

The Physical Sciences Division has selected ten graduate students to receive a William Rainey Harper Dissertation Fellowship for the 2021-2022 academic year.  

Ten papers at CHI 2021 flourish frontiers of HCI research at UChicago CS

May 18, 2021

Computer Science participated in CHI 2021, a Human Computer Interaction conference, with an emerging group of UChicago faculty and student researchers representing the many different corners of HCI. This year, ten UChicago papers were accepted to the prestigious conference, with one receiving a Best Paper Award (given to the top 1 percent of submissions) and three others receiving Honorable Mentions (top 5 percent).

Symposium highlights UChicago collaborations with leading French research center

May 18, 2021

An online symposium featured 11 presentations by student teams from UChicago and French universities affiliated with the French National Centre for Scientific Research, with questions and discussion from faculty supervisors. Attendees voted to choose the best presentations and awarded two prizes. PSD’s Yi Liu in the Department of Statistics (pictured) and Maria Douaihy of CNRS – U. Montpellier won second place for “Modeling Transcriptional Bursting in Space and Time.” First place was awarded to Marie Greaney of BSD and Maxime Lehman of CNRS – U. Paris-Saclay for “How is Sensory Information Transformed into Appropriate Motor Control?”

How a UChicago initiative fostered ‘synergy’ between art and science

May 18, 2021

The Arts, Science + Culture initiative seeks to foster cross-disciplinary collaborations between the arts and sciences, and is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. The many projects it has supported have encouraged PSD students to approach a research question interdisciplinarily. (Pictured) "Biophilia," co-led by Rossy Natale, a PhD student in integrative biology at UChicago.

Meet biophysical sciences student, Walter Alvarado

May 17, 2021

Walter Alvarado was born in South Central, Los Angeles, California. Before joining UChicago, he completed a master’s in physics at Cal State University, Long Beach. He has been a graduate student here for three years in the Department of Biophysical Sciences, where his research combines computational physics and machine learning to elucidate chromatin remodeling and epigenetic regulation.

Building molecules like Tinkertoys? A breakthrough study may pave the way

May 12, 2021

A new discovery from the group led by Asst. Prof. Mark Levin, Department of Chemistry, can easily cut nitrogen atoms from molecules. Similar processes currently in use generate a very toxic molecule—but Levin’s group instead adds a key reagent so nitrogen is released as two bonded nitrogens. As a new foundational method, the discovery opens up avenues for constructing molecules.

Kirk Lancaster, SB’18 Chemistry, named Knight-Hennessy Scholar

May 12, 2021

Chemistry alumnus Kirk Lancaster, SB’18, has been selected as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar and will receive full funding to pursue graduate studies at Stanford University. A student of Chinese language and formerly an intern at the State Department’s Office of Chemical and Biological Weapons Affairs, he will pursue advanced study of his intersecting interests of law, technology and international politics.

In unique year, UChicago students find togetherness—apart

May 6, 2021

In a unique year, UChicago students find togetherness—apart. Students across majors joined astro professor Daniel Holz for “Are We Doomed?,” a class that uses readings and guest experts to inform different apocalyptic scenarios: nuclear war, climate change, artificial intelligence, and of course, pandemics and related biological issues.

Physics students selected for DOE national lab research program

April 29, 2021

Edgar Marrufo and Aurora Ireland, graduate students in the Department of Physics, are among 78 outstanding U.S. graduate students who have been selected by The Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program to perform research in national laboratories.

PSD in the News - April 2021

April 29, 2021

This month PSD researchers have been featured for their efforts to build a quantum bit that can search for dark matter, use muscle response for digital authentication, design 'nanotraps' to catch and clear coronavirus from tissue, and harness molecules into a single quantum state. 

John C. Martin, 69, PhD’77 in Chemistry, led Gilead Sciences to breakthroughs in HIV and hepatitis C treatment

April 28, 2021

The PSD remembers organic chemist John C. Martin, PhD’77, who became a billionaire by developing and marketing a daily single-dose pill that transformed HIV into a manageable disease and who popularized another drug that cures hepatitis C. He died on March 30 at age 69.