News: 2021


Chemist Mark Levin named 2021 Packard Fellow

October 14, 2021

Assistant Prof. Mark Levin of the Dept. of Chemistry has received a 2021 Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering. Levin is one of 20 early-career scientists and engineers nationwide to receive the fellowship, providing $875,000 over five years to support his research into inventing a new chemical reaction that can “live-edit” molecules down to the level of single-atom precision.

Nation’s first quantum accelerator, Duality, announces first corporate supporters

October 14, 2021

Duality, the nation’s first accelerator focused exclusively on supporting quantum science and technology companies, has announced that Amazon Web Services is among its first corporate supporters, along with Caruso Ventures, Lathrop GPM LLP, McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff, Silicon Valley Bank, and Toptica Photonics to support its inaugural cohort of six startups, and help fuel quantum innovation in Chicago and the region.

To watch a comet form, a spacecraft could tag along for a journey toward the sun

October 14, 2021

Darryl Seligman, T.C. Chamberlin Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences, says ‘Centaurs’ near Jupiter could provide a unique opportunity to learn about the solar system.

Three UChicago scientists named 2021 fellows of American Physical Society

October 13, 2021

Prof. Yau W. Wah of the Dept. of Physics is among three UChicago professors to have been named 2021 fellows of the American Physical Society. Wah was recognized for “leadership in the experimental study of rare neutral kaon decays, in particular, the search for KL to pi0 nu nu-bar, the so-called ‘golden mode’ of rare kaon decays.” Prof. Liang Jiang and Prof. Aashish Clerk of Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering were also recognized.

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

October 12, 2021

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

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

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.

Asst. Prof. Edwin Kite awarded funding from first RSCA Scialog initiative

October 8, 2021

Assistant Professor Edwin Kite, Department of the Geophysical Sciences, has been awarded funding from the first Scialog initiative, which is short for “science + dialog.” Created by Research Corp. for Science Advancement, the Scialog format brings together early-career scientists to write proposals for high-risk, high-reward collaborations. Kite’s group proposed to create stochastic simulation of evolving planetary biospheres. They were among 20 groups selected, with $55,000 granted from Simons Foundation.

Dust collected from a speeding asteroid analyzed with massive accelerator

October 1, 2021

A team that includes UChicago, Argonne beamline scientist Barbara Lavina and physicist Jiyong Zhao will be among the first to study asteroid fragments from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft. This summer they took readings of asteroid fragments using X-ray scattering methods at beamline 3-ID-B at the Advanced Photon Source. Next, the fragments will return to Argonne for more extensive readings using Mössbauer spectroscopy techniques.

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

October 1, 2021

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.

Diversity Advisory Board awards geosci student, Haynes Stephens, for championing diversity, inclusion

October 1, 2021

Haynes Stephens, a graduate student in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences, has been awarded by the Diversity Advisory Board for his efforts on behalf of diversity and inclusion in the PSD. Read more about his contributions to the Division.

Scientists use nuclear physics to probe Floridan Aquifer threatened by climate change

October 1, 2021

As rising sea levels threaten coastal areas, scientists like Reika Yokochi in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences are using an emerging nuclear dating technique to track the ins and outs of water flow.


DOE grant funds UChicago, Argonne research on AI models informing climate change

September 28, 2021

A new project funded through a $3.25 million grant from DoE to UChicago and Argonne National Lab will allow researchers to apply artificial intelligence to accelerate the scientific simulation of complex physical systems, especially those relating to climate change.

QuSTEAM initiative awarded $5M to advance quantum science education

September 27, 2021

The University of Chicago and the Chicago Quantum Exchange are among the partnering institutions awarded $5 million from the NSF’s Convergence Accelerator. QuSTEAM: Convergence Undergraduate Education in Quantum Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics will be a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional program led by Ohio State intended to revolutionize and create more equitable pathways to quantum science education.

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

September 24, 2021

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.