News: PSD Spotlights


PSD Spotlight: Aleksandra Ninova-Parris

November 17, 2021

Aleksandra Ninova-Parris

PSD’s November spotlight is Aleksandra “Aleks” Ninova-Parris, Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the Physical Sciences Division since November 2021. Read about her interests, experiences, and thoughts on diverstiy and inclusion.

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.

PSD Spotlight: Sarah Lippert

October 19, 2021

Sarah Lippert

PSD’s October spotlight is Sarah Lippert, newly appointed Assistant Dean of Students in the Physical Sciences Division. Sarah has been with the University of Chicago since December 2008.

PSD Spotlight: Dave Schmitz

September 21, 2021

Dave Schmitz

PSD’s September spotlight is Dave Schmitz, Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and the Enrico Fermi Institute and newly appointed Deputy Dean of Diversity and Inclusion for the PSD. Dave has been with the University of Chicago since September 2012.

Meet chemistry student, Elizabeth Wells Kelley

August 23, 2021

Elizabeth Wells Kelley

Elizabeth Wells Kelley was born and raised in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Before coming to the University of Chicago, she earned a bachelor's in chemistry at the College of William & Mary, where she was a research assistant, teaching assistant, and tutor. She is starting her fifth year in the Department of Chemistry doctoral program. She has taken time off during her program to teach high school chemistry at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Now returned to her research, she works on organic synthesis and the scientific investigation of how humans learn, teach, and interact with chemistry.

Meet computational and applied mathematics student, Adela DePavia

July 21, 2021

Adela DePavia

Adela DePavia was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and Northern California’s East Bay Area. After finishing undergrad in 2019, she spent a year on a research fellowship before joining the Committee on Computational and Applied Mathematics (CCAM) program at UChicago. Soon starting her second year, she studies connections between discrete and continuous time optimization, and optimization on manifolds.

PSD Spotlight: Melissa Salvo-Leadingham

June 16, 2021

Melissa Salvo-Leadingham

PSD’s June spotlight is Melissa “Mel” Salvo-Leadingham, financial administrator for the PSD-LBC. Mel has been with the University of Chicago since November, 2019. This year she co-founded the Hispanic Latinx employee resource group called HLX.

Meet physics student, Kyle Kawagoe

June 9, 2021

Kyle Kawagoe

Kyle Kawagoe was born and raised in Reedley, California. Before coming to University of Chicago, he was an undergraduate in The College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara. He has been a graduate student at UChicago for five years in the Department of Physics. His field of study is theoretical hard condensed matter physics and the physics of topological phases of matter. When the COVID-19 lockdowns started in the United States, he pivoted to theoretical biophysics, doing research on epidemiological modeling.

Meet biophysical sciences student, Walter Alvarado

May 17, 2021

Walter Alvarado

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.

Meet MS-PSD student, Fernando Bañales Mejia

April 27, 2021

Fernando Bañales Mejia

Fernando Bañales Mejia was born and raised in Riverside, California. After graduating from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York, in 2017, he attended the University of Chicago for two years as a PSD Pathway scholar in the Master of Science in the Physical Sciences Division (MSPSD) program. He completed the program in 2020, during the pandemic.

PSD Spotlight: Jolene Hanchar

April 21, 2021

Jolene Hanchar

PSD’s April spotlight is Jolene Hanchar, Department Administrator for the Department of the Geophysical Sciences. Jolene has been with UChicago for 20 years, since 2001.

PSD Spotlight: Qiti Guo

March 11, 2021

Dr. Qiti Guo

PSD's March spotlight is Qiti Guo, PhD, Senior Scientist with the James Franck Institute. Qiti has been with UChicago for over 28 years, since 1992.

Meet statistics student, Ahmed Bou-Rabee

March 9, 2021

Ahmed Bou-Rabee

Ahmed Bou-Rabee was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and spent the first half of his life in Kuwait and the second in the United States, mostly in California. Before coming to the University of Chicago, he received an undergraduate degree in math and a master’s degree in statistics from Stanford. He has been at UChicago for five years as a doctoral student in the statistics program. Ahmed studies probability and partial differential equations.

Meet Financial Mathematics student, Mingyue Wang

February 8, 2021

Mingyue Wang

Mingyue Wang grew up in Hangzhou, China. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Fordham University. This is her second quarter as a student in the Financial Mathematics master’s program. She is currently taking Portfolio Theory & Risk Management, Numerical Methods of Option Pricing and Hedging, Stochastic Calculus, and Machine Learning in Finance.

Four decades and millions of stars later, Sloan Digital Sky Survey co-founder retires

February 8, 2021

Rich Kron

Prof. Richard Kron's legacy includes helping to conceive and lead one of the most influential projects to map the sky, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, as well as the creation of the astrophysics major at UChicago and the project to digitize and explore the scientific potential of 100-year-old photographic images of the sky from the Yerkes Observatory.