Latest News and Announcements

CERES Center to create new foundations for unstoppable computing

A group of more than 50 computer scientists and engineers from the University of Chicago and industry gathered Jan. 29 at Harper Court in Hyde Park for a research summit to launch the new CERES Center for Unstoppable Computing.

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John Light, pioneer in theoretical chemical dynamics, 1934-2016

Prof. Emeritus John Light, one of the first scientists to describe the dynamics of chemical reactions on a molecular scale and longtime editor of the Journal of Chemical Physics, died Jan. 18, in a Denver hospital following a severe illness. He was 81.

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South Pole’s next generation of discovery

Later this year, during what passes for summer in Antarctica, a group of Chicago scientists will arrive at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole research station to install a new and enhanced instrument designed to plumb the earliest history of the cosmos.

It will have taken the combined efforts of scientists, engineers, instrument builders, and computer experts at UChicago, Argonne National LaboratoryFermilab, as well as institutions across the world that participate in the South Pole Telescope collaboration.

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Physicist credits Fire Scholarship for leading to degree, career at UChicago

When David Miller’s mother suggested that he apply for a Fire Scholarship at the University of Chicago about 15 years ago, he initially balked. He had planned instead to study mechanical engineering at a state university with support from a Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship.

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UChicago scientists critique ‘The Martian’ and discuss real exploration on Mars

The experiences that marooned astronaut Mark Watney had on Mars in the award-winning film, “The Martian,” were similar to those of robot rovers that a University of Chicago scientist helped design. 

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Wendy Freedman to receive Heineman Prize for Astrophysics

Prof. Wendy Freedman will receive the Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics, which recognizes outstanding mid-career work in astrophysics.

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Data science specialist Michael Franklin to lead computer science at UChicago

As part of a plan to greatly increase the scale, scope and impact of computer science research and education across the University community, the University of Chicago has appointed prominent data science scholar Michael Franklin to chair its Department of Computer Science and to serve as senior advisor to the provost on computation and data science.

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Celebrating 125 years of transformative research from UChicago and affiliated laboratories

An increasingly vital part of the University of Chicago’s legacy of pushing forward the boundaries of scientific understanding is the University’s affiliation with internationally renowned centers of research: Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and, most recently, the Marine Biological Laboratory.

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Computer scientists and mathematicians are stunned by this Chicago professor’s new proof

László Babai, a legendary mathematician and computer scientist at the University of Chicago, seems to have made “potentially the most important theoretical computer science advance in more than a decade.” Why does that matter? Well, in theory….

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Department of Chemistry and IME welcome Jiwoong Park to faculty

The University of Chicago’s Department of Chemistry and Institute of Molecular Engineering have jointly appointed Jiwoong Park as a faculty member. He will start the position on July 1, 2016.

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Comp sci team advances to 2016 ACM/ICPC World Finals in Phuket,Thailand

For the eighth year in a row, the University of Chicago will advance to the ICPC World Finals, the largest and oldest programming competition in the world.

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Professor László Babai’s algorithm is next big step in conquering isomorphism in graphs

On November 10, 2015, Prof. Babai gave a talk entitled "Graph Isomorphism in Quasipolynomial Time I: The 'Local Certificates Algorithm,’” in which he outlined a new proof showing that the graph isomorphism problem—determining whether two graphs that appear dissimilar are actually identical—can be solved much more quickly than previously thought.

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Apply for the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship

The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program recognizes and rewards the contributions women make in STEM fields and identifies exceptional women researchers committed to serving as role models for younger generations.  More than 2,250 women scientists in over 110 countries have been recognized since the program began in 1998. 

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Chicago Council on Science and Technology Presents Women in STEM: Connect

Our Women in STEM: Connect is back! This year's event will feature a lively panel discussion with Q&A, video shorts, and will be followed by networking. We welcome everyone, from women just contemplating a future in a science-related field to career veterans, and all those in between. Men are welcome to attend!

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Students Draw on Women in Science Fund to Foster a Sense of Community

June 6, 2015 – Chopsticks flashed and plates clattered as employees prepared for a busy afternoon at Yusho in Hyde Park. That afternoon, the cozy Japanese restaurant welcomed thirty young female scientists from the Physical Sciences Division (PSD) and the Institute for Molecular Engineering (IME) at the University of Chicago.

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UChicago to highlight its history and future in astronomy and astrophysics Nov. 17-18

Since its founding, the University of Chicago Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics has had a long and storied history, beginning with contributions from luminary George Ellery Hale and building of the Yerkes Observatory in the 19th century, through the modern era and its partnership in building the Giant Magellan Telescope.

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U Chicago students place in top five positions at the Illinois Technology Association Tech Challenge

The Illinois Technology Association, which runs a yearly competition called the Tech Challenge, had their final exam of the Challenge last Friday, and of the top five positions in the TechChallenge, UChicago students placed in 1st, 4th, and 5th positions!

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UChicago to celebrate its 125th anniversary with affiliated laboratories Nov. 13

The University of Chicago helps lead the country in scientific and technological innovation, in part through its management of two U.S. Department of Energy laboratories—Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory—and its affiliation with the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.

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Lab Director Van Bistrow wins the 2016 Jonathan F. Reichert and Barbara Wolff-Reichert Award for Excellence in Advanced Laboratory Instruction

Join us in congratulating our colleague for this award! Bistrow, a consummate lover of teaching, has been working in the physics labs at University of Chicago since 1974. He won this prestigious honor for his continued support of student instruction, as well as his contributions in organizing and participating in national-level conferences regarding advanced instructional labs. 

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Leo Kadanoff, leading figure in theoretical physics, 1937-2015

Theoretical physicist Leo Kadanoff, who transformed theory and practice across scientific disciplines, died of respiratory failure on Oct. 26 in Chicago. He was 78.

“Leo was a prodigious scientist,” said his longtime UChicago colleague Sidney Nagel, the Stein-Freiler Distinguished Service Professor in Physics. “His work on statistical mechanics is one of the great achievements of 20th-century theoretical physics. It laid the conceptual and mathematical foundations for some of the most insightful and effective tools on which our modern understanding of nature is based.”

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Chemistry Assistant Professor Ray Moellering wins 2015 Cancer Research Foundation Young Investigator Award

Assistant professor in Chemistry, Ray Moellering, is one of the recipients of the 2015 Young Investigator Awards from the Cancer Research Foundation

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Keys to Access: Argonne-INCREASE partnership opens doors to collaboration

Scientific solutions to global issues increasingly rely on the powerful facilities, tools and expertise located on national laboratory campuses.

Researchers at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs) may not have the same networks and access as others. Tucked away in academic silos, many lack direct connections to use these vital resources.

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Eckhardt Research Center opens new phase of discovery

The appetite for discovery at the new William Eckhardt Research Center was articulated by the University of Chicago’s very first Nobel laureate, astrophysicist Albert A. Michelson. “If a poet could at the same time be a physicist, he might convey to others the pleasure, the satisfaction, almost the reverence, which the subject inspires,” Michelson wrote in his 1903 book Light Waves and Their Uses.

The Eckhardt Research Center enables precision science of many kinds, encompassing engineering in the quantum realm as well as studies of distant planets and cosmic evolution. In this sense too it carries on the spirit of Michelson, whose studies of light influenced microscopy as well as astronomy.

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October issue of Organometallics magazine honors the late chemistry professor Greg Hillhouse

The October 12, 2015 issue of Organometallics honors Professor Greg Hillhouse, and includes an introductory tribute article by Daniel J. Mindiola, Milton R. Smith, III, and John E. Bercaw. The issue pays tribute to HIllhouse as a scholar and mentor, and touches on his numerous extra-academic pursuits, like basketball and cooking. 

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Scientists paint quantum electronics with beams of light

A team of scientists from the University of Chicago and Penn State University has accidentally discovered a new way of using light to draw and erase quantum-mechanical circuits in a unique class of materials called topological insulators. 

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New programming approach seeks to make large-scale computation more reliable

Moore’s Law, the observation that integrated circuits halve in size every two years, has been good to us. Prices for computers have dropped precipitously over the last few decades, even as their power has skyrocketed.

But as we approach the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law, that whole paradigm might be coming to an end: Today’s circuitry is so small that it’s brushing up against the limits of quantum mechanics.

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Laser-wielding physicists seize control of atoms’ behavior

Physicists have wondered in recent years if they could control how atoms interact using light. Now they know that they can, by demonstrating games of quantum billiards with unusual new rules. In an article published online Oct. 5 in Physical Review Letters, a team of University of Chicago physicists explains how to tune a laser to make atoms attract or repel each other in an exotic state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate.

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In memory of beloved mathematics professor Raghavan Narasimhan

This past Saturday, October 3, Raghavan Narasimhan passed away. Narasimhan was a beloved and highly respected member of the department of mathematics for over 40 years.

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Physical sciences faculty members collect multiple honors

Six faculty members in the University of Chicago Physical Sciences Division recently have received noteworthy professional honors from the American Chemical Society, the Association for Computing Machinery, the Edmond Hustinx Foundation, the Optical Society of America, the Simons Foundation, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Department of Energy. 

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Assistant Professor in Chemistry Ray Moellering wins award for cancer research

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Ray Moellering in Chemistry, who has won the 2015 V Scholar Award from the V Foundation for Cancer Research.  The award identifies and fosters promising young investigators in cancer research.

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AstroChicago123

The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics is celebrating its 123rd anniversary together with the 125th anniversary of the founding of the University of Chicago. The Department is also celebrating its new home, the William Eckhardt Research Center, a state-of-the-art research building that will house all members of the Department after more than 50 years of being located in several sites.

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Simulation system provides integrated approach to crop and climate change models

Earth’s fields and forests, oceans and aquifers, and animals of the land, sea and sky don’t exist in a vacuum. But too often, environmental and agricultural models treat them as if they do. Truly understanding the role that climate and climate change plays on them calls for an integrated approach. 

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William Eckhardt Research Center opens its doors, several PSD units move into a new space

The William Eckhardt Research Center has been a work in progress since 2010, with construction beginning summer 2012. Now, after five long years, the building will open its doors (ahead of schedule) on September 12th, 2015. 

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Chemistry Professor Andrei Tokmakoff has won the 2016 Ahmed Zewail Award in Ultrafast Science and Technology.

This prestigious National Award from the American Chemical Society recognizes original and outstanding contributions to fundamental discoveries or inventions in ultrafast science and technology in the areas of physics and chemistry. Recipients will be honored at the Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, in conjunction with the 251st ACS National Meeting in San Diego, CA. 

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Chemistry Professor Wenbin Lin part of $1M CRF team science initiative to target lethal lung cancer

A $1 million gift from the Cancer Research Foundation (CRF) is mobilizing a team of renowned University of Chicago physicians and scientists to mount an all-out attack on a deadly lung cancer and fuel advances in cancer care more generally. Bringing together leaders in cancer research and care, clinical trials, immunology, drug development, nanotechnology, computation, genomics, and pathology, the three-year initiative encompasses five projects that collectively will drive toward game-changing targeted treatments for small cell lung cancer (SCLC), which each year strikes approximately 30,000 people in the United States alone and is almost uniformly fatal.

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Professor John E. Carlstrom receives 2015 Gruber Cosmology Prize

In the call-and-response manner of modern science, the theoretical work of Jeremiah P. Ostriker and the leadership in the design and execution of observations of the universe’s relic radiation by John E. Carlstrom and Lyman A. Page, Jr., have contributed to, clarified, and advanced a new model of the universe—one that is part dark matter, part regular matter, and part dark energy, and was wholly powered by a primordial hyper-expansion of space called inflation.

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Lab experiment mimics early-stage planetary formation process

Physicists have directly observed, for the first time, how highly charged dust-sized particles attract and capture others to build up clusters particle by particle. This process can lead to the formation of “granular molecules” whose configurations resemble those of simple chemical molecules.

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Systematic growth-- UChicago's computer science department proliferates

In 2011, the Computer Science Department hired Andrew Chien—previously Intel’s vice president of research and now a William Eckhardt Distinguished Service Professor. His appointment, which then-PSD dean Robert Fefferman called “game-changing,” marked the beginning of a transformative recruitment period.

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Senior scientist Yanbin Wang elected American Geophysical Union 2015 fellow

Being elected a Union Fellow is a tribute to those AGU members who have made exceptional contributions to Earth and space sciences as valued by their peers and vetted by section and focus group committees. This honor is bestowed on only 0.1% of the membership in any given year.

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High-performance computing helps chemists sort through cellular statistics

DNA is often referred to as “the blueprint of life.” But it’s more than just a blueprint—it’s also a kind of operations manual for the workings of the cell, telling it what proteins to manufacture and when.

Aaron Dinner, professor in chemistry, and his graduate student Herman Gudjonson are trying to read that manual, as part of the Dinner group’s research into bioinformatics—the application of statistics to biological research.

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Yoichiro Nambu, Nobel-winning theoretical physicist, 1921-2015

Physicist Yoichiro Nambu once said he came to the University of Chicago in 1954 because of the “many great names” in physics at the University, including Nobel laureates such as Enrico Fermi. Nambu became a major figure in his own right during his long tenure at UChicago, culminating in winning a share of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics for his theory about the workings of the subatomic world. 

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Discovery of Jupiter-esque planet orbiting sun-like star could be key in search for similar solar system

Astronomers have discovered a planet similar to Jupiter in another solar system which could take them one step closer to finding a planetary system that mirrors our own.

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David Raup, paleontologist who transformed his discipline, 1933-2015

University of Chicago paleontologist David Raup, SB’53, an innovative authority on evolution and mass extinctions, died of pneumonia July 9 in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. He was 82.

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UChicago researchers develop artificial, bonelike material for use with medical devices

Researchers have developed a new approach for better integrating medical devices with biological systems. The researchers, led by Bozhi Tian, assistant professor in chemistry at the University of Chicago, have developed the first skeleton-like silicon spicules ever prepared via chemical processes.

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Five Students win prestigious Harper Dissertation Fellowship

Five students in the Physical Sciences Division (PSD) were awarded the William Rainey Harper Dissertation Fellowship for 2015-16, one of the highest honors that the University of Chicago confers on doctoral candidates.  Each PSD award includes a $5,000 stipend. 

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Hall of Fame astronaut looks to future of space science

John Grunsfeld, SM’84, PhD’88, recalls how UChicago trained him for NASA

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FEMMES encourages middle-school girls to acquire coding skills

Earlier this year, middle school girls used algorithms to strategically string beads into bracelets as part of a coding exercise for the University of Chicago FEMMES Code Camp. The event aimed to introduce computer science to girls in a series of entertaining and hands-on activities set to continue throughout the year. 

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Dauphas Awarded Best Paper Prize

Professor Nicolas Dauphas in Geophyiscal Sciences has been awarded the "Prix SFIS du meilleur article 2014" (SFIS=Société Française des Isotopes) for his paper "Magma redox and structural controls on iron isotope variations in Earth's mantle and crust." 

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Professor John Carlstrom wins 2015 Gruber Prize in Cosmology

The 2015 Gruber Foundation Cosmology Prize has honored the University of Chicago’s John E. Carlstrom, alumnus Jeremiah P. Ostriker, PhD’64, and Princeton University’s Lyman Page for their individual and collective contributions to the study of the universe on the largest scales. 

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PSD faculty receive named professorships

Four PSD faculty members - Fred Chong, Wendy Freedman, Rich Jordan, and Shmuel Weinberger - have received named professorships effective July 1, 2015.

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Computer Science and Mathematics Professor Laszlo Babai receives the 2015 Donald E. Knuth Prize

The 2015 Donald E. Knuth Prize is awarded to Laszlo Babai of the University of Chicago for his fundamental contributions to theoretical computer science, including algorithm design and complexity theory. 

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University to bestow four honorary degrees at 523rd Convocation

The University of Chicago will present honorary degrees to four distinguished scholars during the 523rd Convocation on Saturday, June 13, on the Main Quadrangle.

The honorary degree recipients are glaciologist Richard B. Alley, cancer researcher Titia de Lange, economist Andreu Mas-Colell, and mathematician Peter Sarnak.

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Assistant Professors Henry Hoffmann in Computer Science and Jonathan Weare in Statistics receive the DOE Early Career Research award

DOE’s Office of Science Selects 44 Scientists to Receive Early Career Research Program Funding

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Chemistry's Grad Student Anthony Martinez is a recepient of the Campus Life and Leadership Award

2015 Student Leader Awards Recipients

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NSF Postdocs awarded to 5 Graduate Students in Mathematics

This year, five graduate students in Mathematics won National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships.

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New form of DNA modification may carry inheritable information

Professor Chuan He co-authors three studies identifying roles for N6-methyladenosine in algae, worms, and flies.

Scientists at the University of Chicago, Harvard University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have described the surprising discovery and function of a new DNA modification in insects, worms and algae.

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American Academy of Arts and Sciences elects 12 members with UChicago ties

New class includes five faculty members, seven alumni

The newly elected class of members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences includes five UChicago faculty members and seven additional University alumni, including University Trustee Joseph Neubauer, MBA’65.

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Shape-shifting molecule tricks viruses into mutating themselves to death

A newly developed spectroscopy method is helping to clarify the poorly understood molecular process by which an anti-HIV drug induces lethal mutations in the virus’ genetic material. The findings from the University of Chicago and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology could bolster efforts to develop the next generation of anti-viral treatments.

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Impact of Everyday Mathematics continues to grow

Prof. Zalman Usiskin made an audacious promise in the mid-1980s while recruiting a high school math teacher to manage editorial content for the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project.

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Materials Research Science and Engineering Center receives $20.6 million grant

The National Science Foundation has renewed funding for the University of Chicago's Materials Research Science and Engineering Center for another six years with a $20.6 million grant. UChicago was one of 12 institutions nationwide to receive a MRSEC grant from the NSF in this round of competition.

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