Latest News and Announcements

UChicago Launches Center for Data Science and Computing Research

The University of Chicago is launching the Center for Data and Applied Computing, a research center for developing new methods in computation and data analytics and applying them to ambitious projects across the full spectrum of science and scholarship. The Center for Data and Applied Computing, which opens this summer, will provide computationally focused, interdisciplinary projects at the university.

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Research Suggests Water Appeared While Earth was Still Growing

A team including UChicago cosmochemist Nicolas Dauphas performed the largest study to date of oxygen isotopes in lunar rocks, and found a small but measurable difference in the makeup of the moon and Earth. The research proposes that Earth acquired the majority of its water during the main stage of its growth—which counters a popular theory.

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Scientists Confirm Water Trapped Inside Diamonds Deep Below Earth’s Surface

The discovery, which relies on extremely bright X-ray beams from the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory, could change our understanding of how water circulates deep in the Earth’s mantle and how heat escapes from the lower regions of our planet. 

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Scientists Build Army of Metal-Organic Nanoflowers to Treat Cancer

Scientists with the University of Chicago have designed an army of tiny flower-shaped metal-and-organic nanoparticles that deliver a one-two punch—first boosting the effects of radiation at the tumor site and then jumpstarting the immune system to search out any remaining tumors.

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UChicago Scientists Build Trap to Make Tiny Packages of Light ‘Collide’

The universe is illuminated via photons, the tiny individual particles that make up light, but they don’t interact with each other. To make them see the light, a team of University of Chicago physicists built a trap to help photons bounce off each other. Their photon collider is the latest effort to make photons behave like other particles such as electrons—a step toward greater understanding and control of quantum systems.

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Genetic Analysis Uncovers the Evolutionary Origin of Vertebrate Limbs

A new study by researchers from the University of Chicago and the Andalusian Center for Development Biology in Spain shows how these creatures used an even more primitive genetic blueprint to develop their proto-limbs: the single dorsal, or back, fin common to all jawed fish.

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First Look at Jupiter’s Poles Show Strange Geometric Arrays of Storms

In the past two years, with NASA’s Juno spacecraft, found bizarre geometric arrangements of storms, each arrayed around one cyclone over both poles—unlike any storm formation seen in the universe. 

The study was authored by scientists from an international group of institutions including the University of Chicago.

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UChicago Activities at Yerkes Observatory to End in 2018

The University of Chicago has announced plans to wind down its activities at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wis., over the next six months and to formally cease on-site operations by Oct. 1, 2018.

Despite its important history, the Yerkes facility and its instrumentation no longer contribute directly to the research mission of the University of Chicago, which has made major investments in the Magellan and Giant Magellan telescopes in Chile.

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Student-Run Hackathons Use Uncommon Approaches to Educate and Inspire

Hackathons, daylong or overnight events in which teams work on a project in tech, data science or programming, have become a popular activity worldwide. In January, a UChicago student organization called compileHer gathered 70 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students from 50 schools across Chicago for an all-day hackathon at the Logan Center for the Arts.

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UChicago Scientists to Lead $10 Million NSF 'Expedition' for Practical Quantum Computing

Co-design of quantum achitectures, software helps realize promise of new technology sooner. 

University of Chicago computer scientists an “expedition” into the burgeoning field of quantum computing, bringing applications of the nascent technology for computer science, physics, chemistry and other fields at least a decade closer to practical use.

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Scientists use Tiny Diamond Anvils to Put Squeeze on Materials

Scientists have turned tiny bits of diamond and super-hard specks into “molecular anvils” that squeeze and twist molecules until chemical bonds break and atoms exchange electrons. They believe the method­ offers a new way to perform chemistry research at the molecular level that is greener, more efficient and much more precise.

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Congratulations to Assistant Professor Blase Ur!

Blase Ur was recently named a winner of the ACM SIGCHI Outstanding Dissertation Award.  This award is given annually by the Special Interest Group on Human-Computer Interaction and “recognizes excellent thesis research by recent Ph.D. recipients in Human-Computer Interaction".  Up to three such awards are given in a year, and this year they gave only two.

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Congratulations to Assistant Professor Abby Vieregg!

Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) has named twenty-four top early career academic scientists  as 2018 Cottrell Scholars. UChicago's own Abby Vieregg has been named for her work in physics and her research searching for astrophysical ultra-high energy (UHE) neutrinos using radio detection techniques.

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Congratulations to Professors Alexander Beilinson and Vladimir Drinfeld!

Alexander Beilinson and Vladimir Drinfeld have won the 2018 Wolf Prize in Mathematics. The Israeli Wolf Prize will be awarded at the end of May to nine laureates in the fields of mathematics, agriculure, physics, chemistry, and music. Beilinson and Drinfeld will share the mathematics prize this year as their work has made significant progress "at the interface of geometry and mathematical physics."

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UChicago Postdoctoral Scholar named 51 Pegasi b Fellow by the Heising-Simons Foundation

University of Chicago scientist Thaddeus Komacek is one of eight postdoctoral scholars to be selected for the 2018 class of the prestigious Heising-Simons Foundation 51 Pegasi b Fellowship.

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Scientists get Better Numbers on What Happens When Electrons get Wet

A crucial part of the chemical reactions that govern many of the processes around us is electrons striking water. Despite how common place these reactions are, scientists still have to estimate numbers for certain parts of the equation when they use computers to model them. 

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Doomsday Clock Moves its Closest to Midnight Since the Height of the Cold War

Citing growing nuclear risks and unchecked climate dangers, the Doomsday Clock has been moved to two minutes before midnight—its closest point symbolically to total catastrophe since the height of the Cold War. This 30-second move forward is a direct reflection of nuclear tensions and the need for action combating climate change. 

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Siebel Foundation Names Inaugural Group of UChicago Computer Science Scholars

Three master's students studying computation and public policy were honored by the foundation, and thus, the University's Department of Computer Science joins a select group of international programs as the three students are the first in the University's computer science program to be selected. 

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Dark Energy Survey Finds Remains of 11 Galaxies Eaten by the Milky Way

Scientists have released the preliminary cosmological findings from the Dark Energy Survey -- research on about 400 million astronomical objects from distant galaxies to the stars we see in the night sky. Among these findings was the discovery of new stellar streams - remnants of smaller galaxies destroyed and essentially eaten by our own Milky Way. Read More

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Lek-Heng Lim: 2017 Wilkinson Prize in Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing

Lim was awarded the 2017 Wilkinson Prize in Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing for research in, or other contributions to, numerical analysis and scientific computing during the six years preceding the award. Read more here:  https://www.siam.org/prizes/sponsored/wilkinson_nasc.php

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Cheng Chin awarded the junior BEC Award

The 2017 Junior Bose-Einstein Condensation Award is given to Cheng Chin for important contributions to the field of BoseEinstein condensation, including the study of Feshbach resonances, scale invariance in 2D Bose gases, and universality near a quantum phase transition in 2D optical lattices.  Read more.

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World’s smallest neutrino detector observes elusive interactions of particles

UChicago physicists play leading role in confirming theory predicted four decades ago

https://news.uchicago.edu/article/2017/08/03/worlds-smallest-neutrino-de...

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New method promises easier nanoscale manufacturing

Read about Chemsitry's Dmitri Talapin's new research:

https://news.uchicago.edu/article/2017/07/27/new-method-promises-easier-...

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Geophysical Science's Tiffany Shaw awarded 2017 AGU Macelwane Medal

Associate Professor Tiffany Shaw has been awarded AGU's Macelwane medal. The Macelwane Medal is given annually to three or up to five honorees in recognition for “significant contributions to the geophysical sciences by an outstanding early career scientist.” Congratulations Tiffany! Professor Robert Kopp of Rutgers, a DoGS undergraduate alumnus, will also receive the Macelwane medal this year.

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Nine graduate students awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Nine graduate students in the Physical Sciences Division received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, which offers recognition and financial support for outstanding graduate students in science, technology and engineering fields supported by the NSF. 

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Eight graduate students awarded Harper Dissertation Fellowship

Eight students in the Physical Sciences Division were awarded the William Rainey Harper Dissertation Fellowship, one of the highest honors that the University of Chicago grants doctoral candidates. Each Harper Fellowship includes a $4,000 stipend. 

“The students selected for the Harper Fellowship show a great deal of initiative, tenacity, and imagination,” said Michael Foote, deputy dean for academic affairs in the Physical Sciences Division. “And we see these students as future scientific leaders in their respective fields.”

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Computer Science names two Neubauer Professorships: Ben Zhao and Heather Zheng

Ben Zhao and Heather Zheng join the Computer Science faculty as Neubauer Professors starting July 1, 2017.

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Congratulations to Rina Foygel Barber for winning the IMS Tweedie Award

Rina Foygel Barber: IMS Tweedie New Researcher Rina Foygel Barber has been awarded the IMS Tweedie New Researcher Award for groundbreaking contributions in high-dimensional statistics

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Congratulations to Associate Professor Jian Ding

Statistics Associate Professor Jian Ding has been awarded the Rollo Davidson Prize for 2017 for his achievements on mixing and cover times and on the random k-SAT conjecture.  

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Congratulations to Part-Time Associate Professor Phillip Heck

Associate Professor (part time) Phillip Heck has won the coveted Cosslett Award from the Microanalysis Society (MAS) for the best invited paper in the Microscopy and Microanalysis 2016 meeting for his talk titled, "Microanalysis of Fossil Micrometeorites and Meteorites to Study a Major Asteroid Collision ~470 Million Years Ago." 

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Congratulations to Assistant Professor Lek-Heng Lim for receiving the Smale Prize 2017

Professor Lek-Heng Lim, University of Chicago, USA, receives the Smale Prize 2017 for his outstanding contributions tothe foundations of computational mathematics.  His Work seamlessly integrates scientific computing with complexity theory, statistical data analysis, and pure mathematics. 

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Congratuations to Geophysial Sciences Professor David Jablonski

Jablonski awarded 2017 Paleontological Society Medal

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Assistant Professor Abigail Vieregg will receive the 2017 Shakti P. Duggal Award

The award will be presented during the opening ceremony of the 35th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC). 

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Congratulations Professor Young Kee Kim

Five members of the UChicago faculty are among the 228 members elected to the 2017 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

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Congratulations to Assistant Professor Stephanie Palmer for a Career NSF award

Professor Stephanie Palmer has received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. This  award supports "...early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education..."

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Congratulations to Chemistry Professor Greg Engel

Chemistry Professor, Greg Engel, was just named one of the World Economic Forum's 50 Young Scientists for 2017.

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Congratulations to Ravi Chugh for winning NSF Career Award

Assistant Professor Ravi Chugh just won a National Science Foundation Career Award for Direct Manipulation Programming Systems.

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Neubauer Family Foundation $25 million gift accelerates UChicago ability to attract high-performance, high-impact graduate students

The University of Chicago, in pursuit of knowledge creation and dissemination at its most rigorous levels, trains graduate students committed to pushing the boundaries of what is known and who are determined to find compelling ways to apply original thinking to fundamental problems. Such high performance, high impact doctoral students embody the University’s mission to pursue inquiry and impact at its highest levels. 

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University of Chicago’s partnership with AWIS

Postdocs – Free Membership in the Association for Women in Science!

UChicagoGRAD is pleased to announce that the University of Chicago is now an institutional partner of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS). AWIS is the largest multi-disciplinary organization for women in STEM dedicated to achieving equity and full participation of women in all disciplines and across all employment sectors. AWIS reaches more than 20,000 professionals in STEM around the country. 

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Professor Babai scoops up three ACM SIGACT awards

Last summer László Babai received the STOC Best Paper award, the ACM SIGACT Distinguished Service Prize, and the Edsger Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing.

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"Changes of Phase" Combining Physics, Architecture and Dance

“Changes of Phase” by Spirit of Space shows how architect Jeanne Gang with Thodos Dance Studio uses University of Chicago Physicist Sid Nagel’s “jamming” concept to conceptualize and create an experimental work that combines physics, architecture and dance. 

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Congratulations! Risi Kondor won the DARPA Young Faculty Award

Risi Kondor has received the 2016 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award for his proposal, Multiresolution Machine Learning for Molecular Modeling.

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Susan Kidwell Wins Raymond C. Moore Medal!

William Rainey Harper Professor Susan Kidwell has won the Raymond C. Moore Medal for Paleontology from the Society for Sedimentary Geology. The award is given for outstanding contributions in paleontology, especially those that "promote the science of stratigraphy through research in paleontology and evolution, and the use of fossils for interpretations of paleoecology."

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New $10.6 Million Research Center Will Empower Study of Novel Genetic Control Panel

A new research center led by University of Chicago scientists will develop unprecedented technologies to decode the next layer of gene expression control, RNA modifications. The $10.6 million, 5 year award from the National Human Genome Research Institute will establish Chicago’s first Center of Excellence in Genomic Science (CEGS), one of only seven such centers in the United States.

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Congratulations! Bozhi Tian has won the 2016 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award

Bozhi Tian has won the 2016 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award for his groundbreaking work in materials chemistry. The award is meant to stimulate highly innovative research by early-stage investigators who are working on problems that have the potential for significant impact on biomedical and behavioral research.  

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Congratulations Robert Wald for winning the 2017 Einstein Prize

Congratulations to Robert M. Wald (U. Chicago), the recipient of the 2017 Einstein Prize. The Einstein prize is awarded by the APS to recognize outstanding accomplishments in the field of gravitational physics. Prof. Wald is highly deserving of this award, as his contributions to the field are well-known and far-reaching. The Citation reads:

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Professor Wiegmann to Receive Onsager Prize

Congratulations to Professor Paul Wiegmann, a theoretical physicist in the James Franck Institute, the Enrico Fermi Institute, and the Kadanoff Center will receive the 2017 Lars Onsager Prize awarded by the American Physical Society

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Congratulations to Andy Isaacs for the 2016 ICTM Max Beberman Mathematics Educator Award!

Congratulations to Andy Isaacs for the The Max Beberman Mathematics Educator Award!

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Henry Luce Foundation Grant to Support Science Professorships for Women

A grant from the Henry Luce Foundation will support an initiative to significantly increase the gender diversity of faculty members across the Physical Sciences Division by 2023.

The five-year, $500,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation will fund three Clare Boothe Luce Professorships for women in the Departments of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics. Additional financial and programmatic support from the Physical Sciences Division and the Office of the Provost will ensure the success of the three new faculty members at the University.

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