Dean's Message

Photo Credit: Steve Zylius, UC Irvine Communications

Welcome to the School of Physical Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. I am honored to serve as dean of this dynamic and diverse group of scientists, educators, students, and staff. As a professor of chemistry at UC Irvine since 1992 and, formerly, associate dean for the school, I have had many opportunities to observe the impressive work that has created the foundation of our school. I am committed to strengthening the three legs of academic excellence: teaching, research, and service.

Established in 1965, the School of Physical Sciences rose to the top echelon of academia in a remarkably short time. It offers top-rated educational and research opportunities for tomorrow's scientists, teachers, and technical professionals in the departments of Chemistry, Earth System Science, Mathematics, and Physics & Astronomy. Our world-renowned faculty members and research scientists teach and perform research with undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to explore the ever-advancing frontiers of knowledge.

This work has earned numerous awards and accolades. A particularly noteworthy accolade is that two of our founding faculty members, from the physics and chemistry departments, were each awarded the Nobel Prize in their respective fields in 1995. This made UC Irvine the first public university with faculty honored in two different fields in the same year. During the first decade of the 21st century, we have continued to build on our strengths with an aggressive growth campaign to add to our breadth and depth of excellence.

In a recent assessment of research-doctorate programs, conducted by the National Research Council, each of our four departments were ranked at or above the 15th percentile. This across-the-board excellence is rare, and we are particularly proud. From the first instant of the big bang to the future of our planet, from imaging individual atoms and molecules to modeling living cells and cancer tumors, and from synthesizing new molecules to the evolution of the universe - our scientists explore all time scales and all size ranges to learn nature's secrets and provide the foundation for the tools used by a modern technological society.

We are also leaders in science education with initiatives in modern instructional methods, interdisciplinary education, and our new Cal Teach program, which prepares the K-12 science and math teachers our schools need for a 21st century economy.

I invite you to explore our website to discover the unique and exciting science and educational activities of our school. Please visit the site regularly to keep up with the many remarkable new stories that result from the work of our team. If you are local to UC Irvine, I especially encourage you to attend our quarterly Physical Sciences Breakfast Lecture Series, which invites the public to experience first-hand the work and global impact of our faculty. I am confident that you will see that this is an exceptional time to be a part of the School of Physical Sciences. We hope to see you soon.

Kenneth C. Janda
Professor and Dean, School of Physical Sciences