School's eNewsletter: Physical Matters

Wed, 04/09/2014
Tatiana Arizaga
School of Physical Sciences Communications

Dear Friends,

UC Irvine is honored to have President Barack Obama as this year’s commencement speaker, which will mark the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s dedication of the campus.  Nearly fifty years “young”, our School of Physical Sciences continues to be on the forefront of research, excellence, and innovation.

We are very proud that our graduate students have been awarded a record high of 13 National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Fellowships.

In the Department of Chemistry, Professors Ara Apkarian, Filipp Furche and Douglas Tobias won three of the four American Chemical Society Physical Chemistry Division Awards this year. Professor Jennifer Prescher scored a triple slam with a Cottrell Scholar Award, Dean’s Honoree for Celebration of Teaching Award and an NSF Career Award.

The Department of Earth System Science (ESS) continues to be a world leader in the study of climate change and in influencing policy. Professor Michael Prather is a lead author on the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th Assessment Report. In recent findings, Department Chair and Professor Gudrun Magnusdottir found a tie between the warming Atlantic Ocean and extreme winters in U.S. and Europe.

In the Department of Mathematics, Professor John Lowengrub has been named 2014 Julian Cole Lecturer by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), and Professor Qing Nie has been named fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

In Physics & Astronomy, Professor Steve White has been appointed one of three internationally acclaimed directors of a new initiative by the Simons Foundation --the Simons Collaboration on the Many Electron Problem. Kevork Abazajian received the Distinguished Assistant Professor Award for Research at UCI.  Also late last year, Professors Zuzanna Siwy and Tim Tait were named 2013 fellows of the American Physical Society. Professor Michael Dennin and Sarah Eichhorn’s online course on “The Walking Dead” was a global hit with 65,000+ participants during its eight week run.

These achievements are a reflection of our ongoing commitment to research, teaching and service. The generous support of our friends and alumni allows us to build on UCI’s tradition of world-changing research.  Thank you for your continued interest in our School.

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

Read the rest of the Winter/Spring 2014 eNewsletter here.