Autumn 2020 Department of Physics Orientation

Welcome Message

Welcome to the University of Chicago Department of Physics! We are excited for you to join our department and the university community. This year, Orientation will occur virtually and we have developed a schedule to facilitate your transition to graduate school. We will combine ice breakers, UChicago's values and resources, as well as inclusion and well-being. As a graduate student, you are an important part of our community and we hope to do everything we can to help you transition into our community.

Orientation Week One: Monday, September 14, 2020 - Friday, September 18, 2020

Week One will consist of an introduction to the department, campus resources, advising meetings and workshops.

Orientation Week Two: Monday, September 21, 2020 - Friday, September 25, 2020

Week Two will consist of workshops and faculty presentations.

Be sure to check out our campus video tour here.

Monday, September 14, 2020

9:00-9:30am
Welcome from the Chair of the Department of Physics, Young-Kee Kim

Recorded session

Young-Kee Kim is the Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Physics, the Enrico Fermi Institute and the College. Beginning in the fall of 2016, she became the Chair of the Physics Department as well. As an experimental scientist, her research focuses on particle physics and exploring how the universe works at the most fundamental level by discovering and understanding the elementary particles and the forces acting among them.

9:30-10:30am
Welcome to Physics

Recorded session

  • Introductions from Physics Staff
    • Zosia Krusberg, Senior Lecturer & Director of Graduate Studies
    • Stuart Gazes, Senior Lecturer and Undergraduate Program Chair
    • David D. Reid, Lecturer
    • Shadla Cycholl, Assistant to the Chair
    • Mark Chantell, Director of Instructional Laboratories
    • David McCowan, Instructional Laboratory Staff
    • Andrew Nadlman, Lecture Demonstrator
    • Kevin Van De Bogart, Instructional Laboratory Staff
    • Tiffany Kurns, Undergraduate Affairs Administrator
    • Putri Kusumo, Graduate Affairs Administrator
  • Ice breaker activity (Desert Island Game)
10:30-11:30am
Information Session

Recorded session

This session will provide graduate students with information about the services and resources provided by the University, give an overview of the University of Chicago Physical Science Division policies and funding structures, and give an opportunity for students to ask questions about it all.

Led by:
Putri Kusumo, Graduate Affairs Administrator

SLACK Channel
Campus tour with graduate student(s)
Direct deduction
Direct deposit
Insurance
Registration/Withdrawals
Campus Resources
Payroll
  • Schedule
  • Contacts
Funding - source, processes, documentation, and communications
  • Assistantships (teaching and research)
  • Fellowships (internal and external)
Reimbursements
Trainings
Department
  • Quarterly communications
    • Funding source 
    • Textbooks
    • Canvas 
      • Contact person
      • Status undergraduate students (dropped or switched courses)
      • Enrolling graduate students as Teaching Assistants for courses
      • Granting access to the course as auditor or observer 
11:30am-3:30pm
Advising Meetings

This session will focus on providing answers to questions students have about Physics courses and registration.

Led by:
Zosia Krusberg, Senior Lecturer & Director of Graduate Studies
Stuart Gazes, Senior Lecturer & Undergraduate Program Chair

11:30am-5:00pm
Zoom Pop-in Meetings

 This session will give students the opportunity to meet with Shadla, Tiffany and Putri one on one. Zoom links for each staff member will be provided.

12:00-1:00pm
GradInfluences

The GradInfluences program is a graduate student organized program that pairs incoming physics graduate students with experienced students in the department who can help guide them through their first year. In addition to pairing mentors and mentees, GradInfluences also hosts social events for all mentors and mentees to meet together, in order to introduce first years to the wider physics graduate social life.

Led by:
Lucas Beaufore, fourth year PhD student. Lucas studies cosmic ray propagation with the HELIX Experiment. He also watches a lot of Star Trek and likes playing with 3D printers
Andrea Bryant, fifth year PhD student. Andrea studies exoplanet bulk composition using powerful computational methods--she also likes to spend time singing and getting sunshine
Emily Smith, fourth year PhD student. Emily is studying particle physics with the ATLAS Experiment, and enjoys horses and houseplants.

7:00-8:00pm
Information Session

This session will provide graduate students with information about the services and resources provided by the University, give an overview of the University of Chicago Physical Science Division policies and funding structures, and give an opportunity for students to ask questions about it all.

Led by:
Putri Kusumo, Graduate Affairs Administrator

See 10:30 session description for information covered.


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

9:00-11:00am
PHYS 300 - Workshop on the Teaching and Learning of Physics

This session is mandatory.

It will provide students with tools to developing and utilizing skills to be a more effective Teaching Assistant. It is required for all Teaching Assistants to participate. Research Assistants and Fellows are strongly encouraged to attend so that you will be eligible to hold Teaching Assistantships in the future.

Led by:
Zosia Krusberg, Senior Lecturer & Director of Graduate Studies
Stuart Gazes, Senior Lecturer & Undergraduate Program Chair

11:00-11:30am
Graduate Recruitment Initiative Team (GRIT)

The Graduate Recruitment Initiative Team (GRIT) is a team of graduate students committed to building a diverse and strong community of scientists at UChicago. We focus on recruiting and retaining students from marginalized, underrepresented, and non-traditional backgrounds and work to promote equity, inclusion, and justice for these researchers by holding events and advocating for student interests. We operate with an explicitly and enthusiastically intersectional approach. Join us for a session to take a look at some aspects of navigating grad school.

Led by:
Margaret Panetta, third year PhD student. Meg is working on making microwave matter with Dave Schuster and Jon Simon. She is this year’s co-director of GRIT for recruitment in the Physical Sciences division.
Lavanya Taneja, third year PhD student. Lavanya is exploring fun capabilities of optical resonators with Jon Simon. She is GRIT's cluster representative for the Physics Department for this year.

11:30am-3:30pm
Advising Meetings

Zosia Krusberg and Stuart Gazes will meet with students one on one to providing answers to questions students have about faculty advisors and guidance to developing a productive relationship with their advisors. Students will be contacted directly to schedule this meeting.

3:30-4:00pm
UChicago Library

Recorded session

The Library offers access to physics journal subscriptions, books and other resources online and in print.  We also offer services such as paging and scanning of materials and assistance with research questions. More information about what is available and how to access our collections and services (both on and off campus) is in our physics guide.

Led by:
Jennifer Hart, Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science and Physics Librarian. Jenny orders all library materials for physics including, books and journal subscriptions, and helps students and faculty find any information they need for their work. Please feel free to contact her with any questions or requests.


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

9:00-11:00am
PHYS 300 - Workshop on the Teaching and Learning of Physics 

This session is mandatory.

It will provide students with tools to developing and utilizing skills to be a more effective Teaching Assistant. It is required for all Teaching Assistants to participate. Research Assistants and Fellows are strongly encouraged to attend so that you will be eligible to hold Teaching Assistantships in the future.

Led by:
Zosia Krusberg, Senior Lecturer & Director of Graduate Studies
Stuart Gazes, Senior Lecturer & Undergraduate Program Chair

11:30am-3:30pm
Advising Meetings 

Zosia Krusberg and Stuart Gazes will meet with students one on one to providing answers to questions students have about faculty advisors and guidance to developing a productive relationship with their advisors. Students will be contacted directly to schedule this meeting.


Thursday, September 17, 2020

9:00-10:00am
LGBTQIA+ Physicists Group

The LGBTQIA+ Physicists Group, formed in 2020, meets occasionally for social events and is in the process of planning what other types of events and advocacy we want to do. The purpose of this group is to provide a space to socialize within the department and to advocate for the needs of LGBTQIA+ members of the physics community. This session will provide incoming students with a chance to meet some current LGBTQIA+ graduate students to learn about opportunities that exist within the department and university.
Mailing list: lgbtqia_phys@lists.uchicago.edu 
You can join the mailing list here.

Led by:
Michael Hank, fourth year PhD student. Michael is studying experimental particle physics, working on the ATLAS experiment for Young-Kee Kim. His work focuses on using the Higgs boson as a tool to search for new physics.
Liza Mulder, fourth year PhD student. Liza is in biophysics, working with Aaron Esser-Kahn in the PME. She studies the innate immune system by using fluidic force microscopy to probe single-cell behavior. Liza is also a member of WaGMiP and other student organizations.
Louis Varriano, fourth year PhD student. Louis is studying low-energy nuclear physics and studies the beta-decay of trapped nuclei to search for tensor currents in the weak interaction. He works with Guy Savard at Argonne National Laboratory.

10:00-11:30am
Lab Safety Orientation

This session will be recorded.

Overview of the safety departments as well as complete summary initial training that will be required to work in the labs. 

Please find more information on Lab Safety here.

Led by:
Kimberly Mormann, Lab Safety Specialist. Working closely with the Dean of PSD, the Director of PME, and the Office of Research Safety, Kim manages and provides technical guidance, training, and risk analysis of the PSD and PME laboratory safety program to ensure a safe environment for research and the pursuit of academic excellence. Kimberly can be reached by email or by phone (at (773) 834-2127).

11:30am-12:00pm
Meet Daine Danielson

This session will be a meet and greet with Daine Danielson, a second year PhD student, who will talk about his experiences collaborating with Argonne and Fermilab physicists.

Led by:
Daine Danielson, second year PhD student. Daine is researching quantum fields at UChicago, Fermilab, and Los Alamos National Laboratory. He spends most of his time doing physics, but when he’s not, you can find him at the piano or swimming in Lake Michigan.

1:00-1:30pm
Women and Gender Minorities in Physics (WAGMIP)

Please join us for the Women and Gender Minorities in Physics (WAGMIP) welcome session for female-identifying and other gender minority students. This is a great time to meet current grad students and chat about our plans for the upcoming year!

Led by:
Chloe Lindeman, fourth year PhD student. Chloe studies experimental soft matter.
Aziza Suleymanzade, PhD Student. Aziza is in the Simon and Schuster labs, working on building a hybrid quantum machine for entangling photons using ultra cold atoms. She usually spends her free time training at her ballroom dance studio and teaching dance for the UChicago Ballroom team. Nowadays, she has been really enjoying running, biking and a lot of cooking.

2:00-3:00pm
UChicago Physics Working Group on Anti-Racism

This session will provide an overview of the student-led UChicago Physics Working Group on Anti-Racism, our mission and goals, organizational structure, what we’re currently working on, and ways to get involved!

Led by:
Liza Mulder, fourth year PhD student. Liza studies biophysics, working with Aaron Esser-Kahn in the PME. She studies the innate immune system by using fluidic force microscopy to probe single-cell behavior. Liza is also a member of WAGMIP and other student organizations.
Tracy Chmiel, fourth year PhD student. Tracy is working with Professor Margaret Gardel in the field of experimental biophysics. She primarily studies cellular volume and height regulation in epithelial tissue. She is a fellow with the Chicago Center for Teaching and a member of WAGMIP.
Carly Kleinstern, second year PhD student. Carly likes particle physics and is studying dark matter in the Privitera group. When not working she likes to read, be outdoors and cook.

3:30-5:00pm
Campus Tour with Louis Varriano

This student-led campus tour is optional but if you are interested, please meet Louis at the Nuclear Energy Sculpture, which is north of The Joe and Rika Mansueto Library. See the map here.

Please remember to wear your masks during the tour.


Friday, September 18, 2020

9:00-11:00am
PHYS 300 - Workshop on the Teaching and Learning of Physics

This session is mandatory.

It will provide students with tools to developing and utilizing skills to be a more effective Teaching Assistant. It is required for all Teaching Assistants to participate. Research Assistants and Fellows are strongly encouraged to attend so that you will be eligible to hold Teaching Assistantships in the future.

Led by:
Zosia Krusberg, Senior Lecturer & Director of Graduate Studies
Stuart Gazes, Senior Lecturer & Undergraduate Program Chair

11:30am-3:30pm
Advising Meetings

Zosia Krusberg and Stuart Gazes will meet with students one on one to providing answers to questions students have about faculty advisors and guidance to developing a productive relationship with their advisors. Students will be contacted directly to schedule this meeting.


Monday, September 21, 2020

9:00-11:00am
PHYS 300 - Workshop on the Teaching and Learning of Physics

This session is mandatory.

It will provide students with tools to developing and utilizing skills to be a more effective Teaching Assistant. It is required for all Teaching Assistants to participate. Research Assistants and Fellows are strongly encouraged to attend so that you will be eligible to hold Teaching Assistantships in the future.

Led by:
Zosia Krusberg, Senior Lecturer & Director of Graduate Studies
Stuart Gazes, Senior Lecturer & Undergraduate Program Chair

12:00-5:00pm
Faculty Presentations

12:00-12:55pm Margaret Gardel, Bio-Physics (Department of Physics) Recorded session

1:00-1:55pm Cheng Chin, AMO Experiment (Department of Physics) Recorded session

3:00-3:55pm Allison Squires (Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering) Recorded session

4:00-4:55pm Aaron Esser-Kahn (Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering) Recorded session


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

9:00am-5:00pm
Faculty Presentations

9:00-9:55am Luka Pocivavsek (Biological Sciences) Recorded session

10:00-10:55am Anindita (Oni) Basu (Biological Sciences) Recoded session

11:00-11:55am Arvind Murugan, Soft-Matter and Biophysics (Department of Physics) Recorded session

12:00-12:55pm Philippe Guyot-Sionnest, Condensed-Matter Experiment (Department of Physics) Recorded session

1:00-1:55pm Peter Maurer (Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering) Recorded session

3:00-3:55pm David Schmitz, Particle Physics Experiment (Department of Physics) Recorded session

4:00-4:55 Shuolong Yang (Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering) Recorded session


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

9:00-11:00am
PHYS 300 - Workshop on the Teaching and Learning of Physics 

This session is mandatory.

It will provide students with tools to developing and utilizing skills to be a more effective Teaching Assistant. It is required for all Teaching Assistants to participate. Research Assistants and Fellows are strongly encouraged to attend so that you will be eligible to hold Teaching Assistantships in the future.

Led by:
Zosia Krusberg, Senior Lecturer & Director of Graduate Studies
Stuart Gazes, Senior Lecturer & Undergraduate Program Chair

12:00-5:00pm
Faculty Presentations

12:00-12:55pm Laura Gagliardi (Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering and Department of Chemistry) Recorded session

1:00-1:55pm David DeMille, AMO/Particle Physics Experiment (Department of Physics) Recorded session

3:00-3:55pm David Schuster, Condensed-Matter Experiment (Department of Physics) Recorded session

4:00-4:55pm Andrew Cleland (Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering) Recorded session


Thursday, September 24, 2020

9:00am-5:00pm
Faculty Presentations

9:00-9:55am Sergei Nagaitsev, Accelerator Physics (Department of Physics) Recorded session

10:00-10:55am Kenneth Bader (Biological Sciences) Recorded session

11:00-11:55am Seppe Keuhn (Department of Ecology and Evolution) Recorded session

12:00-12:55pm Carlos Wagner, Particle Phenomenology (Department of Physics) Recorded session

1:00-1:55pm Clay Cordova, String Theory (Department of Physics) Recorded session

2:00-2:55pm Jeff McMahon, Cosmology Experiment (Department of Physics) Recorded session


Friday, September 25, 2020

9:00-11:00am
PHYS 300 - Workshop on the Teaching and Learning of Physics

This session is mandatory.

It will provide students with tools to developing and utilizing skills to be a more effective Teaching Assistant. It is required for all Teaching Assistants to participate. Research Assistants and Fellows are strongly encouraged to attend so that you will be eligible to hold Teaching Assistantships in the future.

Led by:
Zosia Krusberg, Senior Lecturer & Director of Graduate Studies
Stuart Gazes, Senior Lecturer & Undergraduate Program Chair

12:00-5:00pm
Faculty Presentations

12:00-12:55pm Hannes Bernien (Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering) Recorded session

1:00-1:55pm Vincenzo Vitelli, Soft-Matter Theory (Department of Physics) Recorded session

3:00-3:55pm David Awschalom, Condensed-Matter Experiment (Department of Physics)

4:00-4:55pm Liz Moyer (Department of Geophysical Sciences) Recorded session