Physics & Astronomy undergraduates win NSF graduate fellowship

Three undergraduate students in the department of Physics & Astronomy have won the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP) Award. 

GRFP provides awardees with three years of financial support, consisting of a $34,000 annual stipend and a $12,000 education allowance. Fellows are also connected to opportunities for international research collaboration through the Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) initiative, and to professional career development through the federal Graduate Research Internship Program (GRIP).

Liya Oster (left) will be pursuing a PhD in Biophysics at the University of California, Berkeley. She is interested in the use and development of single-molecule and fluorescence microscopy methods to study the structure and dynamics of biomolecules.

Paul Joseph Robinson (right) will be attending Columbia University and pursuing a PhD in Chemical Physics., working on the theoretical design and understanding of novel photovoltaic materials. Specifically he will be working on understanding how to best model exciton dynamics in electronically correlated and disordered systems. Both correlation and disorder are important to understanding how solar cells generate electricity, and yet they are difficult to model with traditional methods. Paul hopes that by combining advances from both of those areas, he will be able to computationally design efficient, yet unconventional, solar cells. 

Rupini Kamat (left) will be pursuing her Physics Ph.D. at Stanford starting in the fall. She is primarily interested in studying the dynamics and emergent behavior of many-body quantum systems, and will be pursuing research in the field of condensed matter physics.