Annual Report 2018-2019

... The Chair's Message from "Reflections," the 2018-2019 Physics & Astronomy Annual Report:

We are happy to share with you our reflections on the last academic year from the UCLA Department of Physics & Astronomy. The department has had a lively year with major-award-winning research, innovations in how we educate students, and wonderful outreach to the public. We produce this magazine for alumni: both current and future. And I use the word “alumni” inclusively: our staff, researchers, postdoctoral scholars, benefactors, students, faculty, and others who help the department are all the alumni of our community.

As you will read, we have exciting new research vistas opening up with several new faculty joining us. And that is not even the whole story, as three new faculty are set to arrive next summer — but you will have to wait until next year’s issue to hear about them.

UCLA Physics and Astronomy is incredibly fortunate to have so many dedicated benefactors. I thank all of our supporters who have given and enabled our mission to expand with extra graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, endowed faculty chairs, and improved infrastructure. I wish to highlight the Chair’s Discretionary Fund, for which you will find the usual discreet envelope herein. Just about everything extra we can do for our students comes from your support of this fund, from assistance for undergraduate clubs to well-timed help for graduate students. The fund also allows us to bring in special speakers and host one-time events that are essential but do not fit within any other budget source. We could not run the department without it.

I’d also like to highlight several special opportunities for support of UCLA Physics and Astronomy that present themselves this year. Our departmental priorities include creating more distinguished (“named”) postdoctoral fellow appointments, providing a permanent fund for maintenance of the planetarium theater, developing a permanent endowment of summer research funds for our undergraduates, and purchasing a state-of-the-art computer-controlled mill for the Machine Shop / Instrument Fabrication Facility. Please contact me or the department if you would be interested in helping with these initiatives.

This magazine cannot cover everything. I invite you to visit our brand-new webpages at to learn more about what our 150+ graduate students, 100+ undergraduates per year, 40+ researchers, 50+ postdoctoral scholars and staff have been doing to continue making this department excellent and unique.

David Saltzberg
Chair, Department of Physics & Astronomy

Read the entire issue of "Reflections"