Graduate Student Awards

Myron P. Garfunkel Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching

This award is given in recognition of outstanding work in conducting recitation sections in the introductory courses.

Year Awardee
2019 Daniel Doucette
2019 Malcolm Jardine
2019 David Setton
2018 Melanie Good
2018 Kyle Whitcomb
2017 Jonathan Beaumariage
2017 Paul Justice
2016 Christian Farina
2015 Fernando Salviatto Zago
2014 Simone Aiola
2013 Emily Marshman
2012 Bryan Nelson
2011 Rory Cerbus
2010 Michael Beran and Jeff Wuenschell
2009 Anja Weyant
2008 & 2007 Brandon Eberly and Michael Opferman
2006 Zeynep Isvan and Cameron McBride
2005 Stephen Pellathy and Jonathan D. Gaffney
2004 Kiplin Perkins
2003 Sandeep Tyagi
2002 William O. Love and Rukmini Kumar
2001 Jon (Rob) Cressman and Yohannes Shiferaw
2000 Thomas Kling and Peush Upadhya
1999 Daniel Nestor
1998 Eric Hildebrand and Anandhan Jayaraman
1997 Matthew Posh
1996 Scott Peltier
1995 Simonetta Frittelli
1994 Cetin Savkli
1993 David Madio
1992 Thomas Vrana
1991 Savitri Venkateswaran
1990 Chris Burak
1988 Michael Kopko
1987 Gang Zhu
1986 John Ivancovich
1985 Mark Clemen
1984 Pat Millard

Thomas-Lain Fund Essay Contest

This award is issued to undergraduate or graduate students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The awardees are chosen by a committe evaluating essays the applicants supply. These essays are written based on a topic chosen for the contest each year.

Year Title
2019 "One half of the 2018 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded for developing a method for generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses. Describe the physics, significance, and applications of this technology."
2018  “Majorana particles have recently been observed in condensed matter systems.  Explain the significance of the observation and discuss any possible relationships to elementary particles.”
2017 "Describe the physics of coalescing black holes as related to the LIGO discovery of gravitational waves."
2016 "In their 1935 paper Einstein, Podolski, and Rosen (Phys. Rev. 47, 777 (1935)) argued that quantum mechanics gices an incomplete description of physical reality. Do their arguments still look convincing in view of later theoretical and experimental developments?
2015 "Describe the basic physics and applications for highly efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as a light source."
2014 "How do ultra-precise atomic clocks work and what are their current and future applications?"
2013 "Explain the difference between the phase velocity, the group velocity, and the signal velocity of an electromagneic wave." 
2012 "Summarize the physical processes that are described well by quantum mechanics and discuss the conceptual weaknesses that this theory still has." 
2011 "What area of science do you plan to explore upon post-graduation, with your degree in Physics and/or Astronomy, and why is it important?" 
2010 "What area of science do you plan to explore upon post-graduation, with your degree in Physics and/or Astronomy, and why is it important?" 
2008 "Write a paper on what you consider to be the three or four most important unsolved problems in Physics/Astrophysics and why."
2007 "Briefly discuss an area of research actively being pursued by faculty in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh." 
Year Awardee
2019 Runyu Bi
2019 Namitha James
2019 Pinlei Lu
2019 Shouvik Mukherjee
2019 Xinyi Wu
2019 Qi Yao
2018 Lin Dai
2018 Danny Doucette  
2018 Brian Pardo
2018 Binbin Tian 
2017 Amro E.B. AbdelRahim
2017 Yilun Guan
2017 Hector Martinez Rodriguez
2017 Erin Sutton
2017 Zixin Yang
2016 Sumit Sarbadhicary
2016 Zhuoni Qian
2016 Sebastian Merkt
2016 Christian Farina
2016 Olivia Lanes
2016 Rudrajit Banerjee
2015 Walter Klahold
2015 David Myers
2014 Wei Hu
2014 Zhen Liu
2013 Louis Lello
2013 Wai Kin Lai
2013 Zhaoen Su
2012 Rory Cerbus
2012 Jen-Feng Hsu
2012 Elliot Jenner
2012 Timothy Licquia
2011 Shonali Dhingra
2011 Anja Weyant
2010 Kevin Sapp
2010 Mark Steger
2008 Jun Wu
2007 Shanti Wendler 
2007 Suchetana Chatterjee

Pittsburgh Quantum Institute (PQI) Award

This award is given in recognition of outstanding poster presentation at PQI Week. 

Year Awardee
2018 Lucy Chen
2018 Tzu-Chiao Chien 
2018 Megan Briggeman 
2017  Megan Briggeman 

Pittsburgh Quantum Institute (PQI) Graduate Award

This award is given in recognition of outstanding research trajectory in the area of quantum science and engineering. 

Year Awardee
2018 Chenxu Liu
2018 Shouvik Mukherjee
2018 Azarin Zarassi
2017 Lucy Chen
2017 Yanan Dai
2017 Jianan (Arthur) Li
2017 Li Zhi