UChicago Campaign https://mag.uchicago.edu/ en All together now https://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/all-together-now <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/20_Fall_Demanski_AllTogetherNow.jpg" width="2000" height="1000" alt="Aerial view of UChicago&#039;s Hyde Park campus" title="Aerial view of UChicago&#039;s Hyde Park campus" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span>admin</span></span> <span>Tue, 11/03/2020 - 20:20</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>(Photography by Soaring Badger Productions)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div> <a href="/author/laura-demanski-am94"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Laura Demanski, AM’94</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/university-chicago-magazine" hreflang="en">The University of Chicago Magazine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Fall/20</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>A historic campaign brought thousands together to invest in UChicago values.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>On the last day of 2019, the <a href="https://campaign.uchicago.edu/">University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact </a>reached a successful close. With contributions from more than 160,000 individuals—nearly half of them alumni—the campaign raised $5.43 billion, surpassing its original $4.5 billion goal and an expanded target of $5 billion. The campaign topped another key goal by engaging more than 125,000 alumni through giving, volunteering, or attending University programs and events.</p> <p>These outcomes speak loudly about the shared commitment of readers like you to this place. President <strong>Robert J. Zimmer</strong> called the five-year effort “the most ambitious and comprehensive campaign in University history—with the goal of engaging our full community in support of the University’s aspirations, built upon the foundation of our distinctive and enduring values” when he <a href="https://campaign.uchicago.edu/a-message-from-president-robert-j-zimmer/">announced</a> the final results on February 25.</p> <p>Less than a month later, the coronavirus pandemic was spreading around the globe. Campus closed and many plans, including those to celebrate and mark the campaign’s success, had to change. Among them was a feature in this magazine, which we set aside in order <a href="https://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/together-spirit">to report </a>on the dramatic effects COVID-19 was having on the UChicago campus and community.</p> <p>Those effects continue, but the life of the University goes on, adapting to extraordinary times that put our shared values into action. Revolutionary discoveries and new ways of thinking, like those that fill this institution’s history, are needed now more than ever. The same is true of minds shaped by UChicago’s distinctive education, and the kind of impact that only rigorous critical thinking built on evidence can produce. These are the ideals that the campaign—and your commitment as alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends—supported and is helping to realize already.</p> <p>In short: thank you.</p> <hr /><h2>How is the UChicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact making a difference? Let us count just a few of the ways.</h2> <p><img alt="Illustration of UChicago's Hyde Park campus" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="7638aed4-1d60-4940-bda3-3ac120d4fc4d" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/20_Fall_Demanski_AllTogetherNow_SpotA_0.jpg" /></p> <h1>By the numbers</h1> <h2>$5.43 billion raised</h2> <p>Total raised during the University of Chicago Campaign, surpassing both the original target of $4.5 billion and the expanded $5 billion goal. Includes 534,080 gifts, with 232,928 of those under $100.</p> <p><strong>$793.2M</strong> in scholarships and financial aid, 2X the amount given during the last campaign</p> <p><strong>134,284</strong> alumni engaged with the University, surpassing the original goal of 125,000</p> <p><strong>164,762</strong> individual donors from 121 countries and all 50 states (90,703 were first-time donors)</p> <p><strong>19,312</strong> faculty, staff, and student donors contributed $213.8M to the campaign</p> <p><strong>111,262</strong> alumni attended one of 10,228 events held in 76 countries during the campaign</p> <h1>Success stories</h1> <h2>A transformative education</h2> <p>Odyssey Scholarship Program, the University removes financial barriers so that talented and ambitious students can access UChicago’s transformative undergraduate education with no debt expectations for them or their families.</p> <p>Expanded financial support for graduate students helps attract the highest caliber and diversity of students and enables them to focus on completing their degrees and preparing for careers in the academy or outside of it.</p> <h2>Shaping and defining fields</h2> <p>UChicago researchers at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering—the country’s first school of its kind—are designing and building technology, from the molecular scale up, to confront critical issues facing society, such as climate change and human disease.</p> <p>UChicago Arts creates space and opportunities for scholars and artists to catalyze creativity and foster connection, collaboration, and cultural exchange on the South Side and throughout Chicago.</p> <p>At interdisciplinary centers, humanists, scientists, and social scientists work together to develop new insights into complex questions, like the roots of religious conflict and the evolution of censorship.</p> <p>Physician-scientists at UChicago Medicine and partners at the affiliated Marine Biological Laboratory work to fine-tune the interactions of genetic factors, the immune system, and the microbiome to promote wellness and fight cancer, Alzheimer’s, and autoimmune diseases like celiac and Crohn’s.</p> <h2>Local and global impact</h2> <p>The University has strengthened its commitment to the city of Chicago and its residents with civic engagement efforts and investments in urban policy studies, driving new opportunities for urban research and impact.</p> <p>Researchers are taking an interdisciplinary and evidence-based approach to understanding cities to realize the full potential of urbanization in Chicago and around the globe—enhancing environmental sustainability and education, creating effective urban policy, and more.</p> <p>Investments in entrepreneurship and venture creation, informed by business expertise from Chicago Booth, bring innovative ideas to life in order to better human lives.</p> <p>Global centers and campuses in Beijing, Delhi, Paris, Hong Kong, and London connect scholars and experts around the world in pursuit of deeper and broader knowledge.</p> <p><em>To see more of what you made possible, visit <a href="https://campaign.uchicago.edu/">campaign.uchicago.edu</a></em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/university-news" hreflang="en">University News</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/campaign" hreflang="en">Campaign</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/uchicago-campaign" hreflang="en">UChicago Campaign</a></div> </div> Wed, 04 Nov 2020 02:20:32 +0000 admin 7346 at https://mag.uchicago.edu Reflections from the campaign’s cochairs https://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/reflections-campaigns-cochairs <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/20_Fall_NicklinKeller_OntheAgenda.jpg" width="2000" height="1000" alt="Emily Nicklin and Dennis Keller" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span>admin</span></span> <span>Tue, 11/03/2020 - 20:20</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>University trustee Emily Nicklin, AB’75, JD’77, and trustee emeritus Dennis J. Keller, MBA’68, served as cochairs of the University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact. (University of Chicago Board of Trustees)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div> <a href="/author/emily-nicklin-ab75-jd77"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Emily Nicklin, AB’75, JD’77</div> </a> </div> </div> <div class="field--item"> <div> <a href="/author/dennis-j-keller-mba68"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Dennis J. Keller, MBA’68</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/university-chicago-magazine" hreflang="en">The University of Chicago Magazine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Fall/20</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>How did the University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact meet its ambitious goals? It took a community.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>In 1889 Thomas W. Goodspeed and Frederick T. Gates began canvasing the city of Chicago in search of financial support for a new institution of higher learning on the South Side, a great research university among the first of its kind—not just in the Midwest but in the country. The two men went door to door, explaining that gifts would help fulfill a matching challenge issued by lead donor John D. Rockefeller. Working tirelessly, Goodspeed and Gates contacted more than a thousand people, filled the forms they carried with commitments, and met their goal and deadline.</p> <p>That was the first fundraising campaign in the University of Chicago’s history. At the end of 2019, the University concluded its fifth and most ambitious, the <a href="https://campaign.uchicago.edu/">University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact</a>, which raised more than $5 billion and engaged more than 125,000 alumni. While no one had to go door to door, the campaign involved five years of concerted outreach to a broad set of constituencies. Thankfully, the University has more advocates than it did in 1889, and they were as dedicated as Goodspeed and Gates.</p> <p>Since the campaign’s conclusion, the University of Chicago, like communities around the world, has sought and found new ways of conducting its core mission. Much hard work and many resources are being called on to ensure education and research move forward in safety without compromising the intellectual ideals that the University’s founders invested in.</p> <p>As the world confronts COVID-19, it’s plain that investment in those ideals is more important than ever—and so, it follows, is thanking every one of you who gave to the campaign. Your contribution may now seem to have receded into prehistory. But trust us that the impact of that past support is very immediate, and, in fact, more critical than any of us knew.</p> <p>As cochairs of this most recent campaign, we know that motivations for giving were broad and varied, but recurring themes emerged. Alumni credited the University with teaching them how to think and altering the trajectory of their lives, and wanted others to have an equally transformative experience, regardless of their financial means. Grateful patients felt they’d received world-class care and wanted UChicago Medicine to be able to continue discovering and providing the latest treatments. Friends of the University were drawn to the intellectual rigor of its faculty and wanted to help them ask tough questions, challenge conventional wisdom, and pursue innovative approaches to pressing societal challenges.</p> <p>The dollars given are just one indicator of the campaign’s success. More meaningful results can be found in the increased diversity of the student body, the greater eminence of the faculty, and the new spaces—physical and intellectual—for learning, convening, and collaborating in Hyde Park, Hong Kong, and elsewhere around the globe. Ultimately, it will be up to future generations to assess the full legacy of the campaign, as the momentum it created will continue in the years ahead. For now it’s clear that the University community remains as enthusiastic as ever about setting and meeting lofty goals in service of the institution.</p> <p>We are proud to have been a part of this effort; grateful to President <strong>Robert J. Zimmer</strong> and board chairs <strong>Joseph Neubauer</strong>, MBA’65, and <strong>Andrew M. Alper</strong>, AB’80, MBA’81, LLD’16, for their leadership; and excited about the new leaders, ideas, and innovations that will emerge from the University because of the investments made during the campaign. Especially now, they are needed.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/university-news" hreflang="en">University News</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/campaign" hreflang="en">Campaign</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/uchicago-campaign" hreflang="en">UChicago Campaign</a></div> </div> Wed, 04 Nov 2020 02:20:32 +0000 admin 7335 at https://mag.uchicago.edu Investing in Inquiry and Impact https://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/investing-inquiry-and-impact <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/10Winter-Zimmer_On%20the%20Agenda.png" width="2000" height="929" alt="Robert J. Zimmer" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span>rsmith</span></span> <span>Wed, 02/26/2020 - 15:03</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>President Robert J. Zimmer. (Photography by Jason Smith)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div> <a href="/author/robert-j-zimmer"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Robert J. Zimmer</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/university-chicago-magazine" hreflang="en">The University of Chicago Magazine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Winter/20</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The most ambitious and comprehensive campaign in the University’s history exceeded its goals and laid a strong foundation for the future.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>We launched the <a href="https://campaign.uchicago.edu/">University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact</a>—the most ambitious and comprehensive campaign in University history—with the goal of engaging our full community in support of the University’s aspirations, built upon the foundation of our distinctive and enduring values.</p> <p>Thanks to the dedication of that community, I am pleased to announce that the campaign exceeded our ambitious goals and helped lay a strong foundation for the University’s future. Through the end of 2019, the campaign raised $5.43 billion, surpassing both our original target of $4.5 billion and our expanded $5 billion goal.</p> <p>The University also announced a public goal to engage 125,000 of our alumni by 2019. During the campaign over 134,000—more than 70 percent—of our 182,000 alumni engaged with the University.</p> <p>Today and throughout its history, the University of Chicago has benefited from committed volunteers and generous philanthropic supporters. Their investments in research, education, and impact reflect a shared commitment to the University and its enduring values of intellectual challenge, diversity of background and perspectives, and freedom of expression.</p> <p>I want to express my deep appreciation to our faculty, students, alumni, parents, friends, staff, and trustees. Your investment supports scholars who challenge assumptions, continually push boundaries, define new fields of study, and have profound impact—whether in understanding the natural world through science, engineering, and medicine; our social structures through the social science disciplines, law, business, policy, education, and study of and impact on urban environments; or through analyzing cultures and the creation of meaning through the humanities, arts, and the academic study of religion. Importantly, faculty are also pursuing understanding across these traditional boundaries. At the same time, working together with students, they provide a transformative education, one that develops in students the intellectual skills and habits of mind to enable them to confront complex problems across the range of human endeavor.</p> <p>Critical to this campaign has been a focus on expanded financial support for students. The basis for this focus was a deep commitment to making the University’s education available to those who could most benefit from and contribute to our singularly rigorous intellectual environment independent of their family’s financial situation. Central to this effort was the University’s flagship Odyssey Program, which started with an anonymous gift and which we were able to systematically increase in scope thanks to sustained philanthropy for its goals. Because of this cascade of gifts, we are now able to meet domestic College students’ full financial need with no debt expectations for them or their families. We have also received many gifts that have dramatically increased our capacity to offer financial aid to international College students. Professional student scholarships and significantly expanded funding for doctoral students have supported the University’s effort to bring the highest caliber of students to campus independent of background and need, and to support their work. About $800 million was raised to support these enhancements to financial support for our students. The campaign has also enabled us to dramatically expand careers programs that allow the University to provide a broad array of experiences and opportunities that help students connect their distinctive University of Chicago education to their future life.</p> <p>Likewise, support for facilities and activities of global engagement, particularly through our centers and campuses in Beijing, Hong Kong, Delhi, Paris, and London and in programs across the world; for our commitment to the city of Chicago and the South Side; and for the enhancement of the University as an intellectual destination has been critical as a foundation for the University’s expanding reach in education, research, and impact.</p> <p>There is of course much more to do in the future. But the results of this campaign make evident the enthusiastic support of the University of Chicago community. I am deeply grateful for your generosity and commitment. Your collective investment in the University lays the foundation for supporting our highest aspirations now and in the coming decades—in transformative discoveries and approaches, a deeply empowering education, and impact on enriching human life—in Chicago, across the nation, and around the world. Thank you.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/university-news" hreflang="en">University News</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/uchicago-campaign" hreflang="en">UChicago Campaign</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refformats field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/formats/agenda" hreflang="en">On the Agenda</a></div> Wed, 26 Feb 2020 21:03:24 +0000 rsmith 7247 at https://mag.uchicago.edu Start with what you got https://mag.uchicago.edu/arts-humanities/start-what-you-got <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/1602_Goncalves_Start-what-you-got_0.jpg" width="1600" height="743" alt="" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span>rsmith</span></span> <span>Mon, 02/08/2016 - 16:39</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The Arts Incubator offers studio space for local artists and public programs for the broader South Side community. (Photo courtesy Arts + Public Life)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div> <a href="/author/ingrid-goncalves-ab08"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Ingrid Gonçalves, AB’08</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/university-chicago-magazine" hreflang="en">The University of Chicago Magazine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Winter/16</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>At the Arts Incubator, creative minds build on the cultural wealth of Chicago’s South Side</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Garland “Hustleman” Gantt sells snow cones, linens, and other wares out of his white, windowless van. He’s been a fixture of Chicago’s South Side for over 10 years, following opportunity in his mobile mini-mart. Most of the time these days, he’s parked next to the Garfield Green Line stop in Washington Park.</p> <p>“I started with like, 40 bags of fruit ... selling them in the area,” Gantt told the Chicago Transit Authority in a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YO9tzU6qSHw" target="_blank">2013 interview</a>. He then “expanded to socks, face towels, dish towels, oils, pickles, T-shirts, DVD players, to watches, to sheet sets, to comforters. Stuff like that.”</p> <p>Gantt’s enterprising background made him an ideal partner in a project by <a href="http://www.carlosrolondzine.com/" target="_blank">Carlos Rolón/Dzine</a>, a Pilsen-based artist known for his intricate, ornate paintings and sculptures. Working with Gantt last fall, Rolón refurbished a dilapidated wooden vendor cart that had weathered two Chicago winters and turned it into a boutique bazaar on wheels.</p> <p>With twin red awnings accented with miniature light bulbs and delicate fringe, the cart formed a welcoming space around a central column of drawers and shelves. Built-in speakers played Gantt’s usual selections: music from local radio stations, including R&amp;B, soul, top 40, and Motown. A colorful rug, hanging spider plant, and decorative dollar sign added the finishing touches.</p> <p>The cart, or <em>Nomadic Habitat (Hustleman)</em>, was one of three installations featured in <a href="https://arts.uchicago.edu/arts-public-life/programs/exhibitions/archive/forms-imagination" target="_blank"><em>Forms of Imagination</em></a>, an exhibition that appeared last fall at the <a href="http://arts.uchicago.edu/artsandpubliclife/ai" target="_blank">Arts Incubator</a>, part of the University of Chicago’s <a href="http://arts.uchicago.edu/artsandpubliclife" target="_blank">Arts + Public Life initiative</a>. Cocurated by research analyst <a href="https://arts.uchicago.edu/arts-public-life/place-lab/place-lab-team" target="_blank">Paola Aguirre</a>, an urban designer and architect, and arts program manager <a href="http://www.tempestthazel.com/" target="_blank">Tempestt Hazel</a>, a curator and writer, the show explored how the transformation of spaces, from a vendor cart to a city block, can also transform the communities around them.</p> <p>Gantt relinquished his van in favor of the motorless cart one evening last October, serving dozens of patrons outside the incubator at East Garfield Boulevard and South Prairie Avenue. Rolón explained on Instagram that the cart, which features storage for folding tables and chairs, provided “an oasis for visitors to have random interaction and discussion.” So they did—and in a way, that was the whole point. “Garland brought people out at 8 p.m. on a Wednesday, when usually no one is out around here,” says Aguirre.</p> <p>Arts + Public Life is headed by <a href="https://dova.uchicago.edu/faculty/gates-0" target="_blank">Theaster Gates</a>, the potter-turned-urban planner known for his work converting run-down structures into lively cultural attractions. Launched in 2011, Arts + Public Life advances the arts as a way to build connections between the University, local artists, and the city.</p> <p>“While Washington Park has an amazing legacy of cultural life, it is not immediately evident on the main street,” says Gates. “The Arts Incubator seeks to make some of the cultural life in the neighborhood more evident.”</p> <p><a href="http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks/washington-park/" target="_blank">Washington Park</a>, home to the 372-acre park that bears its name and the <a href="http://www.dusablemuseum.org/" target="_blank">DuSable Museum of African American History</a>, was a bustling community until the mid-20th century. Its population declined by 75 percent between 1950 and 2000, leaving its majestic tree-lined boulevards flanked by rows of shuttered gray stones.</p> <p>Like <em>Nomadic Habitat</em>, the Arts Incubator was a fixer-upper. Inspired by the artistic process of molding raw materials into beautiful objects, Gates saw potential in the two-story terra cotta building, nearly a century old. Thought to be a former Walgreen’s, it had sat abandoned for 20 years when the University purchased it in 2008.</p> <p>Gates reenvisioned the space as a cultural resource for South Side artists and the local community. After $1.85 million in renovations and a $400,000 grant from ArtPlace (a partnership of 27 foundations, government agencies, and corporations), the Arts Incubator opened in 2013 with 10,000 square feet of studio space for artists in residence, a woodshop for design apprenticeship programming, and room for exhibitions and events.</p> <p>Over the past three years, the Arts Incubator has drawn more than 25,000 people to 760-plus public events and programs, including live performances, yoga classes, and <a href="http://blackfilm.uchicago.edu/research_projects/south_side_project.shtml" target="_blank">South Side Home Movies</a>, a screening of old amateur films from the archives of UChicago film professor <a href="https://cms.uchicago.edu/faculty/stewart" target="_blank">Jacqueline Stewart</a>, AM’93, PhD’99, who led a discussion following the event. This month the Arts Incubator’s latest exhibition, <a href="http://arts.uchicago.edu/arts-public-life/programs/exhibitions/archive/shared-language-community-classroom" target="_blank"><em>Shared Language: A Community Classroom</em></a>, opened. It offers free classes on communication and teaching alongside an exhibition of the work of nine teaching artists (the show runs through March 11).</p> <p>One of few South Side buildings featured in the 2015 <a href="http://chicagoarchitecturebiennial.org/" target="_blank">Chicago Architecture Biennial</a>, the Arts Incubator was the first step in Arts + Public Life’s ongoing effort to reestablish Garfield Boulevard as a major cultural corridor in the city of Chicago. The <a href="http://www.currencyexchangecafe.com/" target="_blank">Currency Exchange Café</a> opened next door in 2014, creating a space for local residents to convene, eat, study, work—and peruse purchases from <a href="http://bingartbooks.com/" target="_blank">Bing Art Books</a> next door (named for the bingo sign in its window that’s missing a letter).</p> <p>The sign, like <em>Nomadic Habitat</em> and the Arts Incubator itself, are examples of how to “start with what you got,” as Gates puts it—a philosophy that underlies all of Arts + Public Life’s work to create beautiful, functional environments that draw out the rich culture on Chicago’s South Side.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/arts-humanities" hreflang="en">Arts &amp; Humanities</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/arts-incubator-0" hreflang="en">Arts Incubator</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/uchicago-arts" hreflang="en">UChicago Arts</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/uchicago-campaign" hreflang="en">UChicago Campaign</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/washington-park" hreflang="en">Washington Park</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-relatedstories field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>“<a href="../arts-humanities/values-new-media-art" target="_self">The Value(s) of New Media Art</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, web exclusives, 08.21.2015)</p> <p>“<a href="../university-news/sold" target="_self">Sold</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, web exclusives, 01.29.2015)</p> <p>“<a href="http://news.uchicago.edu/multimedia/garfield-boulevard-planning-process-concept-presentation" target="_blank">Garfield Boulevatrd Planning Process Concept Presentation</a>” (University of Chicago News Office, 07.26.2014)</p> <p>“<a href="http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2014/03/07/arts-incubator-qa-theaster-gates" target="_blank">Arts Incubator Q&amp;A with Theaster Gates</a>” (University of Chicago News Office, 03.07.14)</p> <p>“<a href="../arts-humanities/body-and-soul" target="_self">Body and Soul</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, web exclusives, 05.24.2012)</p> <p>“<a href="../arts-humanities/culture-wares" target="_self">Culture Wares</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, Sept–Oct/11)</p> </div> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 22:39:51 +0000 rsmith 5433 at https://mag.uchicago.edu Groundwork https://mag.uchicago.edu/science-medicine/groundwork <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/1511_Searcy_Groundbreaking.jpg" width="1600" height="743" alt="" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span>Anonymous</span></span> <span>Thu, 11/19/2015 - 20:02</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>This September the William Eckhardt Research Center opened, designed for precision science and collaboration between the physical sciences and molecular engineering. (Photography by Tom Tian, AB’10)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div> <a href="/author/maureen-searcy"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Maureen Searcy</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/inquiry" hreflang="en">Inquiry</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Fall/15</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>PSD facilities keep up with an ever-progressing scientific landscape.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>In 1961 faculty members conducting space exploration research, in both the <a href="http://physics.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">Department of Physics</a> and the <a href="https://efi.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">Enrico Fermi Institute</a>, were spread across and off campus; physicist <a href="http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/00/000901.simpson-obit.shtml" target="_blank">John A. Simpson</a> proposed a building to unite them. Completed in 1965, the <a href="http://photoarchive.lib.uchicago.edu/db.xqy?one=apf1-00408.xml" target="_blank">Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research</a> (LASR) boasted a foundation and roof designed with future expansion in mind. Simpson knew that research would advance, and such progress requires leading-edge facilities.</p> <p>Half a century later, Simpson’s preparation is paying off. Just as science is built on previously laid groundwork, the University plans to build upon the original design, adding two floors and making extensive internal renovations to LASR over the next two years.</p> <p> <h5>[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"3155","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"301","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"500"}}]] “Our computer science department, like most, lives in a building constructed in the ’90s,” says Kolb. “But their buildings are from the 1990s, not the 1890s.” Opened in 1894, Ryerson will be modernized, befitting the leading-edge work done by the department’s computer scientists. (Photo courtesy Department of Computer Science)</h5> </p> <p>The modernization of LASR comes amid tremendous growth the <a href="http://physical-sciences.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">Division of the Physical Sciences</a> has ushered in over the past decade, notes <a href="https://president.uchicago.edu/directory/edward-rocky-kolb" target="_blank">Dean Rocky Kolb</a>. In 2006 the <a href="http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/06/060426.cis-2.shtml" target="_blank">Ellen and Melvin Gordon Center for Integrative Science</a> brought together physical and biological sciences. The <a href="http://www.mcs.anl.gov/articles/renovated-searle-chemistry-laboratory-reopen-june-1" target="_blank">Searle Chemistry Laboratory</a> was renovated in 2009, and the <a href="http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2014/10/20/searle-chemistry-lab-cleanroom-catalyze-interdisciplinary-nanoscience-uchicago" target="_blank">Searle Cleanroom and Nanofabrication Facility</a>—the University’s first controlled-environment laboratory for nanoscience research—launched in 2013. This September the <a href="http://www.uchicago.edu/features/eckhardt_research_center_opens_new_phase_of_discovery/" target="_blank">William Eckhardt Research Center </a>opened, designed for precision science and collaboration between the physical sciences and molecular engineering. LASR is slated to begin construction in November 2015, ultimately serving as the new and improved home to the Fermi Institute and the <a href="https://kctp.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">Kadanoff Center for Theoretical Physics</a>.</p> <p>“The division’s goal is for every unit to have new or renovated facilities by 2022,” says Kolb. Now that the Eckhardt Center has opened, Jones Laboratory—previously home to PSD administration—will begin renovations and eventually house the <a href="https://galton.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">Department of Statistics</a> and the division’s new undergraduate program in <a href="http://chicagomaroon.com/2014/05/30/new-computational-and-applied-math-major/" target="_blank">Computation and Applied Mathematics</a>, jointly run by the Departments of Statistics, <a href="https://math.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">Mathematics</a>, and <a href="https://www.cs.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">Computer Science</a>.</p> <p>Space made available in Eckhart Hall and Ryerson Physical Laboratory by the move to Jones will become upgraded instructional and collaborative research spaces for mathematics and computer science, respectively, and the division hopes renovations to Hinds Laboratory—the home of the <a href="http://geosci.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">Department of Geophysical Sciences</a>—will also be completed by 2022.</p> <p>In addition to new construction and adaptive reuse, PSD continues to maintain and upgrade shared <a href="http://campaign.uchicago.edu/priorities/psd/core-facilities-fund/" target="_blank">core facilities</a>: nuclear magnetic resonance, crystallography, mass spectrometry, a machine shop, an electronics shop, an engineering center, and a graphic arts design and print studio. The PSD invests in the tools its scientists need—one of the most concrete ways the division invests in the scientists themselves.</p> <p><img src="http://mag.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/hr.png" /></p> <h2>Ecostructure</h2> <p>The University designs new facilities to offer campus researchers the best possible equipment and resources but recognizes its responsibility to the global community as well. Environmental sustainability is a primary concern, and in 2010 the University implemented a <a href="http://sustainability.uchicago.edu/resources/news/university_approves_sustainable_building_policy/" target="_blank">sustainable building policy</a>, based on the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (<a href="http://www.usgbc.org/leed" target="_blank">LEED</a>) certification system. Every new building must comply with these standards.</p> <p><img src="http://mag.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/hr.png" /></p> <h5>[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"3154","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"393","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"500"}}]]&nbsp;William Eckhardt Research Center. (Photography by Tom Rossiter)</h5> <h2>William Eckhardt Research Center</h2> <p><strong>Stats</strong></p> <ul> <li>Opened 2015</li> <li>265,000 square feet</li> <li>400+ faculty members, staff, and students</li> <li><a href="https://astro.uchicago.edu/index.php" target="_blank">Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics</a></li> <li><a href="https://kicp.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics</a></li> <li><a href="https://ime.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">Institute for Molecular Engineering</a></li> <li>PSD and IME deans’ suites</li> <li>Facilities: <a href="http://pnf.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility</a>, quantum computing labs, nanolithography imaging, astronomy detector labs, soft materials (polymer) labs, immunoengineering labs</li> <li>LEED Silver (pursuing)</li> </ul> <p><strong>Spotlight</strong></p> <p>The Eckhardt Center features natural illumination created by light designer <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/01/arts/design/01carpenter.html?_r=0" target="_blank">James Carpenter </a>and artwork made in collaboration with the <a href="http://www.msichicago.org/" target="_blank">Museum of Science and Industry</a>.</p> <p><img src="http://mag.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/hr.png" /></p> <p> <h5>[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"3156","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"382","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"500"}}]] Searle cleanroom. Shivakumar Bhaskaran, manager of the new clean room in the Searle Chemistry Laboratory building, holds up a three-inch silicon wafer emblazoned with the University of Chicago phoenix. The logo consists of a 50-nanometer-thick layer of gold with a five-nanometer-thick adhesion layer of titanium underneath. (Photo courtesy Shivakumar Bhaskaran)</h5> </p> <h2>Searle Cleanroom and Nanofabrication Facility</h2> <p><strong>Stats</strong></p> <ul> <li>Opened 2013</li> <li>2,680 square feet in the basement of Searle Chemistry Laboratory</li> <li>Class 100/1000 environment (reduces contaminants by 99.99 percent or 99.9 percent, respectively)</li> <li>Specialized equipment includes deposition, etching, and lithography tools</li> <li>Adjacent biological sample prep area and soft lithography laboratory</li> <li>First multiuser clean room on campus; open to entire UChicago research community</li> <li>Creates new opportunities for faculty appointments in nanoscience research&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><strong>Spotlight</strong></p> <p>Advanced by the semiconductor fabrication industry, the tools inside the clean room are also used to create intricate nanoscale devices.</p> <p><img src="http://mag.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/hr.png" /></p> <h5>[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"3157","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"309","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"500"}}]] Searle Chemistry Laboratory. (Photo courtesy University of Chicago Facilities Services)</h5> <h2>Searle Chemistry Laboratory</h2> <p><strong>Stats</strong></p> <ul> <li>Gut renovation 2009, originally constructed in 1968</li> <li>85,000 square feet; four floors plus basement</li> <li>UChicago's first LEED Gold research building, with green garden roof</li> <li><a href="https://chemistry.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">Department of Chemistry</a> synthetic and theoretical labs, administrative offices</li> <li><a href="https://www.ci.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">Computation Institute</a></li> <li>Shared chemical instrumentation facilities for nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction</li> </ul> <p><strong>Spotlight</strong></p> <p>Laboratory services are modular for potential reconfiguration in response to future scientific needs.</p> <p><img src="http://mag.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/hr.png" /></p> <h5>[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"3158","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"240","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"500"}}]]Gordon Center for Integrative Science. (Photography by Tom Rossiter; photography by Jason Smith)</h5> <h2>Gordon Center for Integrative Science</h2> <p><strong>Stats</strong></p> <ul> <li>Opened 2006</li> <li>400,000 square feet</li> <li>~800 senior scientists, researchers, and students</li> <li><a href="http://ibd.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">Institute for Biophysical Dynamics</a></li> <li><a href="http://bmb.uchospitals.edu/" target="_blank">Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.hhmi.org/" target="_blank">Howard Hughes Medical Institute</a></li> <li><a href="https://benmay.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">Ben May Department for Cancer Research</a></li> <li><a href="http://jfi.uchicago.edu/" target="_blank">James Franck Institute</a></li> <li>Part of Department of Chemistry</li> <li>Specialized equipment includes scanning electron microscope, electron paramagnetic resonance instrument, and time-resolved luminescence spectrometer and microscope</li> </ul> <p><strong>Spotlight</strong></p> <p>The Gordon Center features walls made from the same Indiana limestone used in the main quad and a colonnade of six-story steel columns acting as a modern interpretation of <a href="http://125.uchicago.edu/then-and-now/cobb-gate/" target="_blank">Cobb Gate</a>, a block and a half east on 57th Street.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/science-medicine" hreflang="en">Science &amp; Medicine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/architecture" hreflang="en">Architecture</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/construction" hreflang="en">Construction</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/buildings-and-grounds" hreflang="en">Buildings and Grounds</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/campaign" hreflang="en">Campaign</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/campus" hreflang="en">Campus</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/division-biological-sciences" hreflang="en">Division of Biological Sciences</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/institute-molecular-engineering-0" hreflang="en">Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/physical-sciences-division" hreflang="en">Physical Sciences Division</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/uchicago-campaign" hreflang="en">UChicago Campaign</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/university-history-0" hreflang="en">University history</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-relatedlinks field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>To support PSD initiatives like the Core Facilities Fund, contact Brian Yocum (773.702.3751, <a href="mailto:byocum@uchicago.edu" target="_blank">byocum@uchicago.edu</a>, or visit <a href="http://campaign.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">campaign.uchicago.edu</a>).     <img src="http://mag.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/2015_Fall_Inquiry-cover.jpg" width="140" /></p> <h5>This article originally appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of <em>Inquiry</em>, the biannual publication produced for University of Chicago Physical Sciences Division alumni and friends.</h5> <div class="issue-link" style="font-size: 13px; font-weight: normal;"><a href="../inquiry-archive" target="_self">VIEW ALL <em>INQUIRY</em> STORIES</a></div> <div class="issue-link" style="font-size: 13px; font-weight: normal;"><a href="http://mag.uchicago.edu/sites/default/files/Inquiry_Fall-2015.pdf">DOWNLOAD THE LATEST ISSUE (PDF)</a></div> <div class="issue-link" style="font-size: 13px; font-weight: normal;"><a href="http://physical-sciences.uchicago.edu/news/archive" target="_blank">READ ADDITIONAL PSD NEWS</a></div> </div> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 02:02:05 +0000 Anonymous 5221 at https://mag.uchicago.edu Note from the dean https://mag.uchicago.edu/science-medicine/note-dean <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/1505_Kolb_Building-preeminence.png" width="700" height="325" alt="" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span>jmiller</span></span> <span>Tue, 06/09/2015 - 14:03</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Dean Rocky Kolb. (Courtesy Physical Sciences Division)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div> <a href="/author/edward-rocky-kolb"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Edward ‟Rocky” Kolb</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/inquiry" hreflang="en">Inquiry</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Spring/15</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Building preeminence.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>In 1923, Robert Millikan <a href="http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1923/millikan-facts.html" target="_blank">won</a> the <a href="http://www.uchicago.edu/about/accolades/22/" target="_blank">Nobel Prize</a> in physics for measuring the charge of the electron. He determined this fundamental physical constant, which influenced all physics that followed, while working in a University of Chicago laboratory with equipment and resources suited precisely for his needs. But the laboratories of yesterday can’t meet the needs of today. As science advances, so must facilities, becoming more powerful, precise, and indispensable to a vast array of research fields.</p> <p>In the past decade, the <a href="http://physical-sciences.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Division of the Physical Sciences</a> has ushered in tremendous growth after half a century of impressive but aging infrastructure. Within five years, every PSD department will have new or renovated facilities. In addition to updating and maintaining core facilities—like nuclear magnetic resonance, crystallography, mass spectrometry, a machine shop, an electronics shop, an engineering center, a new clean room in <a href="http://facilities.uchicago.edu/construction/searle/" target="_blank">Searle Chemistry Laboratory</a>, and even a graphic arts design studio and print shop—the PSD has also invested in new construction. The <a href="http://architecture.uchicago.edu/locations/gordon_center_for_integrative_science/" target="_blank">Gordon Center for Integrative Science</a> (2006) is a powerhouse for interdisciplinary research, and the <a href="http://facilities.uchicago.edu/construction/meb/" target="_blank">Eckhardt Research Center</a>, opening this fall, will further bolster UChicago’s cooperative spirit, hosting some physical science departments and institutes, with a focus on precision science and collaboration-minded space design.&nbsp;</p> <p>In another sign of our growing footprint, the division has pledged a significant stake in the <a href="http://www.gmto.org" target="_blank">Giant Magellan Telescope</a> (GMT), a supergiant earth-based telescope under construction in Chile. Astronomer <a href="https://astro.uchicago.edu/people/wendy-freedman.php" target="_blank">Wendy Freedman</a> perfectly describes why access to the most leading edge technology is essential to science: “Since Galileo turned a telescope to the sky in 1609, every time there’s been a jump in capabilities or that next generation of telescopes, we’ve made discoveries, without exception.”</p> <p>We provide state-of-the-art instrumentation so that PSD scientists can fulfill their potential, and such facilities attract promising new and accomplished researchers who want access to the best technology. Together they continue the division’s tradition of discovery.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/science-medicine" hreflang="en">Science &amp; Medicine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/campaign" hreflang="en">Campaign</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/physical-sciences-division" hreflang="en">Physical Sciences Division</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/uchicago-campaign" hreflang="en">UChicago Campaign</a></div> </div> Tue, 09 Jun 2015 19:03:32 +0000 jmiller 4746 at https://mag.uchicago.edu Thirsty planet https://mag.uchicago.edu/science-medicine/thirsty-planet <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/1506_Mertens_Thirsty-planet.png" width="1600" height="743" alt="" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span>jmiller</span></span> <span>Thu, 05/07/2015 - 20:48</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>(Photography by Anthony Arciero)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div> <a href="/author/richard-mertens"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Richard Mertens</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/university-chicago-magazine" hreflang="en">The University of Chicago Magazine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">May–June/15</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Water is life, but ever scarcer. The most promising approaches to a mounting global problem may be molecular.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><a href="http://www.phy.anl.gov/mep/staff/Lu_ZT.html" target="_blank">Zheng-Tian Lu</a>, SM’91, first heard about krypton 81 dating at a meeting of physicists in Germany in 1996. The use of radioactive isotopes like krypton 81 and the more commonly known carbon 14 to date organic objects goes back to 1907, when Bertram Boltwood first measured the age of rocks containing radioactive uranium. Carbon 14 dating reaches its limit at about 30,000 years, but krypton 81, with a half-life of 229,000 years, has the potential to date much older things—among them subterranean aquifers.</p> <p>In an age of shrinking water supplies, a better understanding of groundwater is one critical front. Almost half the world’s drinking water comes from underground (rather than from surface sources like lakes and streams). And in many regions where people rely on groundwater, these resources are under threat. But questions about aquifers have been largely matters of guesswork and conjecture, much of it wrong: How long has the water been in the ground? How fast and in which direction is it flowing? And, most important, at what rate is it being replenished from above? With better answers, those resources could be managed more effectively. Krypton 81 dating, Lu and others recognized, might help, but first a number of daunting challenges had to be solved.</p> <p>The <a href="http://ime.uchicago.edu/features/the_global_challenge_access_to_clean_fresh_water/" target="_blank">Water Research Initiative</a>, a joint project of <a href="http://www.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">UChicago</a>, <a href="http://www.anl.gov" target="_blank">Argonne</a>, and <a href="http://in.bgu.ac.il/en/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">Ben-Gurion University of the Negev</a> in Israel, is taking on challenges like this. The initiative applies the insights of basic research in physics, chemistry, biology, and other disciplines, especially at the molecular level, to developing new technologies for addressing scarcity, pollution, and other real-world water problems. A project of the Institute for Molecular Engineering (IME), it springs from the conviction that water is among the most high-stakes challenges of our time—and likely to grow still more so as the global population climbs and climate change worsens.</p> <p>The initiative encourages researchers from the three institutions to work together on common projects, bringing to bear a wide range of expertise. In 2013 the initiative awarded its first grants, totaling more than $1 million, to five research groups; it added a sixth project this year. The teams are designing sophisticated new membranes to filter out viruses, the smallest pathogens, from water; developing catalysts that can destroy dangerous organic pollutants; and figuring out ways to prevent bacteria from fouling the membranes used to desalinate seawater, a technology that water-starved regions around the world are turning to more and more. And Lu’s team, continuing to refine work that began almost 20 years ago, has already unlocked some of the secrets of ancient aquifers by capturing and measuring the elusive krypton 81.</p> <p><strong>Discovered in 1950 by Argonne’s <a href="http://www.aip.org/history/acap/biographies/bio.jsp?reynoldsj" target="_blank">John Reynolds</a>,</strong> SM’48, PhD’50, krypton 81 is formed when cosmic rays strike ordinary krypton atoms high in the atmosphere. Water on the surface absorbs air, including krypton 81, but once underground it is cut off from the atmosphere and no longer absorbs new gases. Over time—a very long time—the krypton 81 decays, turning into bromine. Fill a jar with rainwater, close the lid, and in 229,000 years you will have only half the krypton 81 you started with. In a million years you will be down to one-sixteenth. By extracting the gas from a sample of groundwater and measuring the amount of krypton 81 in it, scientists can determine with considerable accuracy how long the water has been in the ground.</p> <p>But krypton 81 is exceedingly rare. It is difficult to detect and almost impossible to measure using conventional methods of radioisotope dating. In the air around us, only 1.14 particles in a million are krypton. Of these, only one in a trillion is krypton 81. A liter of air contains about 20,000 atoms of the isotope—and 10 sextillion (10) of everything else. If all the sand on earth were air, four grains would be krypton 81. It’s the needle in the atmospheric haystack.</p> <p>Lu found it. In 1997 the physicist and part-time professor at UChicago joined Argonne National Laboratory, where he and his colleagues worked for two years to build an atom trap that could detect and measure the isotope. Made of stainless steel, coiled copper, ceramic, and other materials, it stretched the length of a kitchen table. He called it ATTA, for <a href="https://www.phy.anl.gov/mep/atta/" target="_blank">Atom Trap Trace Analysis</a>. It worked by releasing a small amount of krypton gas into a vacuum, sending it down a long tube, and then trapping individual atoms by striking them with lasers on six sides. Set to the right frequency, the lasers could single out krypton 81 atoms and make them glow like fireflies at dusk. And Lu could count them.</p> <p>Since 1999, when Lu first published the ATTA method, krypton 81 dating has begun to transform scientists’ understanding of aquifers around the world.“Especially now that water is getting more and more precious, with climate change … it becomes more and more important to manage wisely whatever water resources there are,” says <a href="http://www.ceoe.udel.edu/our-people/profiles/sturchio" target="_blank">Neil Sturchio</a>, a geochemist at the <a href="http://www.udel.edu" target="_blank">University of Delaware</a> who has worked with Lu. “In many parts of the world, groundwater is the only source of water that’s available, especially in arid regions.”</p> <p>For this reason, Sturchio calls krypton 81 dating “the most important new tool in hydrology in 50 years.” It has shed light on the age and movement of underground water on every continent; it has been used to date ice from Antarctic glaciers and water in Yellowstone’s geyser basins. In many cases the ATTA method has revealed that deep aquifers are much older than scientists thought, suggesting that the water takes much longer to be replenished and can be more easily depleted than was supposed.</p> <p>Last summer Lu and a team of researchers from Argonne and Ben-Gurion spent two weeks traveling across Israel, sampling deep wells. They wanted to determine the age and movements of water in a critical sandstone aquifer 1,000 meters below the Negev desert. Using equipment designed by <a href="http://climate.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Reika Yokochi</a>, a UChicago geoscientist, that could fit in the back of a van, they extracted the gases from several hundred liters of groundwater in just an hour. In two weeks they sampled more than 30 wells and sent tanks of compressed gas, each about the size of a scuba tank, to Chicago.</p> <p>Using another device she designed, a tangle of tubes and aluminum foil, Yokochi extracted the krypton from each sample. Each tank of gas yielded a vial of krypton about the size of a pencil stub, which she sent to the group at Argonne. By measuring the krypton 81 in each vial, they discovered that in some places the water was quite young—in the ground 30,000 years or less—while in others it was as old as 600,000 years.  “People don’t expect that,” Lu says. Further analysis showed that water beneath Israel was flowing very slowly, about a meter a year, from the Sinai Desert in the west to the Dead Sea region in the east. “They knew the water level everywhere,” says Lu. “What they didn’t know is how this water moves underneath.”</p> <p>The method keeps yielding surprises, and critical data. Lu first used it a decade ago to date water from the Nubian Aquifer in western Egypt. Sturchio, who collected the samples, said conventional wisdom had held that the aquifer was 30,000 to 40,000 years old. But Lu discovered that the water had been underground for a million years. “A lot of the old literature that had become gospel about groundwater is pretty much all wrong,” Sturchio says. Hydrologists can use information about the age and movement of underground water to make more realistic models than previously possible. Given the dependence of agriculture on groundwater, this knowledge can have far-reaching implications. Sturchio points to the example of drought-stricken California, where aquifers are being depleted faster than they are being replenished with rain and snowmelt.</p> <p>If a better hydrologic model had been available, it could have been used to place regulatory limits on the annual amount of groundwater withdrawal so that even in times of drought the groundwater resource would not be depleted, he says. Such models can be used in conjunction with climate models to predict maximum sustainable food production—and thus maximum sustainable population density in a region. This is especially important in arid regions, Sturchio says, but relevant in more temperate regions that have high population density too.</p> <p>Since Lu built the first ATTA device, he has built two more atom traps to measure krypton 81 and similar trace gases. Several other traps have been built around the world, including in China, in Germany, and at <a href="http://www.columbia.edu" target="_blank">Columbia University</a>. The third version, ATTA-3, is more sensitive than its predecessors. It can measure krypton 81 using much smaller samples of gas, which require much smaller samples of water. His first machine needed a million liters of water to measure the krypton in it, while ATTA-3 requires a minimum sample of about 100 liters. Lu hopes to make it possible for scientists to one day map all the world’s ice and groundwater resources. To do this, he wants to refine his method so that it requires as little as 10 liters of water, making it conceivable that hydrologists might be able to ship samples directly from field to lab instead of degassing large quantities of water in the field. “We think we can do better,” he says.</p> <p><strong>The Water Research Initiative dates to the summer of 2012,</strong> when two old friends met in Chicago to discuss how their universities might collaborate. <a href="http://www.bgu.ac.il/RS_Minerva/Moshe_short_CV.htm" target="_blank">Moshe Gottlieb</a>, a chemical engineer from Ben-Gurion, and <a href="http://ime.uchicago.edu/tirrell_lab/people/matthew_tirrell/" target="_blank">Matthew Tirrell</a>, the Pritzker Director of UChicago’s just-formed <a href="http://ime.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Institute for Molecular Engineering</a>, had known each other since the 1970s, when they were both starting out at the <a href="http://twin-cities.umn.edu" target="_blank">University of Minnesota</a>. Now in their 60s, they spent a warm July weekend discussing research topics that might link UChicago’s strength in basic science with Ben-Gurion’s expertise in engineering.</p> <p>The IME was only a year old. Tirrell, who had come to UChicago from the <a href="http://www.berkeley.edu" target="_blank">University of California, Berkeley</a>, presided over a faculty of one—himself. For most of its existence UChicago had left engineering to others, focusing on basic science. But the rise of molecular engineering had blurred the old distinction between basic and applied science. Molecular engineers use insights into the properties of atoms and molecules to create nanotechnologies to advance computing, medicine, energy, and other fields. Tirrell was starting to hire a faculty and define a research agenda.</p> <p>Over two days, he and Gottlieb considered different possibilities for collaboration. They talked about renewable energy, biomedicine, information technology, and other potential topics, some of which the IME is pursuing today. All were important, all were feasible, and yet none seemed right for this collaboration.</p> <p>“We didn’t want to do something that people already do and were far in advance,” Gottlieb recalls. “There are lots of people working on green energy. We would be just another one.” On the second day they recognized that the emerging crisis in the supply of fresh water, from California to South Asia to sub-Saharan Africa, was ideally suited to the institutions’ strengths, and in need of new ideas and approaches. “The quality of water is threatened in many parts of the world,” says Tirrell. “And water interacts with other large-scale systems we all depend on, including energy.”</p> <p>It was a problem of global scope that could be approached through many disciplines, including molecular science, and it was suited to the collaboration. Israel is a world leader in the conservation, desalination, and purification of water. In the past decade it has built four big desalination plants (with a fifth under construction), which produce 40 percent of the country’s domestic water consumption. Israel recycles 86 percent of its sewage, yielding half the water used in agriculture. The waste from Tel Aviv’s two million residents waters crops in the Negev. Researchers at Ben-Gurion have been part of this effort, developing, among other technologies, new ways to monitor groundwater pollution, manage water used in agriculture, and improve the efficiency of desalination technology.</p> <p>After Gottlieb returned home, a group of researchers from UChicago and Argonne traveled to Israel to talk with scientists at Ben-Gurion about what areas of water research they might cooperate on. A group from Ben-Gurion made a return visit, and in 2013 UChicago president <a href="https://president.uchicago.edu/page/about-president-zimmer" target="_blank">Robert J. Zimmer</a> and Rivka Carmi, Ben-Gurion’s president, signed an agreement that made the initiative official. The signing took place at the residence of Israeli president <a href="http://mfa.gov.il/mfa/aboutisrael/state/pages/shimon%20peres.aspx" target="_blank">Shimon Peres</a>, with Chicago mayor <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/supp_info/about_the_mayor.html" target="_blank">Rahm Emanuel</a> looking on. <a href="http://sibener-group.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Steven Sibener</a>, the Carl William Eisendrath Distinguished Service Professor in Chemistry and the <a href="http://jfi.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">James Franck Institute</a>, became the initiative’s director. His research has revealed previously unknown ways that carbon dioxide and other gases become embedded in ice.</p> <p><strong>Water is central to our lives not only for drinking</strong> and household use but for agriculture, manufacturing, and energy production. And the demand for it is growing. The United Nations estimates that population growth boosts water use by 64 billion cubic meters a year. Over the next 35 years, it says, the world demand for water will rise 55 percent.</p> <p>This portends increasing scarcity for an already thirsty planet. Water covers almost 71 percent of the earth’s surface, yet only 2.5 percent is fresh. Of that 2.5 percent, 70 percent is bound up in ice and snow. Much of the rest lies underground. Only 0.3 percent of all freshwater is on the surface. By 2030, the UN estimates, 47 percent of the world’s population will live in areas of high water stress.</p> <p>At the same time, in many regions the quality of the world’s water supply is as big a problem as the quantity. According to the <a href="http://www.who.int/en/" target="_blank">World Health Organization</a> and <a href="http://www.unicef.org" target="_blank">UNICEF</a>, about one in 10 persons on the planet—748 million—lacks access to clean drinking water. In developing countries, 70 percent of industrial waste is dumped untreated into the water. Even in the United States, more than half the nation’s rivers and streams are in poor condition, according a 2008–09 <a href="http://www.epa.gov" target="_blank">Environmental Protection Agency</a> survey. The <a href="http://www.usgs.gov" target="_blank">US Geological Survey</a> reported in January that tests on 6,600 wells over two decades showed that one in five contained a man-made or natural contaminant that posed a health risk.</p> <p>The close links between water, food, and energy make the problem of water even more challenging. Most of the fresh water we consume is used in agriculture. Humans need two to four liters of drinking water a day to survive, but it takes 2,000 to 5,000 liters to produce one day’s food. The rising standard of living in many developing countries is increasing the agricultural use of water. According to the <a href="http://www.un.org/en/index.html" target="_blank">UN</a>, it takes 3,500 liters of water to grow a kilogram of rice but 15,000 liters to raise the same amount of beef. Meanwhile, the spread of irrigation has tripled water use in agriculture over the past 50 years. The UN estimates that 20 percent of aquifers are overexploited.</p> <p>Producing energy also requires immense quantities of water. Water is needed to cool electric turbines. It’s used in hydraulic fracturing, to break the rock underground. Some forms of renewable energy, like biofuels, guzzle large quantities of water. According to the UN, 15 percent of all the water we use goes toward making energy. Ninety percent of energy production relies on intensive, unsustainable water consumption. And the demand for energy is growing.</p> <p><strong>In the 1960s two scientists developed</strong> the Loeb-Sourirajan method of reverse osmosis that for the first time made it commercially feasible to remove salt from seawater by forcing the water through a semipermeable plastic membrane. Reverse osmosis is not the only way to take salt out of seawater, but it is the least expensive and most efficient. Advances in reverse osmosis in recent years have created a boom in desalination plants, with more than 16,000 now operating worldwide.</p> <p>New technology has brought reverse osmosis close to its theoretical limit of efficiency. But the membranes used in desalination are efficient only as long as they are clean, and they are prone to fouling. Electrostatic energy and van der Waals forces—the weak attraction between molecules—combine to attract organic molecules like sugars and proteins. These molecules, in turn, attract bacteria, which form colonies that clog membranes. This problem isn’t unique to desalination plants; aquarium walls accumulating slime or dishes left too long in the sink suffer from the same effect. In desalination, the result is a drop in efficiency. The plant must pump harder to keep water flowing through the desalination membranes, or the membranes must be cleaned with chemicals that can damage them. “It’s a universal problem for all water-related applications,” says <a href="http://tirrell.ime.uchicago.edu/People/Jing_Yu.html" target="_blank">Jing Yu</a>, a postdoctoral appointee at Argonne and a visiting scientist at UChicago.</p> <p>In high-tech labs at Argonne, Yu and his colleagues are designing polymers—the long molecules that make up plastics, gelatins, and DNA—that can help membranes resist fouling. These special polymers repel both organic molecules and the bacteria that feed on them. Called zwitterionic polymer brushes, they stand up like the nap on carpet. They also exhibit polarity, making them attractive to water, which washes away organic molecules that might otherwise collect and attract bacteria.</p> <p>Making polymers to these specifications is not easy. It requires high heat and a vacuum, and takes from several days to a week of intensive work in the lab. The researchers at Argonne cook up small amounts and then send them in glass jars or plastic tubes to Ben-Gurion. There, researchers with expertise in testing high-tech materials paint the polymers on membranes to see how well they function. Some of the polymers, says Yu, have proven “quite effective.”</p> <p>But effectiveness is only a start. The goal of Yu’s research—and of the Water Research Initiative—is not merely to create materials and processes that work in the lab but to develop them for commercial use. Researchers in the antifouling project, including Tirrell and Gottlieb, are testing different versions of the polymers to see how they react to different levels of salt and pH. They’re also trying to find simpler and more efficient ways of making them, such as in ambient conditions rather than in a vacuum. They want to be able to use inexpensive raw materials and environmentally friendly, nontoxic methods, perhaps using sunlight to start the polymerization. “Our goal is to make it cheap and easy to make,” says Yu.</p> <p><strong>Concern over water pollution focused for many years</strong> on chemicals used in steelmaking and other industrial processes. Today concern is mounting over a new generation of contaminants, including hormones, pharmaceuticals, and other organic compounds that can react in the body, disrupting endocrine systems and causing cancer. One way to attack these organic pollutants is to use metal catalysts to break them down into smaller molecules that are safe for humans. But most catalysts don’t work in water; the oxygen in it destroys them. They need organic solvents instead. As part of the water initiative, Sibener and <a href="https://talapinlab.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Dmitri Talapin</a>, professor of chemistry, with Ben-Gurion professors <a href="http://fohs.bgu.ac.il/research/PersonalWebSite1main.aspx?id=VuVrritij" target="_blank">Miron Landau</a> and <a href="http://www.icore-solarfuels.org/show_team/24" target="_blank">Moti Herskowitz</a>, are using molecular engineering techniques to design and build catalysts that can work in water. These catalysts will be incorporated into membranes; as water flows through, the harmful chemicals will be destroyed. “It’s a fairly big breakthrough,” says Gottlieb.</p> <p>Cleaning water can also mean removing harmful microorganisms, like viruses. Current technology does this imperfectly. A virus may be as small as 20 nanometers wide, or 20 billionths of a meter. The pores in commercially available filters cannot be made consistently that size—some are small enough, but others are too large and allow some viruses to pass. “With something like a virus, removing 80 or 90 percent of it is not good enough,” says <a href="http://www.anl.gov/contributors/seth-darling" target="_blank">Seth Darling</a>, PhD’02, a nanoscientist at Argonne and a fellow at the IME. “Even a little can make you sick. You want to remove it all.”</p> <p>Darling has experimented for about eight years with block copolymers. These materials link together two or more different polymer chains, often with different properties. They interest scientists because they can be engineered to create nanostructures with specific combinations of characteristics, directed to meet specific technological needs. For example, they are used to make ABS, a plastic found in protective headgear and canoes that is lightweight but tough. Darling and his Argonne colleagues have been trying to use them to create low-cost photovoltaic surfaces for solar power. They thought block copolymer technology, combined with a new technique called sequential infiltration synthesis (SIS), might help construct more effective membranes to clean water.</p> <p>Block copolymers have another quality that is useful to molecular engineers: they self-assemble. The trick is to create versions of them that will order up in useful ways. Darling and <a href="http://www.anl.gov/contributors/jeffrey-elam" target="_blank">Jeffrey Elam</a>, PhD’95, use a polymer that self-assembles into an array of tiny cylinders that stand up like a bundle of pencils. Then they expose this polymer layer to two gases that are precursors for titanium dioxide, enhancing it. In just a few minutes, the metal oxide embeds itself in the interstices between the cylinders. Next, using heat, they decompose the copolymer. “You just cook it away,” Darling says. “It’s relatively easy to remove polymer.”</p> <p>What’s left is a tough titanium dioxide film full of tiny holes—all the same size—where the copolymer cylinders once stood. By altering the copolymers, they can change the diameter of the cylinders and hence the size of the holes. With this method they produce what up until now has been unavailable: a membrane with tiny pores of consistent size.</p> <p>The titanium dioxide gives the membrane one other useful characteristic. When you shine a light on titanium dioxide, the energy of the light makes it act as a catalyst. In this way a membrane containing titanium dioxide can destroy harmful organic pollutants and membrane foulants at the same time it filters out dangerous microorganisms.</p> <p>Several challenges remain before the technology is commercially viable. One is to figure out how to attach the film to a commercial membrane without leaving gaps. “You can’t have gaps,” Darling says. “It sort of defeats the purpose.” They are also tinkering with the film’s photochemical capability, trying to shift it away from ultraviolet light toward the range of visible light.</p> <p>Energy, says Darling, is “the biggest challenge we face in this century. If we want to combat climate change, we need to develop lower-cost, highly scalable renewable energy technology. The same can be argued about water.”</p> <p><strong>The Water Research Initiative is nearing the end</strong> of its second year. At winter’s end, the University launched a national search to hire the next water expert to succeed Sibener as the initiative’s director and build on the foundation that he and Tirrell have put in place. Meanwhile, the inaugural research projects entered their second year making encouraging progress. “It’s clear that our concept of assembling multidisciplinary research teams was the correct approach,” says Sibener. Those teams “are working in areas that hold realistic promise for making innovative and significant discoveries in fundamental water science, but also with very direct conduits to applied science and technology.” Progress shown with the first grants could attract new and deeper sources of funding, from government agencies, private foundations, and businesses that see commercial potential in the research.</p> <p>There will also likely be new opportunities for a broader palette of researchers to tackle further scientific problems—more efficient water use in agriculture, for instance, or too much water in places like Chicago, where more frequent heavy rains brought on by climate change have increased flooding risk. The vision for the Water Research Initiative is to broaden its focus beyond engineering and nanoscience to questions of law, economics, and public policy, drawing on other parts of the University. Water scarcity is “a challenging scientific and engineering problem, which we’re very interested in” says Sibener, “but it also has societal and political ramifications that are becoming more obvious every day.”</p> <p>In all, water “is the grand issue for a generation—a topic whose time has come.” Students, he adds, are especially drawn to the topic. After a few talks he’s given about it to undergraduate groups, he says, the students’ “eyes were gleaming.” More than 10 graduate students, undergraduate students, and postdocs are directly involved in the six projects; their sense of these issues’ importance for their own futures is palpable. “We are going to have to figure out how to maintain and shepherd our precious water supplies, and to do that we are going to have to learn how to make fresh water from seawater very cost effectively,” Sibener says. “Research at the intersection of basic and applied science will be crucial to this endeavor.”</p> <hr /><p><em>Richard Mertens is a writer in Chicago. He last <a href="http://mag.uchicago.edu/law-policy-society/city-limits" target="_self">wrote for the </a></em><a href="http://mag.uchicago.edu/law-policy-society/city-limits" target="_self">Magazine</a><em> on the <a href="http://harris.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy</a>’s <a href="http://www.uchicago.edu/features/graduate_students_take_on_policy_challenges_in_gary/" target="_blank">Gary Project</a>.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/science-medicine" hreflang="en">Science &amp; Medicine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/water" hreflang="en">Water</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/innovation" hreflang="en">Innovation</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/campaign" hreflang="en">Campaign</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/institute-molecular-engineering-0" hreflang="en">Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/uchicago-campaign" hreflang="en">UChicago Campaign</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-relatedstories field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>“<a href="https://news.uchicago.edu/article/2015/01/12/crown-family-professorship-support-molecular-engineering-clean-water" target="_blank">Crown Family Professorship to Support Molecular Engineering for Clean Water</a>” (University of Chicago News Office, 01.12.2015)</p> <p>“<a href="http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2014/10/20/searle-chemistry-lab-cleanroom-catalyze-interdisciplinary-nanoscience-uchicago" target="_blank">Searle Chemistry Lab Cleanroom to Catalyze Interdisciplinary Nanoscience at UChicago</a>” (University of Chicago News Office, 10.20.2014)</p> <p>“<a href="../science-medicine/strong-solutions" target="_blank">Strong Solutions</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, Sept–Oct/13)</p> <p>“<a href="https://news.uchicago.edu/article/2013/06/23/israel-chicago-partnership-targets-water-resource-innovations" target="_blank">Israel-Chicago Partnership Targets Water Resource Innovations</a>” (University of Chicago News Office, 06.23.2013)</p> <p>“<a href="../haunted-waters" target="_blank">Haunted by Waters</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, Mar–Apr/13)</p> <p>“<a href="https://news.uchicago.edu/article/2013/03/19/international-technology-partnership-focus-water-problems" target="_blank">International Technology Partnership to Focus on Water Problems</a>” (University of Chicago News Office, 03.19.2013)</p> <p>“<a href="../science-medicine/ground" target="_blank">From the Ground Up</a>” (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, May–June/12)</p> <p>“<a href="http://www.uchicago.edu/features/20110307_molecular_engineering/" target="_blank">Molecular Engineering Names Founding Director</a>” (University of Chicago News Office, 03.07.2011)</p> <p>“<a href="http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2011/08/10/anonymous-gifts-support-new-professorships-institute-molecular-engineering" target="_blank">Anonymous Gifts Support New Professorships in Institute for Molecular Engineering</a>” (University of Chicago News Office, 08.10.2011)</p> <p>“<a href="http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2010/12/13/new-eckhardt-center-building-provide-home-precision-science" target="_blank">New Eckhardt Center Building to Provide Home for Precision Science</a>” (University of Chicago News Office, 12.13.2010)</p> </div> Fri, 08 May 2015 01:48:23 +0000 jmiller 4662 at https://mag.uchicago.edu Small universe, big glass https://mag.uchicago.edu/science-medicine/small-universe-big-glass <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/1504_Searcy_Friedman.jpg" width="1600" height="743" alt="" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span>jmiller</span></span> <span>Wed, 03/04/2015 - 13:33</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Outside Kersten’s rooftop observatory, Freedman turns her eye to the sky. (Photography by John Zich)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div> <a href="/author/maureen-searcy"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Maureen Searcy</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/university-chicago-magazine" hreflang="en">The University of Chicago Magazine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Mar–Apr/15</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Leading cosmologist Wendy Freedman trains a telescopic lens on the biggest questions in the universe.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Last September, observational cosmologist <a href="https://astro.uchicago.edu/people/wendy-freedman.php" target="_blank">Wendy Freedman</a> <a href="http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2014/08/07/wendy-freedman-world-leading-astronomer-joins-uchicago-faculty" target="_blank">joined</a> the <a href="http://astro.uchicago.edu/index.php" target="_blank">Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics</a> as a University Professor. Freedman’s appointment follows 30 years at the <a href="https://obs.carnegiescience.edu" target="_blank">Carnegie Observatories</a> in Pasadena, California, where she became the first woman on the observatories’ permanent scientific staff in 1987 and the Crawford H. Greenewalt Director in 2003. The Chicago-Carnegie connection puts her in good company with <a href="http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/centcat/fac/facch04_01.html" target="_blank">George Ellery Hale</a>, founder of UChicago’s astronomy and astrophysics department, and <a href="http://asd.gsfc.nasa.gov/archive/hubble/overview/hubble_bio.html" target="_blank">Edwin Hubble</a>, SB 1910, PhD 1917.</p> <p>Freedman first rose to prominence leading the Hubble Space Telescope Key Project, which measured the universe’s current expansion rate—the Hubble constant—and thus determined the age of the universe more precisely. The project began in the mid-80s. In 2001 the team announced that the universe is 13.7 billion years old, with an uncertainty of 10 percent. Previously cosmologists could estimate only that the universe was between 10 and 20 billion years old.</p> <p>Now she leads the Chicago Carnegie Hubble Project, which aims to reduce that uncertainty even further—to within 3 percent—using the <a href="http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu" target="_blank">Spitzer Space Telescope</a>, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Magellan telescopes. Freedman also is a cofounder of the <a href="http://csp.obs.carnegiescience.edu" target="_blank">Carnegie Supernova Project</a>, which uses the 100-inch and Magellan telescopes at <a href="http://www.lco.cl" target="_blank">Las Campanas Observatory</a> in Chile to study the universe’s acceleration—which in turn contributes to the study of dark energy, the hypothetical explanation for cosmic acceleration.</p> <p>Freedman has served as chair of the board of directors of the <a href="http://magazine.uchicago.edu/1102/features/first_light.shtml" target="_blank">Giant Magellan Telescope</a> (GMT) Organization since its inception in 2003. This super giant earth-based telescope, which will start construction this year, also in Las Campanas, will have 10 times Hubble’s resolution. To function, it requires a minimum of four of its seven mirrors to be in place. Production of the fourth, which will take several years, begins in late March. Freedman expects the GMT to provide its first data by 2022, and that all mirrors will be in place by 2025.</p> <p>The <em>Magazine</em>’s interview with Freedman is edited and adapted below.</p> <h3>Women in science then and now</h3> <p>I notice a big difference from when I was a graduate student at the <a href="http://www.utoronto.ca" target="_blank">University of Toronto</a>. The number of women entering into graduate classes and getting positions as professors at major universities across the United States now has increased. And the opportunities for women to become directors of major observatories—those were opportunities that didn’t exist just a few decades ago. I always felt I was born at the right time. A lot of women before me, it was their efforts that allowed a younger generation to succeed.</p> <p>I’ve seen a lot of change, but that isn’t to say there aren’t still issues and difficulties. We need to start early in encouraging girls to pursue careers in science and technical fields. It’s still unusual. It’s not something that many girls even think about. I had my share of teachers who were very encouraging and others who weren’t. I had a physics teacher once who would say, “The girls don’t have to listen to this.” That’s when I was growing up. I feel really pleased at all the progress, but watching my own daughter and hearing some of the comments that were made in her science classes, I still think there is a ways to go.</p> <h3>Art of science</h3> <p>Science isn’t a textbook where you just read and memorize things. Science is a way of looking at the world and first and foremost testing ideas. It’s a human enterprise. Parts of it are fascinating, parts are beautiful and elegant, parts are mysterious and complex, and you see the whole range of human effort and creativity. Part of what makes us human is our curiosity and learning about the world. I think as a field sometimes we let people down in not being able to communicate the excitement of science.</p> <h3>Window on the past</h3> <p>Cosmology asks questions on the big scale of what is our universe, what’s it made of, how’s it behaving, how’s it changing with time, and those are questions that fascinate me. We can make measurements and actually learn something about the universe. We can peer back in time; because light has a finite speed, as you look farther back in distance you’re also looking further back in time. It’s an incredible opportunity that you don’t have in many sciences.</p> <h3>Measuring distances within our galaxy ...</h3> <p>You look up in the sky with a telescope at the direction of the star. Then as Earth is going through its annual motion around the sun, if you look six months later from the opposite side of its orbit, you end up with a triangle with the diameter of Earth’s orbit as its base. Then it’s just high school geometry, ordinary Euclidean geometry; you can solve for the distance. That anchors what we call the zero point, and then you can measure relative distance.</p> <h3>... and beyond</h3> <p>You need to know how bright objects actually are, as opposed to how bright they appear. Something can appear faint because it’s far away, or that might be the nature of the object. You have to be able to determine what the brightness of an object is to calibrate its absolute distance. So we use pulsating stars called Cepheid variables to do that.</p> <p>The upper atmosphere of a Cepheid variable is moving in and out, which changes the star’s brightness, and the rate at which it’s changing is directly related to how bright the star is. That’s called a period luminosity relation, which was discovered by an astronomer named Henrietta Leavitt. She worked at the Harvard College Observatory in the early 1900s, and she discovered this relationship, which we’re now calling the Leavitt relation. She received very little recognition for her work, but all of modern cosmology rests on that relationship. That is the pillar for our ability to measure distances.</p> <p>So we use these Cepheid variables, and when they become too faint as they’re too far away, we use supernovae, these really bright explosions of stars at the end of their lifetime. In that way we can chart the distance scale of the universe.</p> <h3>Mirror, mirror</h3> <p>The GMT is comprised of seven 8.4-meter mirrors, six in a circle and one in the center. The mirrors take four years apiece from the beginning of the casting; they have to be cooled very slowly over a period of several months. Then they’re taken out and the back sides and front sides are polished. They have to be tested, so they move between a polishing machine and a test tower. Each phase in that process is about a year. One of the big decisions I made early on as chair of the board was to go ahead with the first mirror, even though we had only a small fraction of the funding, because I knew if we didn’t demonstrate technically that it was feasible, we would never be in a position to build the project. Without knowing that you could solve the technical challenges, you wouldn’t begin construction of this billion-dollar project. The first mirror took seven years.</p> <h3>What we might see</h3> <p>If someone were on the moon and lit a candle, we’d see it. The GMT is sensitive enough to detect that. The power is quite extraordinary. In terms of resolution, the example I like to give is, you look at the surface of a dime and you can hold it up and see the detail and read the writing. With the GMT you can go 200 miles away and see that kind of detail.</p> <h3>What we might find</h3> <p>A real niche for the GMT will be the ability to study planets outside of our solar system. Because of this high resolution and sensitivity, it will be possible to measure masses and densities, and so characterize the properties of planets that are as low-mass as Earth. Right now it’s possible to do that for planets that are many times the mass of Earth, and certainly for the Jupiters and Saturns and Neptunes.</p> <p>If there are nearby planets that have life in a form similar to what we’re familiar with, we would be able to take spectra of the atmospheres of those planets and actually look for the biological signatures, as opposed to chemical signatures in the atmospheres.</p> <p>Since Galileo turned a telescope to the sky in 1609, every time there’s been a jump in capabilities or that next generation of telescopes, we’ve made discoveries, without exception. So it’s that possibility for discovery that’s really exciting—what we can’t anticipate at all.</p> <p><strong>You can help ensure UChicago astronomers’ continued access to “big glass,” including the Giant Magellan Telescope, and the discoveries it makes possible. Visit <a href="http://campaign.uchicago.edu/priorities/psd" target="_blank">campaign.uchicago.edu/priorities/psd</a>.</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/science-medicine" hreflang="en">Science &amp; Medicine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/giant-magellan-telescope" hreflang="en">Giant Magellan Telescope</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/astronomy" hreflang="en">Astronomy</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/astrophysics" hreflang="en">Astrophysics</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/campaign" hreflang="en">Campaign</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/physical-sciences-division" hreflang="en">Physical Sciences Division</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/uchicago-campaign" hreflang="en">UChicago Campaign</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refformats field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/formats/glimpses" hreflang="en">Glimpses</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-relatedstories field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>“<a href="http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2011/10/13/uchicago-launches-search-distant-worlds" target="_blank">UChicago Launches Search for Distant Worlds</a>” (University of Chicago News Office, October 13, 2011) “<a href="http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-02/rogue-steppenwolf-planets-could-harbor-life-even-without-stars-sustain-them-astrophysicists-say" target="_blank">Rogue 'Steppenwolf Planets' that Have Escaped from Their Suns Could Harbor Alien Life, Astrophysicists Say</a>” (<em>Popular Science</em>, February 9, 2011) “<a href="http://www.uchicago.edu/features/20110118_gmt/" target="_blank">Giant Telescope Could Solve Deep Mysteries</a>” (University of Chicago News Office, January 18, 2011) "<a href="http://magazine.uchicago.edu/1102/features/first_light.shtml" target="_blank">First Light</a>" (<em>University of Chicago Magazine</em>, Jan–Feb/11)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-relatedlinks field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Learn more: <a href="http://www.gmto.org" target="_blank">Giant Magellan Telescope</a> Give now: <a href="http://campaign.uchicago.edu/priorities/psd/astronomy-and-astrophysicsbig-glass/" target="_blank">Support the Physical Sciences Division</a></p> </div> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 19:33:50 +0000 jmiller 4475 at https://mag.uchicago.edu Onward and upward https://mag.uchicago.edu/university-news/onward-and-upward <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/1502_Demanski_Onward-upward.png" width="700" height="325" alt="" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span>rsmith</span></span> <span>Tue, 12/23/2014 - 12:32</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>(Photography by Robert Kozloff)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div> <a href="/author/laura-demanski-am94"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Laura Demanski, AM’94</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/university-chicago-magazine" hreflang="en">The University of Chicago Magazine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Jan–Feb/15</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>With a string of headline gifts since its public launch, the UChicago Campaign is gathering momentum.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><strong>The vision is bold:</strong> Crossing the stage at <a href="http://convocation.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Convocation</a>, every <a href="https://college.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">College</a> student steps into professional life with a wealth of meaningful work experience—and an absence of <a href="http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2014/10/01/college-launches-pioneering-commitment-end-student-loans-support-student-success" target="_blank">debt</a>.</p> <p>Carried out on the <a href="http://ime.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">molecular</a> scale, novel engineering techniques make their impact on the human scale, combating disease, transforming energy storage, and providing clean water where people need it most.</p> <p>In the world’s cities, evidence-based solutions developed by <a href="http://crimelab.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Crime Lab</a> and <a href="https://uei.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Urban Education Institute</a> researchers help improve the lives of millions.</p> <p><strong>The campaign <a href="http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2014/05/08/university-sets-goal-45-billion-university-chicago-campaign-inquiry-and-impact" target="_blank">goals</a> are equally ambitious.</strong> <a href="http://campaign.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">The University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact</a> seeks to raise $4.5 billion to pursue outcomes of this magnitude across the University. From the <a href="http://humanities.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Division of the Humanities</a> to the <a href="http://medicine.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">University of Chicago Medicine</a> to the <a href="http://www.mbl.edu" target="_blank">Marine Biological Laboratory</a> to campus life, a successful campaign will power a greater UChicago and the potential of students, faculty, alumni, parents, families, and friends to make a difference.</p> <p>Hand in hand with the fundraising goal goes another just as bold, and symbolically tied to the 125th anniversary in 2015: to engage 125,000 alumni with the institution and each other. By enriching the life of the worldwide UChicago community through volunteering, attending an event, or making a gift, alumni count toward the goal. Last year, <a href="http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2014/10/21/uchicago-annual-fundraising-reaches-record-total-511-million" target="_blank">81,000 alumni engaged with the University</a> in one of these ways.</p> <p>During a quiet phase preceding the October 29 public launch, the campaign reached nearly half its fundraising goal, and by mid-December it had already passed the $2.3 billion mark. <a href="https://trustees.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Trustee</a> support has been especially foundational; at the time of the launch, every University trustee had participated, with their contributions totaling $827 million.</p> <p>One measure of the UChicago Campaign’s ambition? Its $4.5 billion goal is more than twice that of the last campaign. That undertaking, the Chicago Initiative, aimed for $2 billion, but the University community’s generosity had <a href="http://magazine.uchicago.edu/0878/features/momentum.shtml" target="_blank">helped outdistance this goal</a> by some $380 million at its conclusion in 2008. That above-and-beyond show of support from alumni, parents, families, friends, and trustees helped fuel the University’s momentum and achievements since then—a trajectory that the University of Chicago Campaign seeks to extend to even greater heights.</p> <p>The scale of the undertaking, for University President <a href="https://president.uchicago.edu/page/about-president-zimmer" target="_blank">Robert J. Zimmer</a>, compares to the feats achieved by William Rainey Harper and John D. Rockefeller, who looked out on empty fields on Chicago’s South Side and saw the great university that could spring up there. It took years of dedicated work infusing others with their passion. Building the new institution was an expansive collective effort, and the result of many individual efforts that went, in Zimmer’s words, “beyond reasonable expectations.” Speaking to a group of the University’s most generous alumni and friends at an October launch event, Zimmer invoked those founding efforts as a guiding example.</p> <p>“Each of us has benefited through the work, the determination, the fearlessness, the generosity, and the belief in the future that built and sustained the University,” Zimmer said. “Now it is our turn. Our responsibility is to do what the founders of this University did, and what the generations that followed them did. We must succeed far beyond reasonable expectations.”</p> <p>Four gifts from trustees announced this fall demonstrate that very generosity and belief in the future. The gifts will sustain core values of the University—research, education, collaboration, accessibility—and illustrate the campaign’s potential to deepen inquiry across the University and magnify its impact.</p> <p><strong>Two major <a href="http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2014/11/05/325-million-gifts-support-chicago-harris">gifts</a> to the <a href="http://harris.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy</a></strong> include the largest in its history. Both will support a broader agenda for the school and help it move to a new home. On November 5, a few weeks before Chicago Harris celebrated its <a href="http://harris.uchicago.edu/25years" target="_blank">25th anniversary</a>, the University announced the record-setting $20 million gift from Campaign Council members Dennis J. Keller, MBA’68, cofounder and retired chairman and CEO of <a href="http://www.devryeducationgroup.com" target="_blank">DeVry Education Group</a>, and Constance T. Keller. The Kellers committed an additional $5 million to <a href="http://www.chicagobooth.edu" target="_blank">Chicago Booth</a>.</p> <p>Also investing in Chicago Harris’s future, King Harris, chairman of Harris Holdings Inc. and board chair of AptarGroup Inc., and Caryn Harris will give $12.5 million and extend their family’s long-standing support. King Harris’s uncle, Irving B. Harris, along with his wife, Joan Harris, provided the core endowment for the school, which was then called the Graduate School of Public Policy Studies and was renamed in his honor in 1990.</p> <p>Under new dean Daniel Diermeier (see <a href="../university-news/data-science-meets-public-policy" target="_self">On the Agenda</a>) and with the support of the gifts from the Kellers and Harrises, Chicago Harris will move a few doors east on 60th Street. The <a href="http://housing.uchicago.edu/houses_houses/new_graduate_residence_hall/" target="_blank">New Graduate Residence Hall</a>, designed by Edward Durrell Stone and opened in 1963 as the Center for Continuing Education, will undergo a major renovation and adaptive reuse project. The project will preserve key features of Stone’s original design while recasting the interior space for teaching, research, and events, and will incorporate sustainable building technologies.</p> <p>“We are in an ideal position to extend our reach,” said Diermeier. “At this critical moment in the school’s development, these gifts will allow us to build a facility that will accommodate the ambitious work that our faculty and students are known for.” The new space, to be named the Keller Center, will also position Chicago Harris to continue an upward trend. Over the past decade, the school has increased and diversified its enrollment and attracted more international students. The Keller Center, significantly larger than Chicago Harris’s current home at 1155 East 60th Street, will create room to continue growing, both for the student body and for the faculty.</p> <p>With them will grow a curriculum that has already expanded to include programs in critical areas of today’s policy landscape. Recent innovations include an interdisciplinary master’s degree program in computational analysis and public policy that is the first of its kind. The school has also forged an academic partnership with <a href="http://www.anl.gov" target="_blank">Argonne National Laboratory</a> for its master’s program in environmental science and policy, and launched new research centers for policy entrepreneurship and municipal finance.</p> <p>Part of the Harrises’ gift is a $2.5 million commitment that goes to the 2x20 Fund, a new initiative designed to increase enrollment, boost faculty research, and implement more leadership development programs in those key areas, preparing Chicago Harris students to serve governments, nonprofits, and businesses worldwide. Keller expects his and his wife’s gifts to Chicago Harris and Chicago Booth will encourage new partnerships between students and faculty at the two professional schools. Diermeier sees greater international opportunities for future Harris students resulting from the Kellers’ and Harrises’ generosity too.</p> <p><strong>The University draws thinkers and leaders</strong> from all over to join the conversations and collaborations that define UChicago inquiry. A new building on South Campus, <a href="http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2014/10/20/rubenstein-forum-create-vital-space-collaboration" target="_blank">announced in October</a>, will provide more meeting space, letting the conversations multiply and the magnetism grow. In recognition of a significant gift from trustee David Rubenstein, JD’73, the innovative hub will be named the Rubenstein Forum.</p> <p>The building, slated for completion in 2018 on South Campus, will overlook the Midway Plaisance along 60th Street between Woodlawn and Kimbark Avenues. A site for academic conferences, workshops, lectures, meetings, ceremonies, and other gatherings, it will incorporate spaces for people to come together formally and informally and dynamic, advanced technology. The Rubenstein Forum will enable the University to host on campus many of the conferences and other events now being held in downtown Chicago. It will be a destination for members of the campus community as well as visiting scholars, distinguished guests, alumni, and others.</p> <p>A process for selecting the building’s architect will be announced later this year. In designing the Rubenstein Forum, the University is aiming to set a new standard of environment for what Zimmer called “the regular and rigorous exchange of ideas that is a hallmark of the University of Chicago.” Provost <a href="https://provost.uchicago.edu/about.shtml" target="_blank">Eric D. Isaacs</a> added that “proposing, exchanging, and testing ideas is at the heart of our work as scholars. … The Rubenstein Forum will reaffirm that value in the most practical way, satisfying a growing need and supporting the ambitions of our faculty.”</p> <p><strong>For Joseph Neubauer, MBA’65, increasing access to a UChicago education is personal.</strong> “I was not yet a citizen when the University of Chicago business school offered me a scholarship,” he said. “It changed my life.” <a href="http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2014/12/15/new-initiatives-remove-barriers-international-students-students-hispanic-communities" target="_blank">A $13 million gift</a> from the Neubauer Family Foundation, announced in December, will do the same for future generations.</p> <p>The gift supports two new programs to help talented students reach the College. Through the Neubauer Family Program for Students from Hispanic Communities, the College will work with high school guidance counselors in US Latino/Hispanic communities to identify promising students, some of whom will be invited on overnight campus visits to learn more about college and UChicago. Between their junior and senior years, some students will then have the opportunity to take classes through the Graham School Summer Session. Those who apply and matriculate at the College will receive four years of tuition support.</p> <p>The other program, Neubauer No Barriers Scholarships, will help a group of students for whom US universities have largely been off limits: international students from lower- to middle-income families. Ineligible for most American financial aid, few of these students matriculate at US colleges. By creating scholarships especially for them, Neubauer No Barriers will enable the most qualified to attend the College, where they will add to the diversity of experience in classrooms and residence halls.</p> <p>The Neubauer Family Foundation’s gift goes further, benefiting students and families beyond UChicago through the Admissions Academy program. Through the program, University admissions staff help families around the country navigate the college application and financial aid application processes, regardless of where their students plan to apply. With support from the gift, Admissions Academy programs will now be offered bilingually to Spanish-speaking families.</p> <p>In addition to their giving, Joe Neubauer and Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer are leaders of the campaign, he as its chair and both as members of the Campaign Council. The two new programs established by their gift build on years of work to increase access to a College education: the <a href="https://odyssey.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">Odyssey Scholarships</a> program, <a href="http://promise.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">UChicago Promise</a>, and, most recently, <a href="https://nobarriers.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">No Barriers</a>, which, starting with the Class of 2019, will replace loans with grants in all need-based aid packages and make it easier for families to apply for admission and financial aid. “We are fortunate to have supporters and friends who understand how a Chicago education will impact the lives of these students, on campus, at home, and in the world,” said dean of the College <a href="https://president.uchicago.edu/directory/john-w-boyer" target="_blank">John W. Boyer</a>, AM’69, PhD’75. “We know others will be inspired to create more No Barriers opportunities.”</p> <p><strong>The gifts from the Kellers, the Harrises, Rubenstein, and the Neubauer Family Foundation</strong> are four of 217,068 gifts made by 102,105 donors who share their vision of an even greater University of Chicago. Together, they are helping UChicago realize—again—the ambition that has driven inquiry and impact since Harper and Rockefeller saw the boundless possibility in those empty fields 125 years ago.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/university-news" hreflang="en">University News</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/fundraising" hreflang="en">Fundraising</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/campaign" hreflang="en">Campaign</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/uchicago-campaign" hreflang="en">UChicago Campaign</a></div> </div> Tue, 23 Dec 2014 18:32:14 +0000 rsmith 4294 at https://mag.uchicago.edu Envision: The future of PSD https://mag.uchicago.edu/science-medicine/envision-future-psd <div class="field field--name-field-letter-box-story-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img loading="lazy" src="/sites/default/files/1410_Searcy_Envision.png" width="700" height="325" alt="" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span>Anonymous</span></span> <span>Wed, 12/17/2014 - 20:09</span> <div class="field field--name-field-caption field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>This rendering shows how the Giant Magellan Telescope’s six large mirrors will encircle a seventh. (Rendering courtesy the Giant Magellan Telescope Project)</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refauthors field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field--label sr-only">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"> <div> <a href="/author/maureen-searcy"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Maureen Searcy</div> </a> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refsource field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/publication-sources/inquiry" hreflang="en">Inquiry</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-text field--label-hidden field--item">Fall/14</div> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The Physical Sciences Division looks to the future.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>In October UChicago formally launched the public phase of the University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact, a $4.5 billion fundraising campaign expected to last through 2019. The quiet phase has already raised more than $2 billion, including 182,000 gifts from alumni and friends.</p> <p>The campaign serves as an important moment for the division, says dean <a href="https://president.uchicago.edu/directory/edward-rocky-kolb">Rocky Kolb</a>. “We pioneer scientific discovery; philanthropists provide us the means, and in doing so become an integral part of the work we do.”</p> <p>As part of the campaign, the <a href="https://physical-sciences.uchicago.edu/">Physical Sciences Division</a> is raising funds to advance a set of ambitious goals, focusing on:</p> <blockquote><strong>pursuits</strong>—developing ambitious research agendas and programs, maintaining and fostering the division’s tradition of discovery;</blockquote> <blockquote><strong>people</strong>—attracting and supporting the best students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty by building and advancing core facilities and equipment and promoting a strong collaborative community;</blockquote> <blockquote><strong>place</strong>—serving as an intellectual destination where researchers from around the globe present and hone their breakthroughs.</blockquote> <p>These initiatives, Kolb says, will continue—and bolster—the PSD’s history of producing research and scientists that push boundaries, ask difficult questions, and create new fields of study.</p> <p>Below are the division’s departmental campaign priorities.</p> <hr /><h2><strong>Big glass</strong></h2> <p><strong>Astronomy and Astrophysics</strong>: Telescopes are time machines, and the biggest and most advanced telescopes bring us ever closer to the big bang. Construction is expected to be complete by 2020 on the <a href="http://www.gmto.org/">Giant Magellan Telescope</a>, a segmented-mirror scope in the Chilean Andes Mountains with more than 12 times the light-gathering area of the Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona, currently the world’s largest telescope. The University of Chicago has pledged a significant stake in the GMT as well as in the two existing Magellan telescopes, ensuring that UChicago astronomers and astrophysicists have access to the best observational equipment in the world.</p> <h2><strong>Systems research and innovation hub</strong></h2> <p><strong>Computer Science</strong>: Computing devices have transformed nearly every aspect of our lives, yet computer systems are still wasteful, fragile, and insecure. The goal of the computer science department’s new <a href="http://ceres.uchicago.edu/">CERES Center</a> is to engineer “unstoppable computing” by exploring hardware and software architectures that exceed current energy efficiency and function, building resilience to large-scale failure, and achieving total defense against malicious attacks.</p> <h2><strong>Planet habitability</strong></h2> <p><strong>Geophysical Sciences</strong>: Understanding planet habitability—the ability to develop and sustain life—is crucial to human existence here and the search for life out there. The geophysical sciences department studies the complex dynamics among life, rocks, oceans, and atmospheres on Earth and creates models for potential exoplanet habitability, which can then be tested with increasingly powerful telescopes.</p> <h2><strong>Kadanoff Center</strong></h2> <p><strong>Physics</strong>: Condensed matter physics deals with the physics of everyday and exotic materials. The <a href="https://kctp.uchicago.edu/">Kadanoff Center for Theoretical Physics</a>, which has historically focused on particle physics, aims to strengthen its efforts in condensed matter physics, uniting experts in string theory, general relativity, condensed matter physics, and hydrodynamics to study problems shared by both fields.</p> <h2><strong>Math labs and postdoctoral instructorships</strong></h2> <p><strong>Mathematics</strong>: The mathematics department seeks to revolutionize the way math is researched and taught by establishing math laboratories. The department also plans to create a cadre of postdoctoral instructors—recent PhDs who have exhibited exemplary teaching skills—who will provide expert-level education for its growing undergraduate mathematics population.</p> <h2><strong>Data analysis</strong></h2> <p><strong>Statistics</strong>: Computation is vital for the future of all research, the humanities and social sciences as well as physical and life sciences. The PSD is providing undergraduates with training to understand and use computation in their post-College lives. Based on student input and demand, the College has approved a new major in computation and applied mathematics that includes course work in the departments of statistics (which leads the initiative), mathematics, and computer science.</p> <h2><strong>Project Prometheus</strong></h2> <p><strong>Chemistry</strong>: Project Prometheus represents the next step in a decades-long chemical research revolution. Solar energy could eliminate our reliance on fossil fuels, but today’s methods of harvesting and storing it are inefficient and incomplete. The project focuses on capturing sunlight, storing energy in chemical bonds, and chemically converting artificial photosynthesis products.</p> <hr /><p><em>For more information, a complete list of campaign goals, and information on how to give to the PSD, visit <a href="http://campaign.uchicago.edu/">campaign.uchicago.edu</a>.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-reftopic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--item"><a href="/topics/science-medicine" hreflang="en">Science &amp; Medicine</a></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/giant-magellan-telescope" hreflang="en">Giant Magellan Telescope</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/planet-habitability" hreflang="en">planet habitability</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tags/project-prometheus" hreflang="en">Project Prometheus</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-refuchicago field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/campaign" hreflang="en">Campaign</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/physical-sciences-division" hreflang="en">Physical Sciences Division</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/uchicago-campaign" hreflang="en">UChicago Campaign</a></div> </div> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 02:09:07 +0000 Anonymous 4265 at https://mag.uchicago.edu