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Prospective Faculty

Why Utah?


Utah Recreation

Hiking, biking, running, paddling, skiing, flying, climbing, exploring, and relaxing.

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Explore Salt Lake City

A modern metropolis nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

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University Benefits

Medical, dental, retirement, tuition , wellness, and Employee Assistance Program.

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Faculty Stories

Utah’s Fly’s Eye Telescope Array

The cosmic origins of the "OMG Particle"

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Darryl Butt: Finding one’s ‘professional self’

Dean Butt reflects on his impact on students as he leads the U of U graduate school

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Storm Peak

Storm Peak is a lab and a classroom.

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Jessica Haskins

I could not have afforded my first year at MIT if I hadn’t received local scholarships.

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A.A.U. Membership

Utah joins the prestigious Association of American Universities.

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TreeNote is a two minute weekly radio feature from renowned ecologist Dr. Nalini Nadkarni.

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Fellow of the AAAS

Jennifer Shumaker-Perry elected as a Fellow of the AAAS.

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GSL Strike Team

The Great Salt Lake can be saved. This is how we do it.

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Fellow of the AAAS

Vahe Bandarian elected as a Fellow of the AAAS.

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$1M Grant to Chemists

Grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation may help chemists learn how molecules crystallize.

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Pauling Medal

Distinguished Professor Dr. Cynthia Burrows is the 2022 Pauling Medal awardee.

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Art & Air Quality

Public art piece finds common ground in the fight for air quality.

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Storm Peak Laboratory

One of only a handful of high elevation weather labs in the world.

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Clarivate’s Most Cited

Peter Stang is recognized for his exceptional research influence.

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Construction Update

Construction is about to begin on the University of Utah’s new Applied Sciences facility.

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Utah F.O.R.G.E.

The future of geothermal energy is located in Milford, Utah.

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College Merger

The College of Mines & Earth Sciences merges with the College of Science.

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10-year Plan

U astronomers tackle the decade’s biggest questions.

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Distinguished Service

Pearl Sandick receives Distinguished Service Award.

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IF/THEN Ambassador

The largest collection of statues of women ever assembled.

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The Frontier of Physics

Physics beyond the Standard Model.

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Physics Innovation

Yue Zhao Receives Physics Innovation Award.

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William D. Ohlsen

Emeritus Professor William David Ohlsen 1932-2021.

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Camille-Dreyfus Award

Luisa Whittaker-Brooks receives Teacher-Scholar award.

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NAS Membership

Mary Beckerle receives the significant recognition of NAS membership.

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AAAS Membership

Valeria Molinero joins the prestigious ranks of the American Academy.

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Amanda Cangelosi

Mathematics faculty receives U's Early Career Teaching Award.

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Sloan Research Fellow

Luisa Whittaker-Brooks awarded prestigious 2021 Sloan Research Fellowship.

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Cottrell Scholar

Gail Zasowski named a Cottrell Scholar.

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Carsten Rott

Carsten Rott appointed to the Jack W. Keuffel Memorial Chair in Physics & Astronomy.

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Mission Unstoppable

Mixing chemistry and martial arts for CBS television.

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Karl Schwede

The latest faculty to be named a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society.

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Christoph Boehme

Physics & Astronomy selects Christoph Boehme as Department Chair.

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Tino Nyawelo

I see myself in those kids who are brought here as refugees.

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AMS Fellow

Davar Khoshnevisan, named Fellow of American Mathematical Society.

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Dean Peter Trapa

Peter Trapa has been named as the new Dean of the College of Science.

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Royal Fellow

Christopher Hacon adds another honor of a lifetime to his already stellar resume.

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Distinguished Research

Professor Molinero’s work is a hallmark of what research and scholarship should be about.

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Associate V.P. for Research

Diane Pataki is now Associate Vice President for Research at the University of Utah.

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AMS Fellow

Tommaso de Fernex, Ph.D. Associate Department Chair of Mathematics.

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AMS Fellow

“I was delighted to learn the news from the AMS,” said Peter Trapa.

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Breakthrough Prize

Christopher Hacon, has been interested in math for as long as he can remember.

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Addressing Covid-19 Impacts in Faculty Review Materials

Addressing COVID-19 Impacts in Faculty Review Materials

The COVID-19 pandemic has likely impacted your professional life in many ways.  As you come up for informal or formal review, it may be important to contextualize your productivity and performance in research, teaching, and/or service for your colleagues and any external evaluators.  Impacts may include changes to your workload distribution, specific changes to duties, difficulties or delays due to COVID-19-related safety protocols, or the effects of increased care-giving obligations on your ability to complete professional obligations or projects.  

Alerting reviewers and colleagues about particular pandemic-related issues and how they have affected you is optional.  Should you choose to do so, here are two possibilities:

  • COVID-19 Impact Statement.  This is a brief statement enumerating specific consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for your research, teaching, and/or service.
  • Addressing impacts within existing written materials.  Examples include mentioning delays in data collection within your research statement or discussing the shift to online instruction in your teaching statement.

It is recommended that discussions of COVID impacts be brief and specific.  Consider what you would like a reviewer to know that is relevant for evaluating your progress and productivity.  The consequences of the pandemic will be felt for many years, so consider documenting relevant impacts now if you haven’t already.  If you are uncertain about what to include in your review materials, you are encouraged to consult with mentors, your chair/director, or the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs.

For reference, below is a non-exhaustive list of possible ways that one might document the impacts of COVID-19 on the work of a faculty member (from M. Subramaniam, 2020).

Research and Creative Work: 

  • Access to lab; access to equipment/orders for consumables; limiting work because of space and required rotation/coordination of lab personnel (such as students, postdocs, technicians); repairs or the need to fix systems. 
  • Writing time (plausibly because of care work – self and others; lack of access to books etc. from libraries). 
  • Access to studios and spaces for creative work. 
  • Loss in time due to increased teaching or service responsibilities. 
  • Note canceled fellowships, conference, or speaking engagements. 
  • Challenges in networking virtually versus being physically present at conferences and annual meetings (important especially for assistant and associate professors). 
  • Note canceled sabbatical time, paid/unpaid leave. 
  • Effects on research time due to care work, filing additional paperwork for changing/maintaining immigrant status. 
  • Research group/lab virtual meetings involving challenges such as students not having access to high speed broadband. 
  • Limited home connectivity for many reasons, including leaving WiFi during the day for school-age children. 
  • Disruptions in field-based work because of funding and travel and visa restrictions or overall research restrictions. 
  • Access to animals, cell cultures, inability to gather data/access to human subjects. 
  • Note inability of collaborators to visit and engage; including the disruptions in collaborators locations (domestic and international). 
  • Additional work and time to become familiar with protocol and ensuring research groups/lab groups are aware of and adhere to them. 
  • Access to internal/external funds for research perhaps due to funding being redirected to COVID-19 topics. 
  • Restrictions in use of funds such as discretionary funds and/or additional approvals needed to use funds for regular research activities. 
  • Access to office equipment and workspace environments (reliable internet, ergonomic furniture, professional workspace) for self and/or mentoring students. 
  • Disruptions in access to funds for open access publishing. 
  • Note cancellation of in-person workshops and disruptions in fulfilling grant outcomes. 
  • On a weekly basis, document how much virtual to on-site work is being done (virtual versus on-site spaces have their own challenges; remote work can be isolating, anxiety-producing, and stressful. On-site work can increase fears of bringing the virus home to loved ones and seeing former physical spaces now “look like a ghost town” can cause anxiety). 
  • Limits to collaborative research because of restrictions to travel, access to labs, and so impacts on interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary work. 


  • Time spent to retool and/or redesign curriculum to be used in a virtual format. Document revisions to courses: moving courses online, building skills to handle new technology and new online platform (can note how a typical # of work hours for teaching a particular course changed for that course). 
  • Note trainings attended to retool for teaching in revised modes. 
  • Note lack of resources for faculty and students (internet and broadband access; closure of campus computer labs or limited seats available at campus computer labs). 
  • Identify any additional teaching responsibilities (including new course preps such as due to retirement of a colleague); issues with teaching assistants; assisting others. 
  • Additional workload because of administering high flex, hybrid, and online courses such as, handling emails from students who may be quarantined; suspended; or absent from class including figuring out procedures and who to contact with questions. 
  • Note concerns and disruptions from students’ disregard of instructions in courses (particularly for women and women of color). 
  • Mentoring (faculty and students): 
    • note especially additional work needed to support those experiencing health, economic, and social consequences of COVID-19. 
    • note additional advising time because of physical or mental health concerns. 
    • note disruptions because of concerns of status of international students or newly admitted international students being unable to travel. 
    • concerns due to uncertainty and lag times in communication between when a student raises a concern and when a university response is received. 
  • Note concerns about intellectual property rights questions and posting all materials online. 
  • Note concerns about creating safe spaces for classroom dialogue offline and online. 


  • List attending or leading meetings (additional ones) that may typically not have been required. 
  • Challenges of attending meetings virtually and how some inequalities may be further amplified in virtual settings. 
  • Note disruptions in community-based engagement and activities. 
  • Note if committee work is equitable. 
  • List limitations in advising student organizations, if any; and disruptions in those activities. 
  • Note additional workload to support communities and collaborations within which you work particularly during COVID-19. 
  • Note additional hurdles in disseminating or finishing products or services for the scholarship of engagement, especially if the target community does not have regular access to internet. 
  • Note how communities/partners have been disrupted in accessing university labs or services. 

SRI Leaders

Inspire the Next Generation

The Science Research Initiative (SRI) creates opportunities for first-year and transfer students to join a research lab in the College of Science, to begin to learn and master the skills they will need for a successful career in a STEM field.

Faculty can lead a stream of SRI scholars (3-10 students) in their lab on a project of their choosing, that relates to overall research productivity. By participating, faculty can help students gain research skills and mentorship that lead to academic retention, a more positive undergraduate experience and paths to graduate school.

The SRI process:

1. First-year students, upon acceptance to the University of Utah, can apply to the SRI if they intend to declare a major or minor in the College of Science/College of Mines & Earth Sciences.

2. Upon admittance to the SRI, students are placed into research streams - a group of fellow students working together in the same lab.

3. Once in a lab, the stream is taught the necessary lab skills they will need, as well as begin creating community with their fellow students, faculty, and research lab members.

4. Students work with their stream for an academic year. They will then have the choice to continue with the SRI for a second year, becoming mentors for the next cohort of students, or leaving the lab for new opportunities.


We want you to be involved! Email our SRI team today.





Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan

As of July 2020, the College of Science has finalized its Strategic Plan. You can view it here:



Many thanks to all students, faculty, and staff who participated in the process described below to help shape the future of the College of Science.


May 7-15, 2020 - Survey

Input from students, faculty, and staff is solicited.

May 22, 2020 - Summary

May 29, 2020 - Draft

Draft Strategic Plan available to stakeholders (UNID required)

May 29-June 5, 2020 - Comments

Comment phase for Draft Strategic Plan

June 2020 - Update

  • Summary of comments available to stakeholders
  • Preliminary Strategic Plan available to stakeholders

July, 2020 - Finalize

  • Presentation to College Executive Committee for approval
  • Strategic Plan finalized


Engaging STEM Students


How can we meaningfully engage students in STEM courses? How can we make Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields (STEM) more inclusive and accessible?

Claudia De Grandi

The retention rate in STEM fields is low—many students who initially plan to pursue a degree in STEM drop out because they don’t identify with the environment they’re exposed to and they don’t enjoy their STEM courses. How can we keep students excited and interested in staying in STEM?

Claudia De Grandi, assistant professor (lecturer) of educational practice in the Physics and Astronomy Department, spends most of her time thinking about how to make her courses more inclusive and how to encourage every student, independently of their background, abilities and identities, to participate and engage in STEM fields successfully.

“I love teaching because of its challenges,” said De Grandi. “Something that worked well in one place may not work in another setting. It’s the role of the teacher to listen to the students and adapt to be in tune with them. My goals are to be equitable and inclusive, although I don’t always achieve it.

Unfortunately, we’re all biased, and it’s our responsibility to keep trying to understand how it feels to be someone else.” De Grandi tries her best to consider the hurdles and inequities each student has to overcome to succeed in school. She has taught at Yale University, Housatonic Community College (Bridgeport, Conn.), and now at the U.

Her teaching style relies on the adoption of evidence-based teaching practices and is informed by the latest results from Physics Education Research (PER). PER is the field of physics that aims to understand and assess how students learn and make sense of physics concepts and identify successful teaching practices and instructional approaches.

In support of previous PER research, De Grandi has found that using active learning techniques and providing opportunities to promote group work are key to student success. “I started implementing group quizzes a few years ago—now I also do group exams. I prompt student reflections (on exam mistakes, performance, and preparation) and on their mindset (growth or fixed),” said De Grandi. “I do like to surprise my students by asking them to talk about something not related to physics. Learning is not just about content—I work to make sure my students are comfortable sitting in class so they can focus on learning.”

Here is what one student said about De Grandi’s teaching: “Claudia is amazing, and she’s one of the main reasons I enjoy coming to class. Her drawings are cute, and her examples are always fun and silly. She includes everyone and really knows how to make a class fun. I was worried I’d hate physics but she definitely made me love it. “

De Grandi grew up in Milan, Italy, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from the University of Milan. In 2011, she obtained a Ph.D. in theoretical condensed matter physics from Boston University.

She was at Yale University first as a research postdoc and continued as a teaching postdoc through the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning. She joined the U in July 2018 as an assistant professor (lecturer) in the Department of Physics & Astronomy. De Grandi has been actively involved in faculty training on teaching for the past five years and has served as a facilitator and leader for the Summer Institutes on Scientific Teaching ( at several U.S. campuses as well as at University College London. She is currently collaborating with the U’s Center for Science and Mathematics Education to bring a Summer Institute to the U next spring. Interested faculty from the College of Science will be invited to participate.

At the U, De Grandi has redesigned and led the Teaching Assistant (TA) Orientation for Physics and Astronomy graduate students. The training focuses on preparing incoming graduate students to teach by promoting group work, being aware of student diversity, and fostering a welcoming environment.

“This spring I’ll be teaching a new course called “Being Human in STEM,” said De Grandi. “Although I’ve taught this course before at Yale, this will be my first time teaching it here, along with a team of colleagues in math, chemistry, and astronomy.”

The course combines academic inquiry and community engagement to investigate diversity and climate within STEM. Students will examine how diverse personal backgrounds shape the STEM experience both at the U and nationally. “The goal is to start a dialogue among STEM faculty and students to identify issues with the STEM environment and develop interventions to help ameliorate these problems,” said De Grandi. “I look forward to teaching the course, and learning, from and with the students.”

 - by Michele Swaner
  First Published in Discover Magazine, Fall 2019