Accessibility Menu
Press ctrl + / to access this menu.

Understanding the Science

Understanding the Science

Bringing together scientists, researchers, policy makers, and community leaders to discuss issues facing Utah.

This quarterly lecture series will provide in-depth discussions on topics that address our communities. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and get factual, timely information from leading experts. Understanding the Science is supported by Intuitive Funding.

Currently, the series is held virtually over Zoom. We hope to offer in-person discussions later in 2021.

  Previous lectures

May 2021 - Environmental and Economic Impact of Drought & Wildfires in Utah


  • Dr. Bill Anderegg, UU School of Biological Sciences
  • Thomas Holst, UU Gardner Policy Institute
  • Dr. Mitchell Power, UU Department of Geography

February 2021 - The COVID-19 Vaccine


  • Dr. Fred Adler, UU Mathematics
  • Representative Jen Dailey-Provost, Utah House of Representatives
  • Dr. Ryan Looper, UU Chemistry
  • Dr. Sankar Swaminathan, Chief of Infectious Diseases, UU Health

November 2020 - The COVID-19 Virus


  • Dr. Fred Adler, UU Mathematics
  • Dr. Joe Jarvis, Community Leader
  • The Honorable Mike Leavitt
  • Dr. Ryan Looper, UU Chemistry

>> HOME <<



Pride Week

Pride Week 2021

The College of Science recognizes that scientific research benefits from diversity in the lab and in the classroom, and we are working to promote a culture of acceptance, equity, and inclusion in our college. This is ongoing work, and takes the dedication of all of us to strive to improve. The College of Science has developed a series of Zoom backgrounds highlighting LGBTQ+ scientists and mathematicians. We encourage you to use these during Pride Week and beyond. 

The University is planning numerous activities for Pride Week. We hope that students, faculty and staff are able to find ways to participate in these opportunities. 

There are hundreds more scientists than we can include here. The College of Science has an LGBTQ+ STEM Interest Group: More stories and resources are available at the links below:

500 Queer Scientists

Zoom Backgrounds

Please download and use these zoom backgrounds highlighting LGBTQ+ scientists and mathematicians to use during Pride Week and the spring semester.

To add and use a Virtual Background in Zoom:

  • Right click and save the Virtual Background image.
  • Under Zoom - Preferences/Settings, choose Background and Filters.
  • Click the plus sign (+) to the right of Virtual Backgrounds to upload a new background image.
  • For further instructions, consult Zoom's Help Center.

Frontiers of Science

Frontiers of Science

The 2020-2021 Frontiers of Science series has concluded. Please watch this year's lectures using the links below. 

The Frontiers of Science lecture series was established in 1967 by University of Utah alumnus and Physics Professor Peter Gibbs. By 1970, the University had hosted 10 Nobel laureates for public Frontiers lectures. By 1993, when Gibbs retired, the Frontiers organizers had hosted another 20 laureates. Today, Frontiers of Science is the longest continuously-running lecture series at the University of Utah.

A schedule for 2021-2022 lectures will be available in the summer of 2021. 

2020-2021 Lectures

Thursday, October 22, 2020
Nature is the Future of Chemistry.

Shelley Minteer - Associate Chair of Chemistry Dept, University of Utah
Henry White - Distinguished Professor, Chemistry Dept, University of Utah
Scott Anderson - Distinguished Professor, Chemistry Dept, University of Utah

>> Watch the video <<

The Center for Synthetic Organic Electrochemistry (CSOE) was recently awarded $20 million to advance its work to make synthetic organic electrochemistry mainstream. Join Peter Trapa, Dean of the College of Science, as he speaks with Dr. Shelley Minteer and her team on demystifying this process, and how its use will enable new green, safe, and economically beneficial new discoveries.

Dr. Shelley Minteer, professor of Analytical, biological & materials chemistry at the University of Utah, uses nature as an inspiration and solution to chemistry problems. Her group focuses on improving the abiotic-biotic interface between biocatalysts and electrode surfaces for enhanced bioelectrocatalysis and designs electrode structures for enhanced flux at electrode surfaces for biosensor and biofuel cell applications. In addition to holding the Dale and Susan Poulter Chair in Biological Chemistry, Dr. Minteer is the Director of the U’s Center for Synthetic Organic Electrochemistry which was just awarded a $20 Million NSF grant for the center’s Phase II development.

Thursday, November 19, 2020
The Future of Western Forests in a Changing Climate.

Bill Anderegg - Assistant Professor, School of Biological Sciences

>> Watch the video <<

Climate change may dramatically reshape western landscapes and forests through heat, drought, fires, and beetles. What can science tell us about what the future looks like for western US forests and what we can do about it?

Assistant Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the U, Dr. William “Bill” Anderegg’s research centers on the intersection of ecosystems and climate change. In particular, he strives to understand the future of the Earth’s forests in a changing climate. Massive mortality events of many tree species in the last decade prompt concerns that drought, insects, and wildfire may devastate forests in the coming decades. Widely published, most recently in Science and PNAS, Anderegg studies how drought and climate change affect forest ecosystems, including tree physiology, species interactions, carbon cycling, and biosphere-atmosphere feedbacks. His work spans a broad array of spatial scales from xylem cells to ecosystems and seeks to gain a better mechanistic understanding of how climate change will affect forests around the world. Dr. Anderegg received his bachelor's and Ph.D. from Stanford University and did an NOAA Climate & Global change post-doctoral fellowship at Princeton.

Thursday, February 18, 12-1 pm
On Thinning Ice - Modeling sea ice in a warming climate.

Ken Golden - Department of Mathematics

>> Watch the video <<

Precipitous declines of sea ice are writing a new narrative for the polar marine environment. Earth’s sea ice covers can tell us a lot about climate change—they are canaries in the coal mine. Predicting what may happen to sea ice and the ecosystems it supports over the next ten, fifty, or one hundred years requires extensive mathematical modeling of key physical and biological processes, and the role that sea ice plays in global climate. Ken Golden, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, will discuss his research, his Arctic and Antarctic adventures, and how mathematics is currently playing an important role in addressing these fundamental issues and will likely play an even greater role in the future.

Ken Golden is a Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and an Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Utah. His research is focused on developing mathematical models of sea ice which are inspired by theories of composite materials and statistical physics. He has traveled 18 times to the Arctic and Antarctic, and his work has been published in a wide range of scientific journals. Golden is a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, an Inaugural Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, and a Fellow of the Explorers Club, whose members have included Neil Armstrong, Sir Edmund Hillary, Robert Peary, and Jane Goodall.

Thursday, March 18, 12-1 pm
Not too big, Not too small: The hunt for intermediate-mass black holes

Anil Seth - Department of Physics & Astronomy

>>Watch the video<<

Astronomers have found lots of black holes with masses a few times that of the sun and hundreds of supermassive black holes with masses more than a million times the mass of the sun. But where are the ones in the middle—the intermediate mass black holes? Dr. Seth will talk about different ways we are hunting for intermediate mass black holes and why so many of us are interested in finding them.

Dr. Anil Seth, associate professor of Physics & Astronomy at the U, studies the formation and evolution of nearby galaxies by detecting individual stars and clusters of stars whose ages, composition, and motions can be measured. His research focuses on understanding the centers of galaxies and the black holes and massive star clusters found there. He also studies the large surveys of our nearest spiral neighbors, Andromeda and Triangulum, and is involved with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey’s APOGEE project. He was named a Presidential Scholar by the U and has been awarded several National Science Foundation grants.

All lectures are subject to change. Contact for questions or more information.



A Lecture Series Spanning Five Decades

The Frontiers of Science lecture series was established in 1967 by University of Utah alumnus and Physics Professor Peter Gibbs. Gibbs and his fellow physics faculty at the U sought to bring notable researchers from around the country to the University to discuss the current “frontiers” in physics research. The larger goal was to present public lectures that would attract attention to important developments in scientific research.

By 1970, the University had hosted 10 Nobel laureates for public Frontiers lectures. By 1993, when Gibbs retired, the Frontiers organizers had hosted another 20 laureates. Today, Frontiers of Science is the longest continuously-running lecture series at the University of Utah.

The first Frontiers event was presented by Peter Gibbs himself, who discussed “Einstein the Sociologist,” on April 1, 1967. Physics Professors David C. Evans, Grant R. Fowles and Jack W. Keuffel presented the remaining three lectures that year. In the meantime, the group worked on scheduling outstanding speakers for the following year.

Gibbs and colleagues made good on their promise to bring exceptional scientists to campus. During the 1968-69 academic year, eight lectures were held, including ones by C.N. Yang from the University of New York at Stony Brook (“Symmetry Principles in Physics”) and Murray Gell-Mann from the California Institute of Technology (“Elementary Particles”). Nobel laureates gave three of the eight presentations that academic year, and during 1969 as a whole, six of thirteen lectures were given by Nobel laureates. Topics included astronomy, mathematics, anthropology, politics and social issues.

Gibbs and the early FOS organizers were extremely adept at recruiting famous and soon-to-be-famous scientists. They also were keenly aware of the state of scientific research and the social climate of the time. President Nixon was in office, the Vietnam War was escalating and student protests were common on university campuses including the U of U. The United States had just put a man on the moon. Personal computers did not exist.

Through the 1970s as many as ten lectures were presented each academic year, but by 1980 the pace had slowed to a more manageable five or six per year. The FOS series had become immensely popular and the topics were broadened to include biology, chemistry, mathematics and the earth sciences.

In the early 1980s, FOS audiences were treated to firsthand accounts of the discovery of the structure of DNA by James D. Watson (“The Double Helix and Destiny,” 1981) and Francis H.C. Crick (“The Two DNA Revolutions,” 1984), the achievement for which they had received a Nobel Prize in 1962.

Many FOS speakers were not so famous or honored when they spoke here, but became so later in their career. For example, F. Sherwood Rowland spoke on “Man’s Threat to Stratospheric Ozone” in the 1978 academic year, and was a co-recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his pioneering studies on the destruction of ozone by chlorofluro- carbons which was his topic in 1978!

From 1994 to 1997, the Frontiers of Science series was complemented by the Davern/Gardner Laureateship. Dean T. Benny Rushing, Biology Professor K. Gordon Lark, and Emeritus Professor Boyer Jarvis wished to honor the memory of two former College of Science faculty members who made extraordinary administrative contributions to the University of Utah: Cedric “Ric” Davern and Pete D. Gardner.

Rushing, Lark and Jarvis secured a generous grant from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation to fund the Davern/Gardner Laureateship. The Laureateship allowed the College to bring a notable scientist to campus to deliver a public lecture and to interact with research teams and faculty that shared the invitee’s scientific interests. Dr. John Cairns gave the first lecture in November 1994. A total of six Davern/Gardner Laureateship lectures were presented until the grant was exhausted.

The history of venues for Frontiers of Science presentations is quite colorful. From 1967 to 1970, various rooms were used, including 103 North Physics, 200 Music Hall and Mark Greene Hall in the College of Business. By 1974, FOS events were often held in the Waldemer P. Read auditorium in Orson Spencer Hall. The Read auditorium featured stadium seating for about 400 people and was primarily used through the 1980s.

By 1990, the Fine Arts auditorium became the venue of choice because it was newer, larger, and had a better sound system. However, the lighting and sound controls were problematic and scheduling conflicts forced organizers to utilize the nearby Social Work auditorium on occasion.

In the meantime, the College of Science was constructing the Aline Wilmot Skaggs Biology Research Building (ASB) that included a beautiful 325-seat lecture auditorium and an adjoining 125-seat room complete with modern sound systems, digital video projectors and lighting. When ASB opened in 1997, the Frontiers series finally had a home within the College.

In 2003, the College of Mines and Earth Sciences joined with the College of Science to co-host FOS and increase the number of lectures devoted to aspects of geology, geophysics and meteorology. The effort was successful and a total of five presentations were scheduled, including Paul F. Hoffman, Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology, Harvard University (“Snowball Earth: Testing the Limits of Global Climate Change,” 2003) and Peter B. deMenocal, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University (“Climate Shifts and the Collapse of Ancient Cultures,” 2004).

In March 2007, Professor Kerry A. Emanuel of MIT discussed the history and science of hurricanes, including how climate change may be influencing storm cycles around the world. He used stunning photos and graphics to explain how hurricanes work, what determines their energy and destructiveness, and the economic and social implications of our policies for dealing with the risks they pose.

In 2008, The 14th Astronomer Royal of Great Britain, Sir Arnold Wolfendale, graced Utah audiences with a superb presentation on “Time: From Harrison’s Clocks to the Possibility of New Physics.” Other international guests were Dr. Jennifer Graves, Distinguished Professor at La Trobe University, Australia, and Dr. Stefan Hell, Nobel laureate and Director of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany.

Peter Gibbs: The Father of “Frontiers”

Physics Professor Pete Gibbs and his colleagues established the Frontiers of Science lecture series as a method to bring notable researchers from around the world to Utah to discuss the current “frontiers” in scientific research. The first Frontiers event was presented by Pete Gibbs himself, on April 1, 1967. During the following two years, nine of the twenty-one FoS lectures were given by current or future Nobel laureates.

The early success of Frontiers was largely due to Pete’s personal invitations, and also his family’s skill at hosting prominent scientists in their home near the University campus. The Gibbs family offered lodging, food, and world-class skiing, to sweeten the deal.

Pete Gibbs passed away on July 13, 2019 surrounded by family and friends. He was 94.

Frontiers of Science, now in its 52nd year, continues to be sponsored by the College of Science and the College of Mines and Earth Sciences. The list of speakers now includes some 280 distinguished scientists.





COVID-19 Vaccine Panel

Understanding the Science

U of U panel of experts will answer COVID-19 vaccine questions at free event.

Depending who you ask, the COVID-19 vaccine could be the miraculous answer to worldwide prayers. Others may think it's an ill-tested, reckless way to control increasingly desperate people. Suffice to say, there's no shortage of opinions on whether the vaccine is safe, effective or even ethical—all while the list of myths surrounding it continues to grow.

Fortunately, University of Utah's College of Science is clearing up much of the confusion surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines in its quarterly virtual lecture series, "Understanding the Science". This quarter's installment, currently scheduled for Feb. 17, tackles one of the hottest topics not only in the community but in the entire world: COVID-19 vaccines.

Moderated by Tom Thatcher of Intuitive Funding, which is sponsoring the event, this free, virtual panel includes experts from both the University of Utah campus and across the state, including Dr. Fred Adler of the university's Department of Mathematics, Jennifer Dailey-Provost, Utah State Representative, and Dr. Ryan Looper of the University of Utah's Department of Chemistry.

Together, panelists will address the science behind the COVID-19 vaccine, information on community spread, policy insight on vaccine rollout schedules and how the vaccine will impact the economy and the future—right here in Utah and around the world.

Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions regarding the vaccine when they register for the event, which may be discussed during the webinar. So, whether you're worried about any of the myths circulating around the vaccine—like the claim that it impacts fertility or that its speedy development undermines its safety and effectiveness—you can pose these topics for discussion by the panel.

Discussing the COVID-19 vaccine is a natural topic for the Understanding the Science lecture series, which brings scientific experts, government leaders and community advocates together to discuss major issues facing Utahans today. And since the Utah Health Department reports more than 337,000 Utahans have contracted COVID-19 so far—with more than 1,600 dying from the disease and an entire state living under regulations to slow the spread—this is one issue affecting every Utah resident.

"Understanding the Science: COVID-19 Vaccine" will be held virtually Wednesday, Feb. 17 from 7-9 p.m. If you plan to attend, please register. While the College of Science's Lecture Series has historically been an in-person event, COVID-19's social distancing practices have necessitated the shift to virtual webinars.

That said, with a vaccine now available to at-risk populations and wider availability on the horizon, the University of Utah College of Science hopes to return to in-person events later in 2021.

COVID-19 has dramatically shifted Utahan's way of life. With vaccines becoming available for more and more Utahans, it's important to understand its risks, the myths surrounding them and the possible impact on the future. Find out more about the free webinar, register and submit your questions for discussion at the University of Utah.


Originally published @

Discover 2020

Discover 2020

Our DNA 2021

Featured: Plant pandemics, birdsong, retiring faculty, and more.

Read More
AfterMath 2020

Featured: 50 Years of Math, Sea Ice, and Faculty and Staff recognition.

Read More
Our DNA 2020

Featured: Stories on e-birders, retiring faculty, remote learning, and more.

Read More
Spectrum 2020

Featured: 3D maps of the Universe, Perovskite Photovoltaics, and Dynamic Structure in HIV.

Read More
Notebook 2020

Featured: Convocation, Alumni, Student Success, and Rapid Response Research.

Read More
Our DNA 2020

Featured: Stories on Fruit Flies, Forest Futures and Student Success.

Read More
Catalyst 2020

Featured: Transition to Virtual, 2020 Convocation, Graduate Spotlights, and Awards.

Read More
Spectrum 2020

Featured: Nuclear Medicine, PER Programs, and NSF grant for Quantum Idea Incubator.

Read More
Discover 2019

Features the Science Research Initiative, College Rankings, Commutative Algebra, and more.

Read More
Spectrum 2019

Featured: Nuclear Medicine, PER Programs, and NSF grant for Quantum Idea Incubator.

Read More
Notebook 2019

Featured: The New Faces of Utah Science, Churchill Scholars, and Convocation 2019.

Read More
Catalyst 2019

Featured: Endowed Chairs of Chemistry, Curie Club, and alumnus: Victor Cee.

Read More
Our DNA 2019

Featured: Ants of the World, CRISPR Scissors, and Alumni Profile - Nikhil Bhayani.

Read More
Catalyst 2019

Featured: Methane- Eating Bacteria, Distinguished Alumni, Student and Alumni profiles.

Read More
Spectrum 2019

Featured: Molecular Motors, Churchill Scholar, Dark Matter, and Black Holes.

Read More
Our DNA 2019

Featured: The Startup Life, Monica Gandhi, Genomic Conflicts, and alumna Jeanne Novak.

Read More
AfterMath 2018

Featured: A Love for Puzzles, Math & Neuroscience, Number Theory, and AMS Fellows.

Read More
Discover 2018

The 2018 Research Report for the College of Science.

Read More
Spectrum 2018

Featured: Dark Matter, Spintronics, Gamma Rays and Improving Physics Teaching.

Read More
Catalyst 2018

Featured: Ming Hammond, Jack & Peg Simons Endowed Professors, Martha Hughes Cannon.

Read More

Science Themed Communities

 Science THemed Communities

One way to deepen your engagement at the U is to live in a College of Science Themed Community: College of Science First Year Floor at Kahlert Village or the Crocker Science House on Officers Circle. These communities are designed to bring students with similar interests, majors, goals, and experiences together.

College of Science First Year Floor

Kahlert Village is the newest residential community on campus and is home to approximately 990 first year students. The building features double and single rooms in cluster and suite-style configurations. Kahlert Village is centrally located on campus, includes a full-service dining facility, and a variety of classroom and study space available for students. A meal plan is required in this living area.

If you are a first year student pursuing a degree in the College of Science the Science First Year Floor is an excellent opportunity for you. Residents support each other through the rigors of their coursework while deepening their connection to the College of Science faculty, alumni, staff, and opportunities.  Resident Advisors are science students who can help mentor you through your academic career.

Crocker Science House

Nestled in Officers' Circle, at the base of the Wasatch foothills and the Shoreline Trail, the Crocker Science House provides a unique opportunity for twelve science students to live and learn together in a beautifully restored building once occupied by military officers. Crocker Science Scholars have the opportunity to attend lectures, dinners, and other events with luminaries of Utah's business, science, and academic communities. In 2018, Mario Capecchi joined the students for dinner and ping-pong. A meal plan is required in this living area.

Crocker Science Scholars come from a variety of geographic, cultural, and academic backgrounds, united by a strong drive to succeed in the physical and life sciences.   Scholars often find that living in close quarters with students from other disciplines helps them with their own work and encourages them to explore avenues of science they would not have considered otherwise.

Frequently asked questions

Complete the Housing & Residential application and select the College of Science First Year Floor as your preferred Themed Community by the priority deadline of March 10, 2021.


Complete the Housing & Residential application and select the Science First Year Floor as your preferred Themed Community by the priority deadline of March 10, 2021.

A supplemental application is also required to be considered for the Crocker Science House.

Apply now for the Crocker Science House!


Selection for the College of Science First Year Floor and the Crocker Science House is completed by the College of Science. 

There are three main components that factor into how much it costs to live on campus: location, room type and meal plan. 

Pay your housing bill in monthly installments, rather than a lump sum at once. Payment plan enrollment is is fast and simple.

  • No hassle withdrawals are automatically deducted from designated checking or savings account, or charged to a credit card
  • Calculate the amount you wish to have in your payment plan by using the payment estimator tool

No scholarship is currently available for the College of Science First Year Floor.

Students accepted to reside in the Crocker Science House receive a scholarship to assist with housing expenses, making this opportunity accessible to a wide range of students.

Academic resources

Scholarships, Grants & Financial Aid

Science Research Initiative

Center for Science and Mathematics Education

Employment Opportunities

LEAP Science Course

Science Ambassadors

Honors College

MLK Week

mlk Week 2021

Historically, the Black, Indigeneous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community has been underrepresented in science and mathematics. The College of Science recognizes that scientific research benefits from diversity in the lab and in the classroom, and we are working to promote a culture of acceptance, equity, and inclusion in our college. This is ongoing work, and takes the dedication of all of us to strive to improve. This month, we are highlighting Black chemists, biologists, physicists, astronomers and mathematicians that have made extraordinary contributions to their field. 

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Week (MLK Week) has become a platform to engage students, faculty, staff and community members in critical conversations around contemporary Civil Rights issues and race in America. The University is planning numerous activities for MLK week. We hope that students, faculty and staff are able to find ways to participate in these opportunities. 

The College of Science has developed a series of Zoom backgrounds highlighting Black scientists and mathematicians. We encourage you to use these during MLK week and the upcoming semester. 

Zoom Backgrounds

Please download and use these zoom backgrounds highlighting Black scientists and mathematicians to use during MLK week and the upcoming spring semester.

To add and use a Virtual Background in Zoom:

  • Right click and save the Virtual Background image.
  • Under Zoom - Preferences/Settings, choose Background and Filters.
  • Click the plus sign (+) to the right of Virtual Backgrounds to upload a new background image.
  • For further instructions, consult Zoom's Help Center.

Alice Ball

Dr. Alice Augusta Ball (July 24, 1892 – December 31, 1916) was an American chemist who developed the "Ball Method", the most effective treatment for leprosy during the early 20th century. She was the first woman and first African American to receive a master's degree from the University of Hawaii, and was also the university's first female and African American chemistry professor.

Edray H. Goins

Dr. Goins is a Professor of Mathematics at Pomona College. He specializes in number theory and algebraic geometry, and his interests include Selmer groups for elliptic curves using class groups of number fields, Belyi maps and Dessin d'enfants. He grew up in Los Angeles, obtained a Ph.D. from Stanford (1999) and he was previously at Purdue University. He was the president of the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM) which seeks to promote the success of underrepresented minorities in the mathematical sciences. He spends most of his summers engaging underrepresented students in research.

Renee Horton

Dr. K. Renee Horton is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and lifelong lover of science and NASA. A graduate of Louisiana State University with a B.S. of Electrical Engineering with a minor in Math in 2002 and a Ph.D. in Material Science with a concentration in Physics, becoming the first African American to graduate from the University of Alabama in 2011 in this area. Dr. Horton currently serves as the Space Launch System (SLS) Quality Engineer in the NASA Residential Management Office at Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) in New Orleans. In 2016, Dr. Horton was elected President of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) as the second woman to hold the office, and In 2017, she was elevated to a Fellow in the NSBP, which is the highest honor bestowed upon a member.

Robert Henry Lawrence Jr.

Dr. Robert Henry Lawrence Jr. was a chemist by training, and was also the first African American astronaut. Lawrence was born in Chicago in 1935. After graduating from Bradley University with a chemistry degree, he joined the United States Air Force, eventually becoming a test pilot.

Soon after, the Air Force selected him to become an astronaut to work on low-orbit intelligence missions. This program was the precursor to the NASA’s space shuttle program. During his training, Lawrence also got a PhD in physical chemistry from the Ohio State University.

Lawrence never made it into space. In 1967, he died during a training flight at Edwards Air Force Base. He had completed about 2,500 hours of flight time in his short career. Bradley University named a scholarship in Lawrence’s honor, and a school in Chicago was also named for him. On Feb. 14, 2020, a shuttle bearing Lawrence’s name embarked for the International Space Station, carrying, among other things, supplies for scientific research.

Brandon Ogbunu

Dr. Ogbunu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and leader of the Genetics, Ecology, Evolution, and Quantitative Science (GEEQS) Lab at Yale University. His research takes place at the intersection of evolutionary biology, genetics, and epidemiology. He uses experimental evolution, mathematical modeling, and computational biology to better understand the underlying causes and consequences of disease, across scales: from the biophysics of proteins involved in drug resistance to the social determinants driving epidemics at the population level. In doing so, he aims to develop theory that enriches our understanding of the evolutionary and ecological underpinnings of disease, while contributing to practical solutions for clinical medicine and public health. 

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is an Assistant Professor of Physics and Core Faculty Member in Women’s Studies at the University of New Hampshire. In addition, she is a monthly columnist at New Scientist and a contributing columnist at Physics World. Her work lives at the intersection of particle physics and astrophysics, and while she is primarily a theoretical researcher, maintains strong ties to astronomy.  Dr. Prescod-Weinstein is a topical convenor for Dark Matter: Cosmic Probes in the Snowmass 2021 process, and a lead axion wrangler for the NASA STROBE-X Probe Concept Study. Using ideas from both physics and astronomy, she responds to deep questions about how everything in the universe got to be the way it is. In addition, she researches feminist science studies, and believes all have the right to know the universe.

Candice R. Price

Dr. Price is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at Smith College. Her primary area of mathematical research is DNA topology, that is, knot theory applied to the structure of DNA, but she has research interests in the broad area of applied mathematics. She is a co-founder of the Underrepresented Students in Topology and Algebra Research Symposium (USTARS) and co-creator of the website that features profiles of Black mathematicians. Her service mission is to support those underrepresented in STEM by creating and supporting programs that increase visibility and amplify the voices of women and people of color in STEM while creating networks and community in STEM to provide opportunities to share resources. 

Clifton Sanders

Clifton G. Sanders, Ph.D., is the Provost for Academic Affairs at Salt Lake Community College. A chemist by training, he has more than 25 years teaching, administrative and leadership experience in higher education. He has held several administrative posts at SLCC, including Division Chair for Natural Sciences, Dean of Science, Mathematics and Engineering, and Interim Vice President for Workforce and Literacy. Dr. Sanders led the development of several STEM programs and has provided leadership for several local and national initiatives in STEM education and workforce development, including major grants sponsored by the Department of Labor and the Department of Energy, and collaborative projects with the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and Utah MESA/STEP. Prior to joining SLCC, Dr. Sanders was a senior research scientist and has several patents in biomaterials technology. His research was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.

Mission Unstoppable


Mission Unstoppable

Watch chemistry professor and mixed martial artist, Dr. Janis Louie, on CBC television's Mission Unstoppable. Dr. Louie uses exercise to show how science solutions play an important role in our bodies.

Born and raised in San Francisco.– Dr. Louie earned degrees and honed her chemistry skills at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Yale University, and the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) before settling in Salt Lake City and joining the faculty in the University of Utah Department of Chemistry. Her research is centered on the discovery, development, and utilization of transition metal catalyzed reactions to overcome obstacles in traditional synthetic approaches.  Dr Louie's honors include the Cope Scholar Award, the Camille-Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award, and the inaugural AAAS If/Then Ambassadorship.

Student Spotlights

Sahar Kanishka

2021 Churchill Scholar

2021 Research Scholar

Josh Carroll

Vignesh Iyer

Kyle Kazemini

Brennan Mahoney

Boyana Martinova

Sonia Sehgal

Women in Mathematics

>> HOME <<