Physics Peer Mentors

Physics peer mentors are here to help you navigate your path into and through the physics major. They can answer questions about what it’s like to major in physics, what classes in the major are like, how you find a research opportunity, and so on. Please don’t hesitate to contact any or all of the peer mentors to chat about physics.

Physics peer mentors will hold office hours at 8 pm on Wednesdays in Linsly-Chittenden Hall, Room 103, during the Society of Physics Students (SPS) study hall.

2019-2020 Peer Mentors

Sam Day-Weiss

I am a Senior in Saybrook College completing the intensive physics major, and I’ve been working with Professor Laura Newburgh on the Simons Observatory ( for a year and a half. I was born in Sydney, Australia, but currently live in Graz Austria with my parents and black lab named Milo. My other primary activities on campus are with the club soccer team and a Latin dance group called Sabrosura. Feel free to ask me about these if you have questions! When I first came to Yale, I struggled to find people to talk to about the physics major. This is why I decided to become a peer mentor! I’ve been tutoring in physics for several years, and will be a peer tutor for PHYS 200 this coming semester. Entering the physics major can be a little bit daunting, and having experienced these difficulties, I can offer advice about how to navigate the physics landscape at Yale, find mentors, and stay excited about physics. I’m always here to talk about the physics, and the non-physics, so please never hesitate to reach out.

Shantanu Jha

I am a junior in Saybrook College studying physics and math. I was born in India and raised across the west and east coasts. For the past nine years, I have come to call Queens NYC my home. As an aspiring physicist, I aim to better understand and leverage the most fundamental nature of the universe through Quantum Computing research at the Yale Quantum Institute. In my first two years at Yale, I worked on theory research with Professor Steven Girvin. Now, with a new-found preference for experimental physics after a summer of Quantum Cascade Laser research in the Capasso group at Harvard, I am joining Professor Devoret in the QLab. Outside of the lab and classes, I enjoy participating in and enabling volunteering as the president of Yale Rotaract, as well as woodworking, playing intramural sports, and solving riddles. As a note to the prospective physics major, the sheer opportunity at Yale can be as daunting to navigate as it is exciting to pursue. Honest insight and advice from my peers have thus been instrumental in shaping my experience. So please, feel free to reach out. Let’s talk!

Elizabeth Ruddy

I am a senior physics major interested in particle physics. I have been working with Professor Reina Maruyama since junior year on dark matter research. This past summer, I worked as a summer student at CERN on an R&D project involving gaseous detectors. Last year, I served as co-president of Women in Physics at Yale and I am currently helping to organize the annual Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics which will be held at Yale in January. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, dancing, and reading, and I am so excited to get to know more incoming/current physics majors as a peer mentor this year!

Malcolm Tang

When I arrived at Yale two years ago, not knowing any upperclassmen in physics and assigned a non-physics advisor, I  found it hard to pick the right classes and find a way to get involved in research. I am excited to work as a peer tutor to help new majors navigate the often-confusing maze of courses and research opportunities, thus giving them greater ease and confidence in exploring their interests. As someone who has taken quite a few engineering classes and does research in the Applied Physics department, I believe my experience could be particularly useful for physics majors who want a more applied focus.