On April 28, 2023, Yale Society of Physics Students (SPS) hosted Professor Kerstin Perez from Columbia University as the fourth guest of honor and speaker for the Howard L. Schultz Senior Prize Lecture. Given each year by a distinguished physicist to the Yale physics community, the prize lecture serves to facilitate conversations between undergraduate students and the greater physics community.
In addition to delivering a talk titled “Scanning the Sky for Dark Matter: New Windows for Astroparticle Interactions”, Professor Perez spent the day with the Yale physics community – undergraduates in particular – at the end-of-year SPS picnic, over an informal lunch, during a walking tour of campus, and over an off-campus dinner following the lecture. SPS Co-President Barkotel Zemenu (YC ‘24) states, “Professor Perez was an absolute pleasure to host! From her fascinating talk on Dark Matter to her down-to-earth conversations over dinner, she engaged the Yale physics community in the best way possible! This tradition of the prize lectures has well shown that the experience of spending a day with a distinguished scientist — listening to them lecture and breaking bread over dinner — proves to be incredibly formative for students considering a journey in physics.”
Previous invited speakers for the Howard L. Schultz Senior Prize Lecture include Nobel Laureate F. Duncan M. Haldane from Princeton University, Professor Monika Schleier-Smith from Stanford University and Professor Nima Arkani-Hamed from the Institute for Advanced Study.
The Howard L. Schultz, Sr. Prize Lecture is given each year by a distinguished physicist in honor of Howard L. Schultz, Sr. who received his PhD in Physics from Yale in 1937, where he was an instructor from 1938 until 1940. Professor Schultz joined the Yale physics faculty in 1945, and immediately began work in building atom‐smashing devices. Between 1961 and 1976 he was director of the Electron Linear Accelerator laboratory. Earlier, in 1951, he headed a project that expanded the Yale linear accelerator to a 15‐section, 6.5 million‐electron‐volt machine. Upon his death in 1977, a prize was started and awarded to seniors majoring in physics in recognition of their fine academic record and for the promise of important contributions to the field of physics. This lecture is usually held in the Spring term and speakers are suggested and invited by the Yale Society of Physics Students (SPS).