2023 Physics Undergraduate Prize Winners

May 22, 2023

Annually, the Physics Department selects students based on faculty nominations and academic achievement for the Howard L. Schultz, Sr. Prize, awarded by the Physics Department, and the DeForest Pioneers Prize, awarded by the Yale Office of the Secretary. Congratulations to the prize winners for the class of 2023!

HOWARD L. SCHULTZ (1977). Howard L. Schultz, Ph.D. 1937. Awarded to outstanding seniors in the Physics department.

  • Olivia Aspegren, B.S., Physics-Intensive. Advisor: Meg Urry, Senior Project: “The Relative Sensitivity of eROSITA, Chandra and XMM-Newton to Heavily Obscured AGN”
  • Nikhil Harle, B.S., Physics-Intensive. Advisor: Michel Devoret, Senior Project: “Exploring the Computational Complexity of Hilbert Space and Phase Space with Numerical Simulations”. From the nomination letter from Peter Schiffer, “Nikhil displayed a high degree of skill and engagement in his time with our group – reading background literature to the point where he had a strong understanding of the underlying goals of his work. His technical and coding skills, his success in setting up the annealing chamber, and his diligence in working through the data analysis were all very valuable to the research effort.
  • Tausif Hossain, B.S., Physics-Intensive. Advisor: Sarah Demers, Senior Project: “The Mu2e Trigger Rates Analysis and Data Quality Monitor Development”
  • Richard Li, B.S., Physics-Intensive. Advisor: Steven Girvin, Senior Project: “Hybrid Qubit-Bosonic Mode Quantum Computers and Cat-State Amplification”
  • Allen Mi, B.S., Mathematics & Physics / Elec. Engineering/Computer Sci. Advisor: Steven Girvin, Senior Project: “Logical Qubit Postprocessing Based on GKP Syndrome Measurements”
  • Claire Recamier, B.S., Physics. Advisor: Nikhil Padmanabhan, Senior Project: “Investigating Fuzzy Dark Matter through Stellar Streams”
  • Alejandro Simon, B.S., Physics-Intensive / Computer Science. Advisor: Abhishek Bhattacharjee, Senior Project: “A Quantum Algorithm for the Leaky Competing Accumulator”. From the nomination letter from Peter Schiffer, “Alejandro’s effort was impressive in that he had to develop a new capability – truly nobody else in our group had any experience in using machine learning. He needed to both develop the code and also demonstrate on a number of samples that it was working well for a number of difficult anomalies in the data. Furthermore, he then needed to work through many images and keep track of the data in a sufficiently organized fashion that they were accessible to others to continue analysis. He was both creative and diligent in his efforts, and he spent considerable time making the code user-friendly for others.
  • Shayaan Subzwari, B.S., Physics-Intensive / Global Affairs. Advisor: Karsten Heeger, Senior Project: “The LUCKEY Magnet”. From the nomination letter from Peter Schiffer, “Shayaan’s graph theory approach to determining the length, number, and characteristics of the strings was almost entirely his doing – from initiation of the idea to implementation of the code and the analysis of the data. His development of those ideas made a tremendous difference to the research efforts of both papers – to the extent that I believe the project may not have reached a successful conclusion without them.
  • Dawson Thomas, B.S., Mathematics & Physics. Advisor: Sarah Demers, Senior Project: “Topological Machine Learning for Jet Physics”
  • Giovanna Truong, B.S., Physics-Intensive. Advisor: Jack Harris, Senior Project: “Studying supercooled water using diamagnetic levitation”

DEFOREST PIONEERS (1960). Board of Directors of DeForest Pioneers, Inc., in honor of the outstanding scientific achievements of Lee DeForest, Ph.B. 1896. For a senior physics major for distinguished creative achievement in physics.

  • Dash Stevanovich, B.S., Mathematics-Intensive / Physics-Intensive. Advisor: Daisuke Nagai, Senior Project: “A Differentiable Model of the Evolution of Dark Matter Halo Concentration”. From the nomination letter by Daisuke Nagai, “Dash is one of the strongest undergraduate students we hosted in our research group over the past 15 years as a faculty at Yale. During his time at Yale, he completed and submitted one first-author paper and provided critical support for Amanda Butler’s senior essay, which won the 2022 Howard L. Schultz Prize. He plans to attend graduate school to pursue his passion for mathematical physics. I believe that the Howard L. Schultz, Sr. Prize or the Deforest Pioneers Prize would be a fitting recognition for all of his accomplishments during his undergraduate career and encouragement to pursue his passion in mathematics and physics in graduate school. I recommend Dash Stevanovich for these prizes in the strongest possible term.