CUWiP 2017 at UCLA

Los Angeles CA

Jan 13 - 15, 2017

The American Physical Society (APS) Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) is a group of three-day regional conferences held simultaneously throughout the United States and Canada for undergraduate women interested in physics.

The University of California, Los Angeles is pleased to host the 2017 Western Regional CUWiP, representing California, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii. The conference will be held from January 13-15, 2017 at the new UCLA Luskin Conference Center.

The APS CUWiP goal is to host a professional conference for undergraduate women in physics that provides information about graduate school and careers available with an undergraduate degree in physics. CUWiP offers a unique networking opportunity for women in physics to share experiences, advice, and ideas.

The mission statement for CUWiP@UCLA is "Our Differences are Valuable." Our conference will feature plenary talks by exceptional women from a wide range of career and personal backgrounds, interactive workshop sessions exploring topics from professional skills to mental health, a student poster session, and a job fair.

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Ali Wang

Student, Research Assistant, Pomona College

Bio: I'm an international student at Pomona College from China, currently a physics major sophomore. I have assisted research on hydrodynamics and I particular I spent last summer exploring 3d printing of tiny seeds to study their morphology. I'm also a member of ALPhA which is a support organization for women in science, and co-organizer for a program where upperclassmen and sophomores pair up to assist a small group of students in the physics intro class.

Alice Shapley

Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles

Bio: Alice received her BA from Harvard-Radcliffe University in 1997, and her PhD from the California Institute of Technology in 2003. She was a Miller Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, from 2003-2005 before joining the faculty of the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University as an assistant professor in 2005. In 2007, Alice accepted a faculty position at the University of California, Los Angeles in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, where she is currently a full professor. She received both Sloan and Packard Foundation Fellowships in 2006, and was honored as the 2014 Aaronson Memorial Lecturer at the University of Arizona. Alice uses both large ground-based telescopes and space-based facilities to collect optical and infrared images and spectra of distant galaxies observed in the early universe, in order to understand galaxy formation and evolution. With her collaborators at the University of California, she recently completed a large survey of the high-redshift universe using the MOSFIRE instrument on the Keck I telescope, in order to measure the physical properties of distant galaxies.

Cami Collins

Scientist, General Atomics

Bio: Cami received her PhD in 2013 from the University of Wisconsin Madison, where she built a plasma physics experiment to study astrophysical accretion disks. Cami received a number of scholarships as an undergraduate at Montana State University Bozeman, including the National Undergraduate Fellowship in Plasma Physics (now known as SULI) which allowed her to spend a summer in San Diego doing nuclear fusion research. As a graduate student in Wisconsin, she received several fellowships and was selected to attend the Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Germany. She received the APS Marshall Rosenbluth Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award for her graduate work. Cami is now a scientist researching fusion energy at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility in San Diego, the largest tokamak in the U.S. She studies the physics of how to better confine fast ions, which is important for improving fusion performance and preventing fast ion losses that can damage the reactor walls. Cami loves dogs, saltwater reef aquariums, whistler wave detecting, and recently got a really nice telescope for Christmas.

Chandler Schlupf

Physics Graduate Student, UCLA

Bio: Chandler Schlupf is a third year graduate student in the field of experimental atomic molecular optics (AMO). She is working in Professor Paul Hamilton's lab to make an accelerometer out of ytterbium atoms within an optical lattice in order to look for beyond the Standard Model "fifth" forces. In her spare time, she likes to talk about physics (I just love it!) and go hiking.

Devin Horton

Undergraduate Research Center, Assistant Director, University of California, Los Angeles

Bio: Originally from Los Angeles, Dr. Horton obtained her B.S. in Biology from Tuskegee University and her PhD from the University of Michigan in 2009 after which she spent 5 years as an Assistant Professor at a teaching-intensive Historically Black University. During her time as an Assistant Professor, Dr. Horton worked to develop student-centered research programs and to expose students to the idea of research as a viable career option. Dr. Horton joined the URC as an Assistant Director in June of 2014. Her main responsibilities include serving as the primary director of the UC Leadership through Advanced Degrees (UC LEADS), Biomedical Sciences Enrichment Program (BISEP), Howard Hughes Undergraduate Research Program (HHURP), Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP), Undergraduate Research Fellows Program (URFP), as well as the general Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR).

Dona Elline Hettiaratchy

Undergraduate Researcher, Founding President, Biomimicry Society

Bio: Undergraduate Research assistant looking for entry level opportunities.

Dr. Amy Mainzer

Principal Investigator of the NEOWISE Project, JPL

Bio: Dr. Amy Mainzer earned her B.S. in Physics at Stanford University with honors in 1995, her M.S. in Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology in 2001, and her Ph.D. in Astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2003. Dr. Mainzer, now at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is principal investigator of the NOWISE project, the asteroid-hunting portion of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission. Her research interests include asteroids, comets, brown dwarfs, planetary atmospheres, and design and construction of novel instrumentation for ground and space.

Emily Martin

Astronomy Graduate Student Researcher, UCLA

Bio: I'm a 5th year graduate student working in the infrared instrumentation laboratory at UCLA. I study brown dwarfs with Prof. Ian McLean and am helping to upgrade the NIRSPEC instrument for the Keck II telescope with Prof. Mike Fitzgerald. I am interested in public outreach and education, and love being involved in UCLA's women in physics and astronomy group. Outside of academia, my hobbies are swing dancing, rock climbing, and hanging out with my cat!

Emma Wollman

Post-doc, Caltech/JPL

Bio: Emma is a Caltech postdoc working in the Superconducting Devices group at JPL, where she designs, fabricates, and tests single-photon detectors made from superconducting wires only a few nanometers thick. She graduated in 2009 from Swarthmore College with a BA in Physics, and got her PhD in Physics from Caltech in 2015. Her graduate research nominally included fabricating superconducting amplifiers, studying the thermal properties of graphene below 1 K, and putting micron-scale objects into quantum states. She actually spent most of her time moving lead bricks, plumbing, soldering, machining, troubleshooting Matlab scripts, and refilling cryogen tanks.

Heather Adams

Transfer Student Center: Transfer Student Program Director, University of California, Los Angeles

Bio: Heather Adams currently oversees the UCLA Transfer Student Center. A non-traditional transfer student herself, Adams has been an advocate for students from diverse academic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds since enrolling at Santa Monica Community College and transferring to UCLA. Adams is also currently a doctoral candidate at UCLA’s Educational Leadership Program. Her primary research has focused on the non-traditional and transfer student experience and the institutional shifts that best serve this growing and diverse population. She is also researching the experience of women transfer and non-traditional students pursuing STEM degrees at large research universities.

Hilke Schlichting

Associate Professor in Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles

Bio: Hilke Schlichting earned a BA and MS in Physics in 2004 from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in Astrophysics from Caltech in 2009. Hilke Schlichting's research spans all aspects of planet formation theory, extrasolar planets and solar system dynamics. She is very interested in extrasolar planets, because their diversity exemplifies the range of possible outcomes of planet formation. Her research combines observations from our solar system, which is the only place where we can examine the outcome of planet formation in detail, with the new wealth of data from extrasolar planets to shed light onto the process of planet formation and subsequent dynamical evolution. Schlichting joined the MIT faculty in 2014. She is also an Associate Professor in Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences at UCLA.

Jean Turner

Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA

Bio: Department chair Jean Turner is an extragalactic astrophysicist, specializing in the study of star formation in local galaxies. She received her A.B. and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard University and UC Berkeley. Before joining UCLA as professor she worked at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and has been a Visiting Scientist at Caltech, Space Telescope, and the Joint ALMA Observatory. She has contributed to the development and commissioning of two millimeter and submillimeter telescopes. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Anna Ciurlo

Postdoctoral Scholar, UCLA

Bio: Anna Ciurlo is a post-doc at UCLA in the Galactic Center Group. She earned her physics degree in Genoa, Italy and her PhD in astrophysics at the Observatory of Paris, France. She is interested in the complex environment of the center of our Galaxy, especially in its effects on the interstellar medium. She the study the gas physical and dynamical conditions through the analysis of spectro-imagery data taken by integral-field spectrographs such as SINFONI at the VLT and OSIRIS at Keck.

Cortney Bougher

Member Networking and Career Programs Coordinator, American Physical Society (APS Physics)

Bio: Cortney Bougher earned an Associate of Arts from Caldwell Community College in 2009, a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics in 2012, and a Master of Science in Engineering Physics in 2014, both from Appalachian State University. Her research focused on AFM characterization of organic semiconductor devices. Cortney became the Member Networking and Career Programs Coordinator at the American Physical Society (APS) in 2014.

Christina Nelson

University Of Hawaii

Bio: Hi, my name is Christina, and I enjoy learning, puzzles and coffee! Naturally, my love of physics comes from the excitement in the way that math describes this beautiful universe we live in. I expect to graduate from the University of Hawaii Manoa in May 2017 with a BSc in Physics and minor in Computer Science. My interests are the fundamental constituents of matter, high energy physics, Monte Carlo simulation, quantum information, algorithms, and machine learning (to name just a few ;)).

Adam Collins

Postdoctoral Scholar, UCLA

Annmarie Eldering

Project scientist for OCO 2/3, JPL/Caltech

Becky Niemira

Student Teacher, Hawthorne High School, CA

Bonnie Valant-Spaight

Engineering Specialist, The Aerospace Corporation

Brandi Wooten

Cocktail Server / Bartender, El Torito Cafe

Breann Sitarski

Technical Staff, Aerospace Corporation

Elizabeth Merritt

Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Elizabeth Pham

SPS President, CSU, Chico

Emily Mathison

Scientist , General Atomics

Farisa Morales

Staff Scientist - Astronomer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Goni Halevi

Undergraduate Research Assistant, UC Berkeley

Grace Chesmore

Technical Author, Carbon Design Innovations

Grace Woods

Undergraduate Researcher, University of California, Santa Cruz

Gurleen Bal

Graduate Student, University of California, Los Angeles

Heather Charles

Research Assistant, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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