2016-2017 Graduate Student Award Winners

Elizabeth Culbertson - Presidential Fellowship
Elizabeth completed her B.S. degree in Engineering Physics at Stanford University. While an undergrad, she developed her interest in solid state physics by working on a research project at Virginia Tech determining thermal transport properties of self-assembled monolayers as well as a project at Stanford characterizing low-temperature phase transitions in strontium titanate. As a first-year Ph.D. student, she is currently exploring groups at Columbia affiliated with the Columbia Nano Initiative and hopes to pursue a research project involving nanoscale engineering and characterization of interesting crystalline materials.


Jared Ginsberg - NSF IGERT Fellowship
Jared attended high school on Long Island before completing his bachelor’s degree in physics at Cornell University in 2015. Upon entering the APAM Deparment, Jared joined Prof. Alexander Gaeta’s Quantum and Nonlinear Photonics Group with the support of the NSF IGERT fellowship program. He currently studies the rich process of nonlinear propagation of intense laser beams in a variety of materials, ranging from glass fibers to gases. After he completes his Ph.D. program, Jared plans to pursue a career in the rapidly growing field of photonics.


Kenneth Hammond - DOE SCGSR Award
Ken is a Ph.D. candidate studying magnetically confined plasmas in the CNT stellarator in Columbia’s Plasma Physics Laboratory. Working for advisor Prof. Francesco Volpe (APAM), his research to date has included magnetic error-field diagnosis and microwave plasma heating. The award funds a study of plasma initiation in the NSTX experiment at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), where he is working with scientist Dr. Roger Raman. Ken hopes to continue to study magnetized plasmas, which have the potential to become the basis for nuclear fusion-based power plants.


Rachael Keller - NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
As an undergraduate at Louisiana State University, Rachael majored in Mathematics with a concentration in Computational Mathematics, and minored in Chinese, studying abroad one semester at Beijing Normal University. At Columbia, she works with Prof. Qiang Du in numerical analysis and Prof. Michael Weinstein in mathematical analysis. Her current research interests include analysis of the Schrödinger equation in lattice structures and, longer term, the discrete and numerical study and treatment of the Schrödinger operator. Her future goals are to continue academic research in applied and computational mathematics.


Jessie Oehrlein - Presidential Fellowship / NSF GRFP
Jessie earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, and studied for a semester at Budapest Semesters in Mathematics. Her current research interests are in atmospheric science, and her long term plans are to be an applied mathematics professor.
Adam Overvig - NSF IGERT Fellowship
Adam obtained his B.S. in Engineering Physics from Cornell University in 2013. He is currently researching, under advisement from Prof. Nanfang Yu, dielectric metasurfaces for controlling light in both extremely broad and narrow spectral bandwidths. His future goals are to continue research in industry on photonics for commercial applications.


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