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MEDIA CONTACT: Jonathan Sherwood (585) 273-4726
June 10, 2002
Fermilab Awards 'Best Thesis' to Physics Grads Two Years in A Row
For the second year in a row, a doctoral student from the University of Rochester
has won the Universities Research Administration's (URA) honor for the best doctoral
thesis work done at Fermilab in Batavia Ill., a particle physics laboratory housing
the world's highest-energy particle accelerator. Only one student in the country
can earn the award each year.
"We are very honored that Rochester students have been awarded this national
prize two years in a row," says Arie Bodek, chair of physics and astronomy
at the University of Rochester. "Graduate students from the 90 URA member
universities nationwide submit about 55 doctoral theses on research work done
at Fermilab each year, so the competition is very tough."
Un Ki Yang, who earned his doctorate in physics from the University in 2001,
performed his research under the supervision of Arie Bodek, chair of physics and
astronomy at the University. Yang's thesis focuses on the inner structure of protons
and neutrons, the particles that make up the nuclei of atoms. Both are composed
of more fundamental particles called quarks and gluons, with the gluons binding
the quarks together. Yang contributed to the measurement of the momentum of the
quarks and led to a great improvement in the understanding of the way these most
basic particles behave inside protons and neutrons.
This is the third award that Yang has received on his work as a graduate student.
In 2001, he won the University of Rochester Lobkowicz Prize for best doctoral
work in particle physics, and won honorable mention as an "outstanding young
researcher" from the American Korean Physics Association.
Last year, the same prize from Fermilab was won by Michael Fitch, who worked
with Adrian Melissinos, professor of physics and astronomy at the University.
Fitch developed a new technique for positioning the beam of particles for future
linear particle accelerators in his thesis.
The president of the URA will present the latest award at Fermilab on June
10 at the Fermilab Users meeting. Yang will receive a certificate of recognition
and a check for $3,000.
About the University of Rochester
The University of Rochester (www.rochester.edu) is one of the nation's leading private universities. Located in Rochester, N.Y., the University gives students exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum. Its College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering is complemented by the Eastman School of Music, Simon School of Business, Warner School of Education, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, and the Memorial Art Gallery.