Anchita Addhya is a PhD student at the Pritzker School for Molecular Engineering after completing her master’s degree in physics from India. Her work focuses on making highly localized quantum states inside diamond with the help of nanostructures. These can be used as building blocks (qubits) for quantum computers, quantum sensing, and quantum communication and can open up a whole new world that is invisible to the unaided human eye. She also has a diploma degree in Fine Arts and in her leisure time, she tries to create art in the form of paintings or poetry and tries to capture the fleeting moments of life on her camera. Her art has always inspired her science. She is also interested in public speaking, debate, and theater and hopes to be able to communicate her science with the help of art.
Hazal Corak is a PhD student in the Anthropology Department. Her research explores ecological critiques of capitalism and contradictions between value and material wealth. Her current ethnographic project interrogates the relations between recycling and commodification and how the notion of recycling unfolds in the contemporary phase of capitalism. She focuses on the lived experiences of industrial recycling and mass-scale practices of re-integrating waste into economic circulation. This project is based in a northern-Aegean town in Turkey which has been massively industrialized since the 1970s and is currently home to numerous scrap-metal recycling factories and ship-breaking facilities. Hazal holds a BA degree in Social and Political Sciences from Sabanci University (Istanbul, Turkey) and MA degrees in Critical and Cultural Studies from Bogazici University (Istanbul, Turkey) and in Anthropology from the City University of New York. She has taught courses on cultural diversity, climate change, and research methods at Hunter College and Queens College and lectured on anthropological theory at the University of Chicago. She has also supervised undergraduate ethnographic research projects on food and arts in Chicago.
Sara Grose is an artist and MFA candidate with the Department of Visual Arts. Sara maintains a studio practice that looks backward from an imagined future to think critically about the present moment. Her work is often sculptural and mindful of materiality. Sara embraces anti-spectacular aesthetics to evoke monotony, resist luxury, and consider the cyclical patterns of humans and earth. She received her BFA in Interdisciplinary Sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Ram Itani is a PhD student in chemistry working with Professor Andrei Tokmakoff. He is developing a microfluidic mixing device for use with infrared microscopy. This device will be used to study dynamics and kinetics DNA hybridization and other bio-molecular processes. In addition to his research, Ram volunteers in an educational outreach program at Lindblom Math and Science Academy where he gets high school students excited about science through cool demos.
Maria Kaoutzani is a composer from Limassol, Cyprus, currently working toward her PhD and is a member of the composer’s collective Kinds of Kings. An American Prize winner, Maria has participated and been featured in several recent projects and festivals, including “Chicago Speaks” with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Loretto Project with the Longleash Trio, New Music on the Point, VIPA, and others. She will spend the 2021–22 season working with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on a concerto for the Grammy-winning ensemble Eighth Blackbird. Maria began her music studies in the UK, receiving her bachelor’s degree from the University of York. She later came to the United States to attend New York University, where she earned her Master of Music degree in music theory and composition. Maria has studied under composers Augusta Reed Thomas, Anthony Cheung, Sam Pluta, Lei Liang, and George Lewis, among others. Her musical influences include Kaija Saariaho, György Ligeti, and Tania León. Maria’s work is featured in several album releases, including “Ripple Effects,” with Joey Brink on Carillon (2019); “Toward Home” from Rubiks, set to be released in spring 2021, and “Afterimage” with ∼Nois saxophone quartet, to be released in summer 2021.
Jonathan Salmerón-Hernández is a PhD candidate at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. He works in the de Pablo group studying theoretically and computationally Active Liquid Crystals. In his research, Jonathan analyzes pattern formation, colors, and geometries found in nature. Additionally, he is interested in exploring how each discipline, from science to arts, can be used to the benefit of society. In his spare time, he enjoys dancing, art films, literature, and science popularization. Consequently, he has collaborated in different educational projects to learn better ways to communicate scientific information to less technical audiences. Finally, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (National Autonomous University of Mexico) and his Master of Science in Chemical Biology from l’Université de Genève (University of Geneva).
Sila Ulug is a PhD student in the Department of Art History and the Committee on Theater and Performance Studies. She is currently investigating the relationship of Enlightenment-era thematics to the performance of contemporary (conceptual) art as it is informed by the conservatorial protocols of protection; preservation; and restoration. Her parallel interests include the history and theory of intentionality; social contracts; and foolery, especially as they intersect with the art institutional reception of the working classes.
Alex Zhang is a PhD candidate in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies. His dissertation research focuses on the formation of film theory in France in the early twentieth century as the confluence of multiple disciplines including the emerging science of experimental psychology, fin-de-siècle physics, new directions in the philosophy of mind, reinterpretations of Romanticism and Symbolism, and the revival of esoteric spiritualities. More broadly, he is interested in the history of science as an interlocutor for the history of art and cinema and how changing models of the mind influence the theories and aesthetics of film. He holds an MA in Film Studies from the University of Kent, and a BA in Geography from the University of Cambridge.