2021 Scharff-Goldhaber Prize Ceremony and Talk, 7/29

By Amber Aponte

Photo of Yanzhu Chen enlarge

Yanzhu Chen

Stony Brook University (SBU) graduate student Yanzhu Chen has been named the winner of the 2021 Gertrude Scharff-Goldhaber Prize, consisting of $3,000 and a certificate. Partially funded by Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA), the company that manages Brookhaven National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the award was established in 1992 by Brookhaven Women in Science (BWIS), a nonprofit organization that supports and encourages the advancement of women in science.

The award ceremony will be held online on Thursday, July 29, at 4 p.m. (see below for meeting link). Chen will give a talk titled, “Characterization of Near-Term Circuits in Quantum Computing,” followed by a question and answer session. This online event is free and open to the public.

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“My initial interest in physics began in middle school, after reading ‘Black Holes & Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy’ by Kip Thorne,” Chen said. “In college, my focus progressed toward condensed matter physics. I advanced to graduate school where I started working with my advisor, Professor Tzu-Chieh Wei.”

Chen received a Bachelor of Arts in Science and a Master’s in Science from the University of Cambridge. Under the tutelage of Wei in the Quantum Information Science Group at SBU, Chen researched how topology in condensed matter physics can assist in quantum computing and started working on near-term applications as well. 

Chen is the recipient of other awards, including the Cambridge Overseas Trust Scholar and the Davies Senior Scholarship, both of University of Cambridge. She received the Junior Researcher Award from the Institute for Advanced Computational Science at SBU.

The Scharff-Goldhaber Prize recognizes substantial promise and accomplishment by female graduate students in physics who are enrolled in the graduate program at Stony Brook University and/or performing their thesis research at Brookhaven Lab. The award commemorates the outstanding contributions of the late nuclear physicist Gertrude Scharff-Goldhaber. In 1950, Scharff-Goldhaber became the first female Ph.D. physicist appointed to the Brookhaven Lab staff. She was also a founding member of BWIS.

In addition to BSA, BWIS gratefully acknowledges the Brookhaven National Laboratory Nuclear Particle Physics Directorate, Energy & Photon Sciences Directorate, the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Office, and the Long Island Section of the American Nuclear Society for their generous donations towards this year’s Prize.

BWIS also thanks the hard work and commitment of Prize Chairs (Marc-André Pleier and Jessica Gasparik) and Prize Committee members (Aihong Tang, Björn Schenke, and Elizabeth Worcester) from the Brookhaven Lab Physics Department.

Their support, and this year’s donors, enable BWIS and the Laboratory to attract, develop, and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce in the pursuit of world-class science.

You can join the online ceremony on July 29 at 4 p.m.

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