Latest news

Photo of Miguel Garcia-Garibay, dean of the division of Physical Sciences at UCLA

Miguel García-Garibay reappointed as Dean of Physical Sciences

Miguel García-Garibay has been reappointed as dean of the division of Physical Sciences by UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Emily Carter.

He will serve another five years as the head of the division following a five-year term during which strategic leadership resulted in the creation of a constructive and collaborative culture within the division along with a deep commitment to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Click here to read the full announcement.

Lack of atmospheric moisture escalates wildfire threats in Southwest United States

A UCLA study led by climate scientist Karen McKinnon has found that since 1950, the humidity across the Southwest United States has dropped by 22%. In California and Nevada, the impact of climate change was a striking 33% decrease in humidity. 

Lower humidity on hot days worsens wildfire risk by increasing the number of high-risk fire weather days and by creating parched, dry vegetation that fuels wildfires. Reducing carbon emissions and atmospheric carbon dioxide could help mitigate climate change and possibly increase the moisture in the atmosphere.

Click here to learn more.

Continuing the fight against COVID-19

UCLA scientists from the division of Physical Sciences have utilized the mechanisms and research they specialize in to create tools to help combat COVID-19.

Although the United States has fully vaccinated more than 150 million people against the virus, our scientists’ findings can mitigate the spread of the virus, support those recovering from COVID-19, promote awareness, and help other scientists around the world.

Click here to learn more.

Click here to read more news stories from UCLA’s Division of Physical Sciences


Catch up on ground-breaking research by our Physical Sciences faculty

Learn more about the work that the UCLA Division of Physical Sciences has been sharing with the community even during the pandemic.

Watch webinars featuring faculty whose work is fighting COVID-19, contributing to the exciting future of quantum computing, discovering the secrets of the universe through space research, and more.

Click here to view these videos.


Updates on COVID-19 from UCLA

The Division of Physical Sciences is working to provide faculty, students, and families with the most helpful resources and information during this time.

Click here for updates from the Division, the UCLA Newsroom, and the Daily Bruin.

Remote Teaching, Learning, and Wellness Resources

UCLA Physical Sciences Remote Learning Resource Page

Science and technology have never been more critical. UCLA and the Division of Physical Sciences are working hard to offer as many tools and helpful connections for our students and faculty to ensure the level of educational excellence for which UCLA is known.

Click here for our online resource page, which will be continually updated as new services and initiatives are announced.

Alumni Spotlight: Jiaxing Huang to develop self-sanitizing medical face mask

Alumnus Jiaxing Huang received funding to develop a new-self sanitizing medical face mask that deactivates viruses on contact. Huang’s team will investigate antiviral chemicals that can be safely built into masks to self-sanitize the passing respiratory droplets.

Huang a professor at Northwestern University. His research team was provided funding by a rapid response research grant from the National Science Foundation, which has called for immediate proposals that have potential to address the spread of COVID-19.

Click here to read more.

Spotlight: Video Page

UCLA Division of Physical Sciences

The Physical Sciences Video Page features learning tools, research updates, science talks, and more.

Click here to watch.

Alumni Spotlight: Kennen MacKay

Kennen MacKay, a UCLA Chemistry and Biochemistry alumnus and RBC biotech analyst, has been tracking the COVID-19 virus and the impact of social distancing. He spoke with CNBC about the patterns he has seen, including some worst- and best-case scenarios.

Read about MacKay’s projections by clicking here. Click here to watch his interview with CNBC.

Successful Remote Learning Efforts: Physics Labs

After UCLA announced that the entirety of spring quarter would be taught remotely because of COVID-19, professors in the physics and astronomy department including Katsushi Arisaka, made great efforts to create meaningful physics labs virtual.

Students in the Physics 4AL, 4BL, or 5CL classes were able to order affordable equipment to allow them to get started with designing their own programming and robotics experiments from their bedrooms and over Zoom. Professor Arisaka has always tried to find new ways to prepare students for future success, and the restructuring of this class was just one of them.


Our world-changing research is helped by your gifts. Read about the ways your donation to the Division of Physical Sciences will further discoveries and student opportunities by clicking here.

Olga Radko, founder of the UCLA Math CircleLos Angeles Math Circle renamed the UCLA Olga Radko Endowed Math Circle

Radko was the founder of this successful, free math enrichment program for K-12 students. She died of ovarian cancer in June 2020 at the age of 45. In her honor, every gift made to the Math Circle up to $250,000 will be matched one-to-one through June 30, 2021.

Latest giving news:

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department to receive $4.1 million

The gift from adjunct professor Lawrence W. Harding, Jr. is the  largest in the department’s history. It establishes the Lawrence Harding Endowed Chair to support a faculty member with expertise in oceanography, an area of study critical to life on Earth.