Latest news

Andrea+Ghez+black+hole+artBlack hole at the center of our galaxy appears to be getting hungrier

Andrea Ghez, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy, is the co-senior author on the newest research on our galaxy’s black hole. It appears to be taking in an unusually large amount of interstellar gas and dust, making it much brighter than usual, and researchers are trying to figure out why. The paper about the study was led by the UCLA Galactic Center Group, which Ghez leads, explains how the researchers analyzed more than 13,000 observations of the black hole.

Read more here.

UCLA chemistry professor named a Packard Fellow

Jose Rodriguez, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the UCLA College, was today named among 22 outstanding young scientists in the United States to be awarded Packard fellowships for Science and Engineering by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Packard fellowships enable the nation’s most promising young professors to pursue science and engineering research early in their careers with few funding restrictions, providing them with the freedom to take risks.

Read more here.

UCLA Astronomer gets a look at the first interstellar comet

David Jewitt, UCLA professor planetary science and astronomy, has captured the sharpest look at a comet from outside of our solar system. On October 12th, using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, which captured images of the comet when it was about 260 miles away, this became the first interstellar comet observed by astronomers.

Read more here.

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


November 3, 2019: Exploring Your Universe: UCLA Centennial Celebration

Our free day of hands-on science fun and learning for the whole family will help celebrate UCLA’s centennial in 2019. We are excited to welcome more visitors than ever to the beautiful UCLA campus for this major celebration.

Mark your calendars for Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. Details about the event’s activities, speakers, and schedule will be posted throughout the year at


UCLA ranked #1 public university

UCLA was named #1 among U.S. public universities in two significant lists: the 2019 U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” rankings, and the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education survey.

Qualities highlighted by the publications include UCLA’s commitment to top-quality education, fostering a sense of community, and prioritizing inclusion. Click here to read the news announcements.

The DIYnamics school outreach program


Organization for Diverse Leadership in Science pioneering outreach and inclusivity

In the efforts to diversify the STEM fields of universities all across the nation, OCDS was created almost ten years ago in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department, but has since become a wide-spread STEM organization to promote multiculturalism and inclusion in the field, especially at the graduate level.

OCDS is led by graduate students who are in turn advised by a long-time faculty mentor, professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Miguel García-Garibay, who is also dean of the UCLA Division of Physical Sciences.

Click here to read more about OCDS.

Alumni Spotlight: Rachel Woods-Robinson and Elizabeth Case, Physics

Rachel Woods-Robinson and Elizabeth Case, physics alumnae, founded Cycle for Science, long distance bike rides for female scientists in an effort to promote environmental awareness and sustainable transportation.

Cycle for Science has had four rides since 2015, reaching more than 2,000 students and demonstrating the importance of sustainable transportation and advocating against the use of fossil fuels. They started with a trip across the entire US, then had trips across California’s Central Valley, New York, and even the Netherlands.

Read more here.

Faculty Spotlight: Kuo-Nan Liou changing the world of climate projection

Kuo-Nan Liou, a Distinguished professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, has spent his career conducting forward-thinking and future-focused research on climate change and projection. From his work with colleagues in the Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering (JIFRESSE) which Dr. Liou founded in 2006, he and his associates have been awarded a three year, $2.1 million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Program Office to improve climate models. Dr. Liou has had ground breaking research published in various research journals over the past few years including for his work on man-made aerosols effecting ice clouds, and ways to improve China’s poor air conditions.

Read more here.

Student Spotlight: Center for Diverse Leadership in Science student shares her intersectionality and success in STEM

Gefen Skolnick

Gefen Skilnick, a rising senior at UCLA, is fellow in the Physical Science Center for Diverse Leadership in Science and student researcher under the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. However, she is much more than that, she is a young Jewish, Israeli, woman, and masculine of center lesbian in tech.

Skilnick is an advocate for women and LGBTQ+ folks breaking into the tech world, and has done a lot as a student, professional, and researcher to make a difference in these communities.

Read her interview with The Pride LA here.