Two UA Researchers Named Sloan Research Fellows

March 7, 2016

Faculty members from the UA’s Departments of Mathematics and Physics are among 126 researchers selected from across the U.S. and Canada, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced late last month.

University of Arizona faculty members Matthias Morzfeld, assistant professor of mathematics, and Eduardo Rozo, assistant professor of physics, are among the 126 researchers awarded 2016 Sloan Research Fellowships. They are the first Sloan Foundation winners at UA since 2011, and this is the first time two UA faculty have been awarded the prize the same year since 2002.

Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded annually to early-career researchers, in recognition of distinguished performance and potential to make substantial contributions to their respective fields.

Fellows receive $55,000 over the course of two years, to be used to further their research.

“I am honored to receive this award. I believe that receiving a Sloan Research Fellowship makes my work and results visible to a broad group of scientists, and the associated research money is a great help to pursue my immediate research goals,” said Morzfeld.

Morzfeld’s research focuses on applied and computational mathematics. He regularly collaborates with colleagues in atmospheric sciences and geophysics, and is currently working to develop new algorithms for more accurate weather forecasting.

Rozo, an experimental cosmologist, is interested in the origin and evolution of the universe. In particular, he studies dark energy, the little-understood substance that drives the accelerated expansion of the universe.

“I am delighted and humbled to see that people in my field have found my contributions to our collective enterprise worth recognizing, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue working towards unraveling the mystery of the dark energy,” said Rozo.

“Getting early-career support can be a make-or-break moment for a young scholar,” said Paul L. Joskow, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “In an increasingly competitive academic environment, it can be difficult to stand out, even when your work is first rate. The Sloan Research Fellowships have become an unmistakable marker of quality among researchers. Fellows represent the best-of-the-best among young scientists.”

Fellowships are awarded in eight scientific and technical fields: chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences, and physics. To qualify, candidates must first be nominated by fellow scientists and subsequently selected by an independent panel of senior scholars on the basis of a candidate’s independent research accomplishments, creativity, and potential to become a leader in his or her field.

“What a great accomplishment for both of these researchers. Being named a Sloan winner is a testament to the great work they are doing and the quality of UA’s research faculty,” said Kimberly Andrews Espy, senior vice president for research. “I congratulate both Matthias and Eduardo for this excellent recognition.”

Since the beginning of the program in 1955, 43 Sloan Fellows have earned Nobel Prizes, 16 have won the Fields Medal in mathematics, 68 have received the National Medal of Science, and 15 have won the John Bates Clark Medal in economics.

For a complete list of this year’s winners, visit the Sloan Research Fellowships website