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Graduate Awards

Anderson-Pioletti Award

The Anderson-Pioletti award was created in 2001, endowed by Robert Anderson and Lois Anderson in memory of their fathers Arthur L Anderson and Joseph E Pioletti. It recognizes annually a first or second year graduate student showing exceptional promise.

The recipient shall be given a stipend of $200 and a framed certificate, and have his or her name inscribed on a plaque displayed in the lobby of the Physics Building. One may receive this award only once.

The committee will make its selection based on the student's course work, preliminary exam scores, and prior records. The student shall also have demonstrated good citizenship in the department.


Bill Cummings Award

The Bill Cummings award was created in 1995 through the generous contributions of Bill's family to honor his memory. It is given annually to the graduate student who best exemplifies excellence as a student and as a teacher of undergraduates.

The award carries a stipend of $1,000 and the recipient's name shall be inscribed on a plaque displayed in the building. One may receive this award only once.

The committee will make its selection based on:

  1. The student conveys a sense of love and excitement about science.
  2. The student has served with distinction as a teaching assistant and has made extra efforts to assist other students.
  3. The student shows dedication to science by superior performance in his or her studies.


Sean M. Kirkpatrick Award for Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Research

The goal of this award is to recognize a graduate student who has demonstrated outstanding research abilities in pursuit of his or her dissertation or thesis. It is to encourage the development of creative problem solving, multiple technical and analytic skills, and/or theoretical insight. It is also to encourage the development of communication skill. A student to be nominated should not be in his or her final year.

1. Award

There shall be one recipient annually at $1,000. The money may be spent for research related purposes. For example, it may be used for research related travel (to other labs), conference travel, small equipment, books, etc. To be eligible for the prize in a given year, a student must have presented a paper or given a conference talk on his/her research within the previous year.

2. Nomination

A nomination is to be made by the advisor of the student. A letter of support from the advisor and a brief statement (limited to 2 pages) from the student explaining the nature of his or her research and how the funds may be spent. The candidate may append other relevant materials e.g. previous conference presentations, publications, talks etc.

3. Eligibility

Any graduate student of the department who is in his or her second to penultimate year. A student may win this award more than once, if the student can demonstrate the criteria uniquely in a different year.

4. Criteria of selection

The selection will be made by the graduate awards committee primarily on the basis of research work and its promise. With particular emphasis on:

  1. Creative problem solving: The student must demonstrate a unique or creative approach to solving experimental or theoretical problems associated with the work.
  2. Theoretical insight: The student must both demonstrate a thorough understanding of, and an ability to apply (or develop) relevant theoretical models.
  3. Multiple skills: The student must demonstrate an ability to apply multiple skills to solving an experimental or theoretical problem.
  4. Communication: The student must demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate his/her work to technical colleagues outside of his/her immediate area of specialty.

5. Presentation

The recipient will be given an opportunity to present a talk at the Department's seminar series.