Orit Peleg and Shuo Sun are among 125 early-career scholars who represent ‘the most promising scientific researchers working today’
Two University of Colorado Boulder physicists have been named Sloan Research Fellows, the organization announced last week.
Orit Peleg, assistant professor of physics and computer science, and Shuo Sun, assistant professor of physics, are among 125 early-career scholars who represent “the most promising scientific researchers working today,” the Sloan Foundation said.
Winners receive $75,000, which may be spent over a two-year term on any expense supporting their research.
Sloan Research Fellows are shining examples of innovative and impactful research ... We are thrilled to support their groundbreaking work, and we look forward to following their continued success."
"Sloan Research Fellows are shining examples of innovative and impactful research,” said Adam F. Falk, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “We are thrilled to support their groundbreaking work, and we look forward to following their continued success."
A Sloan Research Fellowship is a particularly notable recognition for young researchers, in part because so many past fellows have gone on to become “towering figures in science,” the foundation said.
Peleg’s research strives to understanding how biological communication signals are generated and interpreted, and it does so by merging tools from physics, biology, engineering and computer science. Her research has yielded insight into the behavior of bees and fireflies, which are seen at the top of the page.
Peleg said she was grateful that her research, which she is “deeply passionate about,” resonates with others in the field. “I owe a great debt of gratitude to my supportive colleagues, mentors, and mentees who have guided me throughout my journey,” she said.
“With the awarded funding, I aim to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the spatiotemporal dynamics of collective communication signals in nature across an increasing array of model species. This area is enormously rich, full of exciting and confounding questions, with a range as expansive as the diversity of life.”
Peleg joined the CU Boulder faculty in 2018. She earned a PhD in materials science in 2012 from ETH Zürich, Switzerland, and holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in physics and computer science from Bar–Ilan University, Israel.
Sun’s research explores light-matter interactions at the fundamental quantum limit, where single atoms can strongly interact with single photons. This is done by designing and fabricating nanophotonic structures that confine photons at an extremely small volume, which are then coupled to solid-state artificial atoms such as quantum dots and atomic defect centers.
Sun joined the CU Boulder faculty in 2019 as a visiting assistant professor of physics and has been an assistant professor of physics since 2020. He is also an associate fellow in JILA, a physical science research institute at CU Boulder. He holds a PhD and MS in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a BS in optics from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China.
This year’s fellows come from 54 institutions across the United States and Canada.
Renowned physicists Richard Feynman and Murray Gell-Mann were Sloan Research Fellows, as was mathematician John Nash, one of the fathers of modern game theory. Some 56 fellows have received a Nobel Prize in their respective field, 17 have won the Fields Medal in mathematics, and 22 have won the John Bates Clark Medal in economics, including every winner since 2007.
Open to scholars in seven scientific and technical fields—chemistry, computer science, Earth system science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience and physics—Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded in close coordination with the scientific community. Candidates must be nominated by their fellow scientists. Winners are selected by independent panels of senior scholars on the basis of candidates’ research accomplishments, creativity and potential to become a leader in their field.
Peleg and Sun bring the total number of Sloan Fellows recognized at CU Boulder to 65 since 1961. They raise the number of CU Boulder Sloan Fellows in physics to 24.
More than 1,000 researchers are nominated each year for 125 fellowship slots. A full list of the 2023 Fellows cohort is available at https://sloan.org/fellowships/2023-Fellows.