Physics Recruitment

Meet Our Graduate Students

Meet Aurora Ireland

Short bio:

My name’s Aurora, and I’m a fifth year PhD student working in high energy particle theory. Specifically I work on particle phenomenology, which means I build theoretical models to explain shortcomings in our current understanding of particle physics, and then predict signatures of these models that can be searched for in experiments. I really enjoy getting to conduct this research both at UChicago and at the nearby national lab, Fermilab. Before starting my PhD, I did my undergrad at Arizona State University then a masters at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. After completing my PhD, I’d like to continue in academia–either as a professor or a research scientist.

Who inspires you?
My friends are such impressive, kind, fantastic people. They inspire me to become a better version of myself.

What are you fans of?
Besides physics, I’m a big fan of skateboarding, running, guitar, coffee, baking, and video games.
Why did you choose to study Physics?
Basically I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I’ve always wanted to understand things at the most fundamental level, and physics will take me as far as I can go. 
Why did you choose UChicago?
There were a few professors I wanted to work with here, but I knew that even if my interests changed, there were great people working in essentially every area. So it was an easy choice.
What are the best things about your PhD program?
I really enjoy working with my collaborators here. It’s a very laid back, open atmosphere where I feel comfortable asking questions and exploring ideas.
What was the best surprise about UChicago or life in Chicago?
Not necessarily a surprise (it’s hard to miss it), but the lake! Lakeshore trail is awesome; my friends and I love skating up into the city in the summer and having picnics in the fall. 
If you would share any advise to your colleagues, what would it be?
Completing a PhD is a marathon, not a sprint. Go at a sustainable pace, take the time to both explore your interests and to enjoy yourself, and surround yourself with a supportive community of friends and advisors. 
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