Physics Recruitment

Meet Our Graduate Students

Meet Colin Scheibner

Short bio:
For undergrad, I went to St. Olaf College, a liberal arts school in Northfield MN, where I majored in mathematics and physics. Here at UChicago, I work with Prof. Vincenzo Vitelli on theoretical soft condensed matter physics. I plan to graduate in the spring and soon start a postdoc at the Princeton Center for the Physics of Biological Function and the Princeton Center for Theoretical Science. ​

Who inspires you?
Honestly, my colleagues inspire me! I’m so grateful to work with such talented and supportive people. I definitely get my energy from those around me. 

What are you fans of?
I am a fan of quiet late nights in the office and long conversations with my advisor. Both of which I always find insightful. 

Why did you choose to study Physics?
I like physics because I like understanding at a deep level how things work. There is nothing more fundamental than understanding the basic language and abstractions we use to describe the forces of nature, both at microscopic and macroscopic scales. I like finding an understanding of systems that breaks through abstraction barriers and reveals in detail how we draw conclusions and make inferences. 

Why did you choose UChicago?
I had a professor in my undergrad who was a postdoc here at UChicago. She really encouraged me to come. When I visited, I was just completely wowed by the intellectual energy (and the wow factor hasn’t gone away!). 

What are the best things about your PhD program?
The best thing about my PhD Program is the ability to focus and time to dedicate to my work. I feel so fortunate to be in an environment that strives to remove all barriers to learning and discovery. 

What was the best surprise about UChicago or life in Chicago?
I was not expecting how much time I would spend on the lake shore. I absolutely love using it for exercise and recreation. Lake Michigan is just so beautiful. I also love doing my PhD at an institution with so much history, form the Econ department, to the Manhattan Project, all the Nobel Prizes, the Law School that produces so many high ranking government officials, Frank Loyd Wright’s architecture, the Oriental Institute, John Dewey, the list goes on. There is so much history behind every institution and department. 

If you could share any advise to your colleagues, what would it be?
My advice is to keep an open mind. The dream advisor might just be right around the corner. The dream project may be something you never imagined. Invite the unbidden and be ready to work on things you never expected. The class that inspires you may be the one you weren’t sure if you would take! 

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