“No other top-tier physics program is so ideally situated. Obviously, Santa Barbara itself is one of the most attractive places to live in the world.”
- JOE D'ANNA 1996
Alumni Focus: Joe D’Anna
Joe D’Anna left UCSB in 1996 after earning a Ph.D. in theoretical physics with Anthony Zee, doing research in random matrix theory. He dove directly into a finance career and has since held financial engineering, structuring and strategy roles at investment banks and a successful start-up; been a featured derivatives expert at industry conferences and in financial publications (including The Wall St. Journal); published original research in economics and finance; and even filed a patent application on a financial product. He is now a managing director in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs ... continue reading in Fall 2010's Inside Physics
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Alumni Focus: Robin Snyder
“I knew UCSB was very strong in physics, and the Department seemed more interdisciplinary than other contenders.”
Robin Snyder is multi-disciplined, both professionally and personally. She received her PhD in Statistical Physics at UCSB in 2001. She is now Assistant Professor of Theoretical Ecology at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and co-directs Research at the Interface of the Biological and Mathematical Sciences (RIBMS), a National Science Foundation-funded program that pairs undergraduates in the biological and mathematical sciences to work on projects at the math-biology interface. A Massachusetts native, she has a passion for music and the outdoors. ... continue reading in Fall 2008's Inside Physics
Alumni Focus: Alex Filippenko
“[My professor's research] had a profound effect on me. It showed me not only the thrill of discovery, but also the power of physics and logical reasoning.”
From playing with magnets in sandboxes as a child to exploring the general field of science to conducting research in astronomy and cosmology, UCSB alumnus Alex Filippenko is a world-renowned astronomer and prize-winning professor of astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley. Filippenko comes from a UC family; his parents were attending Berkeley when he was born, and moved to the Santa Barbara/Goleta area when Alex was six ... continue reading in Fall 2007's Inside Physics
Alumni Focus: Richard Sonnenfeld
"The breadth and depth of my UCSB graduate education allowed me to change sub-fields of physics multiple times without ever feeling lost."
Richard Sonnenfeld chose an unusual field to research -- literally. A trail of unexpected academic and career choices brought him to lightning fields in central New Mexico. After obtaining his BSE in physics and mechanical engineering at Princeton University, Sonnenfeld was uncertain what path to take for graduate school. “My choice was originally motivated solely by academic and career interests,” Sonnenfeld recalls. He accepted a spot in the applied physics program at Cornell when a friend (and UCSB Physics PhD) told Sonnenfeld he “owed it to himself” to check out Santa Barbara... continue reading in Fall 2006's Inside Physics
Alumni Focus: Holmes Moore
"My life, I wouldn’t trade any of it – including my time at UCSB – for anything."
Upon discovering the photograph of UCSB Physics’ first graduating class of 1949, the challenge called: to successfully track down and locate one of the department’s premier alumni. A combination of detective work and good luck led us to discovering Holmes S. Moore. Holmes expressed his delight in “having a second childhood” with his three grandchildren: Erin, a UCSB alum who graduated four years ago as a communications major and moved on to work in Washington D.C.; Colleen, who is nearing the end of her high school career; and toddler Delaney who, Holmes chuckles, “dressed up as a giraffe her first Halloween.” Graciously, Holmes took a moment from playing with his “giraffe” to reflect upon his journey pre and post UCSB. ... continue reading in Fall 2004's Inside Physics
Alumni Focus: Dale Pfost
"Working in the high-energy physics group changed my life. The department has earned its top ranking, and I am proud to be an alumnus."
In the early eighties, when Dale Pfost (pronounced "post") was wrestling with the requirements to obtain a PhD in physics at Brown University, his advisor discovered on his desk a copy of A Guide to Venture Capital Sources. The professor noted the price—a few months' rent for grad student housing—and said, "You'll be lucky to ever get your money back." ... continue reading in Fall 2003's Inside Physics