Research Rewarded

By Anna Lynn Spitzer

Law: Sloan Fellow

Irvine, Ca, March 5th, 2013 -- Two Calit2 academic affiliates and a graduate student received encouraging news recently about their research efforts.

Matt Law, assistant professor of chemistry and faculty director of LEXI – the Laboratory for Electron and X-ray Instrumentation – is one of three UC Irvine faculty members named recipients of the prestigious 2013 Sloan Research Fellowships.

Awarded annually by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the fellowships recognize early-career scientists for their outstanding research accomplishments, and include a $50,000 award to help advance that work.

Law, whose focus is finding low-cost, abundant alternatives to materials currently used in solar panels, was one of 126 U.S. and Canadian academics recognized this year. The new Fellows represent eight scientific fields and were selected from 61 U.S. and Canadian universities.

"Being named a Sloan Fellow is an honor for me and a nice acknowledgement of the talented and hard-working people in my group,” Law said. “Support from the Sloan Foundation will allow us to expand our research program on solar energy.” 

He acknowledged the impact Calit2-managed LEXI makes on his research. “We couldn't do our work without the instrumentation in LEXI. LEXI is vital to materials research at UCI, and I look forward to helping build it into a world-class materials characterization facility."


Zack W. Almquist, UCI doctoral candidate in sociology, and his advisor, sociology professor Carter Butts, recently were awarded a National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement grant from NSF’s Methodology, Measurement and Statistics Program. These grants allow doctoral students to undertake significant data-gathering projects and conduct field research in settings away from campus that would not otherwise be possible.

Butts and Almquist : NSF award

The grant will support Almquist's dissertation research on dynamic network models with joint edge/vertex evolution. This work allows improved prediction for dynamic social network processes – for example, online social networks, disaster-response networks, and sexual-contact networks.

Almquist’s dissertation also seeks to validate real-world case studies, such as the response to Hurricane Katrina.

A graduate fellow at the Center for Networks and Relational Analysis in the Calit2 Building, Almquist is a member of the center’s affiliated Networks, Computation, and Social Dynamics Lab.  He researches development of new techniques for the modeling of social networks, large-scale network analysis and spatial demography, work that lies at the intersection of sociology, social network analysis and demography.