Our philosophy is clear and time-tested: The creation of new knowledge through research depends on educational excellence and graduate education is perfected through research. Our graduate students, and the work they do, illustrate this synergistic relationship. This Wisconsin tradition is built on a foundation of world-class faculty, diverse students determined to succeed, research innovation and facilities and programs second to none. This page is dedicated to telling the stories of our many successful graduate students.
MIGHTY MEALworm, led by UW-Madison students Rachel Bergmans and Valerie Stull, is a startup focused on producing edible mealworm protein powder to improve food security in parts of sub-Saharan Africa most affected by drought and climate change. Listen to their story:
New research, which includes the first draft assembly of the complete genome of an electric fish, the South American electric eel, identifies the genetic factors the animals used to create an organ that can deliver a jolt several times more powerful than standard household current.
The work establishes the genetic basis for the electric organ, an anatomical feature found only in fish and that evolved independently half a dozen times in environments ranging from the flooded forests of the Amazon to murky marine environments.
“What is amazing is that the electric organ arose independently six times in the course of evolutionary history,” says Lindsay Traeger, a UW-Madison graduate student in genetics and a co-lead author of the new report. More »
When it comes to science, socioeconomic status may widen confidence gaps among the least and most educated groups in society, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Science, Media and the Public research group.
The findings, published in June in the journal Science Communication, show that similar levels of attention to science in newspapers and on blogs can lead to vastly different levels of factual and perceived knowledge between the two groups. More »
A young business a University of Wisconsin-Madison grad student started, which links drivers with empty seats to people needing a ride between cities, is ready to launch a mobile app.
“Coride’s” roots trace back to an observation Fei Ma made after returning from a visit to Germany in 2012. “I was using this German ridesharing service, and had a great experience riding with strangers, but when I got back to Madison, I thought, ‘Hey, all these seats are empty.’ I searched all the rideshare sites. They had really awful websites, and so I had this idea.”
The idea lingered for a year as Ma, a native of China, worked on her Ph.D. in the UW-Madison geography department. Then, last summer, while attending the university’s Entrepreneur Boot Camp, “I thought, I’m going to put this idea into action; I will solve this problem and make intercity travel easier for everybody,” says Ma. More »
In performance, Yeaji Kim’s fingers smoothly send music from the keyboard to listeners’ ears. In practice, though, being visually-impaired made it difficult to discuss printed scores with her sighted teachers. Exploring possible solutions, she turned her personal project into a doctoral thesis that could help musicians around the world. Kim graduates with a DMA in piano performance in May 2014.
(Video produced by University Communications)
Emily Adams and Mali Mrozinski are graduate students studying design in the School of Human Ecology. Emily is studying textile design. She has a background in fine art printmaking. Mali is also studying textiles but with a focus towards garment and sculpture. Her background is also in the fine arts, in painting. The two were commissioned by the Chancellor’s office to redesign the commencement flags for each of the twelve schools and colleges. When asked about how they felt about the project they said, almost simultaneously, they could not have done it alone. The job required their combined strengths and talents.
Doing a postdoc abroad is a big decision. After completing her Ph.D. studies in 2011 at Météo-France, the French national meteorological service, Anne-Sophie Daloz accepted a postdoc position at UW-Madison’s Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) where she has continued her research on tropical cyclones and climate change.
“Tropical cyclones are one of the most devastating phenomena in the world due to their strong winds and heavy precipitation extending over wide areas. It is very important to better understand and simulate the characteristics of tropical cyclones,” says Daloz.
Summing up her experiences over the past two years at CIMSS, Daloz says going abroad has allowed her to work with leading tropical cyclone scientists and learn to work in a different environment. The curiosity, adaptability, problem-solving, and open-mindedness necessary to work and live abroad are all valuable qualities for postdocs preparing for their next professional position.
For 34 years, the Knauss Fellowship has provided hundreds of the nation’s graduate students the opportunity to explore ocean, coastal and Great Lakes national policy decisions affecting freshwater and marine resources.
Sarah Wilkins is the 23rd fellow from Wisconsin to go to Washington, D.C., for a year, expense paid and a stipend provided. She takes the Knauss baton from her fellow UW-Madison student Jenn Phillips who will be concluding her stint in the office of the secretary of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in January.
A team of UW-Madison researchers has induced human embryonic stem cells (hESC) to differentiate towards mature heart muscle cells, or cardiomyocytes, by seeding them onto micro-patterned growth templates or “features” (images above courtesy of Max Salick). Working in laboratories in the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, the researchers focused on finding the pattern, including the right size scale, that suits the human stem cells. “Our hypothesis was that if we could control the cell shape and how they bind to their surroundings using this micropatterning, we could coax them into forming more aligned, structurally sound fibrous structures that are more relevant in the heart,” says Max Salick, a PhD student in materials science at UW-Madison and first author of the paper published in Biomaterials journal. Listen to the interview with Max Salick, PhD student & first author of the paper:
Backed by UW Sea Grant, Evan Murdock, a graduate student at UW-Madison,will use a concept called storm transposition to show Wisconsin communities why they may want to invest in climate change resilience. More »
Zana Sijan, a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in environmental chemistry, conducts reactor experiments on Wisconsin groundwater samples to determine the factors that lead to the formation of toxic Chromium VI. Along with Patrick Gorski, the head of inorganic chemistry at the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene, she could be writing the measurement guide other scientists will use to track the metal in their own states. More »
Ambalika (Rika) Khadria, a doctoral candidate in biochemistry, found the right moves to demonstrate her methods for exploring the proteins key to cell division in bacteria, choreographing a winning entry in the 2013 Dance Your Ph.D. contest sponsored by Science magazine and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. More »
La Follette School faculty, alumni, students, and staff extend the practice of the Wisconsin Idea across the state and around the world through research and outreach best topics that include the design and management of social welfare programs, international currency and trade, analysis of the effects of welfare reform, determinants of health and health care reform, environmental regulation, public management and finance, Social Security, and science and technology. More »
Scientists in WID’s BIONATES research area work on creating scaffolds that stem cells can grow on to form body tissues and organs. Though the group has successfully used water-based gels as a foundation for tissue scaffolds, researchers have learned that stem cells need a vascular system that mimics what’s found in the human body in order to form tissues of a significant size. For humans, the vascular system includes your veins, arteries and capillaries — the conduits that carry oxygen and other nutrients to cells, as well as remove cell waste. In petri dishes without a vascular system, cells deep within these hydrogel scaffolds die rather than develop. This is where 3D printing has helped Jason McNulty, a graduate student who works in the lab of BIONATES researcher Randy Ashton. McNulty has used the Fab Lab 3D printers to create a mold (pictured above) that looks roughly like a grooved thimble and could be pressed into a hydrogel to imprint a grid-like vascular system pattern. When researchers pull out the mold and a tiny basket-like tool that guides the mold into the gel, a “well” is left behind, which could help to spatially organize the cells. More »
Alex Rivera: Artist in Residence at UW-Madison More »
Aaron is the 2013-2014 Dr. Laurel Salton Clark Memorial Graduate Fellow, as named by the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium, and a graduate student in Fusion Technology Institute of the UW-Madison Engineering Physics department. He is researching the acquisition of lunar resources for power generation and life support purposes. More »
When MFA student Paul Lorenz first encountered a 3D printing machine, he wasn’t especially impressed. Lorenz describes himself at the time as a “Luddite” who strongly preferred drawing and modeling by hand. Yet over time he watched his architectural school classmates print objects that would otherwise be impossible or impractical to construct, and Lorenz became preoccupied with the idea of physical creations informed — but not limited — by numerical data. More »
When “Snow Fall” went live on The New York Times’ website on Dec. 20, 2012, the online world went wild. Meet Jeremy White, (MS’09, Cartography and Geographic Information Systems), a Ph.D. student in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Geography, who was behind the breathtaking 3-D flyover maps in the piece. More »
Jesse J. Gant is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, with research interests in nineteenth-century United States history. A native of Janesville, Wisconsin, he has written for the History News Network, the Indiana Magazine of History, and the Wisconsin Magazine of History. Jesse is a committed cyclist who divides his time between Madison and Saint Louis. More »