Who We Are: Nadya Mason
2009 Denice Denton Emerging Leader Award – Sponsored by Microsoft
Nadya Mason is an assistant professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard University and her PhD in physics from Stanford University. Before joining the department at Illinois, Nadya was a postdoc at Harvard, and then a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows.
A condensed matter experimentalist, Nadya’s research focuses on how electrons behave in low-dimensional materials such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, and nano-structured superconductors. She is especially interested in the interplay between electron correlations and reduced dimensionality, as enhanced interactions in low dimensions are expected to create novel phenomena. Improved understanding of such systems is important for applications ranging from superconducting power lines to nano-scale electronic elements to quantum computers.
Nadya has received multiple awards for her work, including a National Science Foundation CAREER award and a Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Award, and she was honored as an “Emerging Scholar” by Diverse Magazine in 2008.
In addition to her research and teaching, Nadya is committed to increasing the numbers of under-represented people in the sciences. Her activities in this area span from working on diversity committees at the departmental level to giving lab tours and presentations to K–12 students to playing leadership roles within the Mellon–Mays fellowship program and the National Conference of Black and Hispanic Physicists. Overall, she is an engaging and effective spokesperson for increasing diversity in the physical sciences and for creating a climate in the academy that embraces and supports minorities and women.