Amherst's Clare Boothe Luce Program

PLEASE NOTE: Amherst is still accepting applications to the Clare Boothe Luce Research Fellows Program.

To apply, please send an email to Prof. Leise ( along with a statement of interest and unofficial copy of your transcript.

Go here to learn about the application process.

Clare Boothe Luce (CBL) Research Fellows at Amherst College

[clare boothe luce program Info]Amherst’s CBL program supports first- and second-year women students interested in mathematics, computer science, and the physical sciences (but not in biology or biomedical sciences). CBL Research Fellows will engage in a 10-week research experience during the summer following their first or second year at Amherst, with opportunities to present their work at professional conferences and to apply for senior thesis funding to continue their research. Please note that CBL Fellows must be U.S. citizens who identify as women.

Student-to-student mentoring program

Each year’s CBL Fellows will act as mentors to the next group of Fellows, sharing their experience and building a community of women scientists within the College. Expenses will be covered for lunch mentoring meetings during the academic year.

CBL Activities

Fellows will take part in social activities, such as hikes and picnics, and will be invited to an annual dinner following a talk by a CBL research scholar.

Possible CBL Research Faculty Participants

 [clare boothe luce program Info]Nicolas Cowan uses space telescopes, math, and statistics to study the climate of planets orbiting other stars, "exoplanets". This involves measuring the thermal radiation from planetary atmospheres using infrared telescopes, and measuring reflected light from their surface. Students working with Nick have made temperature maps of hot Jupiters, inferred the properties of clouds in their atmosphere, and figured out how to determine the surface types on an unseen world.  Learn more about Cowan's research here.

[clare boothe luce program Info]Jonathan Friedman’s lab studies chemically synthesized magnetic materials to learn how their magnetic moments reverse direction and to explore their potential use as processing elements in quantum computers. His group also studies the properties of superconducting devices that exhibit macroscopic quantum phenomena and that can be made into “Schrödinger Cats.” Learn more about Friedman's research here.

 [clare boothe luce program Info]Darryl Haggard's  research team focuses on multiwavelength observational studies of the Milky Way's Galactic Center and Active Galactic Nuclei, better known as accreting supermassive black holes. Group members contribute to a vigorous research program addressing questions about the evolution of supermassive black holes, including projects on X-ray and radio studies of Sgr A* and the Galactic Center; multiwavelength surveys of galaxies and AGN; and accreting compact binaries and AGN/XRB connections. Learn more about Haggard's research here.

[clare boothe luce program Info]David Hall and his research team experimentally study aspects of Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs). His lab focuses on experimental atomic physics, laser spectroscopy, laser trapping and cooling, and Bose Einstein Condensation. Students in Hall's lab may investigate the peculiar manifestations of superfluidity in BECs, including topological structures such as vortices and monopoles. Learn more about Hall's research here.

[clare boothe luce program Info]David Hanneke studies individual atoms, molecules, and sub-atomic particles to test fundamental physics principles and to develop detailed control techniques for quantum systems. His students use low-energy atomic-physics techniques for precision measurements and detailed control of quantum systems.Students have developed an atom trap, lasers, and radiofrequency electronics. Learn more about Hanneke's research here.

[clare boothe luce program Info]Larry Hunter’s laboratory engages in precision experimental investigations that might reveal new physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics.  Current projects include 1) A searches for anomalous long-range interactions between spins, 2) an investigation of the viability of laser cooling of a molecule (Tl-F) to potentially improve the measurement of a nuclear electric-dipole moment, and 3) A search for time dependence in the decay of a nucleus.  Recent publications can be found here.


[clare boothe luce program Info] David Jones studies the physical and geochemical record of carbonate rocks and sediments. His groups conducts summer field work in the western US to make sedimentological and stratigraphic observations of Paleozoic rocks and modern playa lakes, followed by geochemical and petrographic analysis in the lab. Current projects seek to understand changes in the global sulfur cycle during Earth's first mass extinction, and the origin of dolomite in lake sediment. Learn more about  Jones's research here.

[clare boothe luce program Info]Tanya Leise studies biological clocks, particularly the mammalian circadian clock. She and her research team examine feedback loops related to core clock genes and the resulting behavioral rhythms by creating and analyzing differential equations models. They also study the oscillations recorded in experiments using wavelet-based time series analysis methods, with the goal of gaining insight about the underlying mechanisms that generate the oscillations.analyze biological oscillators like the mammalian circadian clock. Researchers perform time-frequency analysis involving Fourier and wavelet transforms. Learn more about Leise's research here.

[clare boothe luce program Info]Helen Leung and Mark Marshall study intermolecular interactions due to van der Waals forces between nonchemically bonded molecules. Their research employs  a high resolution, pulsed molecular beam, Fourier transform microwave spectrometer to obtain the rotational spectrum of a complex that can then be analyzed to yield molecular information. Learn more about Leung's research here and Marshall's research here.

[clare boothe luce program Info] Professor Loinaz’s research is in theoretical elementary particle physics and related topics.  He compares theoretical models of new physics beyond the Standard Model to data obtained from many types of experiments to see what sorts of new physics are favored or ruled out by experiments.  In addition, he performs Monte Carlo simulations of simple quantum field theories and equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical mechanical systems, and he looks at subtle and interesting mathematical features of very simple quantum mechanical systems. Learn more on Professor Loinaz's webpage.

[clare boothe luce program Info] Elizabeth Young's research team focuses on understanding the way in which electrons move from one molecular species to another. Electron transfer is ubiquitous in all of chemistry. In fact, chemical reactions are, at their core, electron rearrangements. We leverage the power of spectroscopy and electrochemistry to explore many chemical and physical systems. Specifically, we are interested in the rational design, synthesis and spectroscopic study of molecular model PCET systems for which experimental observations can be used by theoreticians to continue development of a unified PCET theory. Additionally, we are interested in understanding charge separation dynamics in light-absorbing materials relevant to type II (Donor-Acceptor) photovoltaic systems and translating that to solar cell performance. Learn more about Young's research here Learn more about Young's research here

Susan (Xizofei) Wang’s research incorporates Bayesian statistics, statistical computing, and data mining.

Eunice Kim’s research incorporates Bayesian statistics, statistical computing, and data mining.

About Clare Boothe Luce

[clare boothe luce program Info]

Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987) was a playwright, author, and diplomat who served a term as a US Representative for Connecticut, was US Ambassador to Italy, and received the 1983 Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her bequest created a program that is the single largest private source of funding for women in underrepresented fields of science, mathematics, and engineering.