AKPA Outstanding Young Researcher Award (OYRA) 2012
2012 AKPA Award Committee Report
January 25, 2012

  The Award Committee thoroughly reviewed all documentation submitted for its consideration in support of the candidates. The committee also conducted its work through numerous discussions by telephone and email. The successful OYRA candidates would especially demonstrate their potential for: (1) creative, substantive advance in their own subfield in physics; (2) a professional success as a physicist. After exhaustive and careful discussions, the committee recommends Dr. Yong-Yeol Ahn, an assistant professor at Indiana University and Dr. Na Young Kim, a research associate at Stanford University as the two 2012 OYRA winners:

Dr. Yong-Yeol Ahn:

  oyra2011 ahn_yong-yeolDr. Ahn is a theorist in the field of statistical mechanics. He studies complex systems through the concept of networks. He investigates many interesting subjects including biological networks from interacting genes, proteins, and metabolites; a brain network from interacting neurons; and a social network from interacting people. His recent work was published in Nature and in Science. All his work is based on the concept of networks by exploiting the analytic and computational approach typically used in statistical mechanics, along with conventional phenomenological approaches. Dr. Ahn has a great promise with the potential not only to become a leading scientist of his generation, but also to create his own field of science.

Dr. Na Young Kim:

oyra2012 kim_nayoung  Dr. Kim is an experimentalist in the field of condensed matter physics. Her research area is mesoscopic electron transport and solid-state cavity quantum electrodynamics. She has made outstanding contributions to the study of novel properties of light-matter quasi-particles called exciton polaritons, along with their application to quantum information. Her recent work was published in Nature as a first and corresponding author. As her references stated, Dr. Kim’s strength is her intellectual power to focus on important problems and come up with creative solutions with her superb technical skills. The outstanding scientific performance and the character of Dr. Kim clearly point to this conclusion: She becomes an emerging leader in her field.