Physics Alumna Receives National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Othman is Pursuing a Ph.D. in Physics

Gulden Othman, who graduated from the University of Houston in 2014 with a B.S. in physics, was awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. The highly competitive NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.

Gulden Othman
Gulden Othman, who graduated from UH in 2014 with a B.S. in physics, was awarded a highly prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.
“The education I received at UH, along with the opportunity to conduct undergraduate research under the guidance of my mentor Dr. Hungerford, enabled me to pursue a career in research,” said Othman, who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in physics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

During her time at UH, Othman conducted research in the lab of Ed Hungerford, M.D. Anderson Professor of physics, where she completed a senior honors thesis.

“Ms. Othman was one of the best students I’ve taught in my 35 years of teaching, exhibiting extraordinary maturity, dedication and drive,” Hungerford said.

In addition to her research, Othman represented the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) as an NSM Ambassador at recruitment, alumni and university functions. NSM Ambassadors are an elite group of ten students who are selected for their strong leadership skills to represent the college for two years.

Othman also served as President of the Society of Physics Students as well as the Houston Undergraduate Research Network, and worked as a facilitator for NSM’s Scholar Enrichment Program leading semester-long workshops on university physics and linear algebra.

As a graduate student in physics, Othman is working on an experiment that is searching for charge-parity (CP) violation. CP violation hopes to shed light on the long-standing mystery in physics of how the universe came to be made up of predominantly matter, despite the big bang producing equal quantities of matter and antimatter.

NSF Graduate Research Fellows receive a competitive three-year annual stipend, an education allowance, opportunities for international research and professional development, and are free to conduct their research at any accredited U.S. graduate institution. In 2016, NSF received almost 17,000 applications, from which 2,000 fellowships were awarded.

- Rachel Fairbank, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics