Jamie M. Karthein Receives Dan E. Wells Outstanding Dissertation Award

Award Recognizes Significance and Impact of Research

Each semester, the Dan E. Wells Outstanding Dissertation Award is presented to a doctoral student who has performed outstanding research and submitted the best dissertation to the College. The summer-fall recipient was Jamie M. Karthein, a fall Ph.D. graduate in the Department of Physics.

Dan E. Wells Outstanding Dissertation Award winner Jamie M. Karthein with Dean Dan E. Wells.

The award was announced at the University of Houston Commencement for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics on December 18. Karthein received a certificate and an award of $1,000.

Her dissertation is entitled “Equation of State and Net-charge Fluctuations for Strongly-interacting Matter.” Karthein’s research uses a particular first-principles computational method to interpret experimental results obtained at CERN and Brookhaven National Laboratory.

The research goal is to understand the properties of matter at extremely high temperatures and densities, such as those that existed in the universe in the very first few microseconds after the Big Bang or that may be found in the core of neutron stars. Her mentor is Claudia Ratti, associate professor and associate chair of the Department of Physics.

Karthein received the 2021 Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider and Alternating Gradient Synchrotron Merit Award. The award recognizes her outstanding research contributions to activities in nuclear and high-energy physics at multiple research facilities. She is also the recipient of a National Science Foundation Ascending Postdoctoral Fellowship that will support her postdoctoral work at MIT.

For the award, nominated dissertations are evaluated for:

  • Significance and impact of the research
  • Originality of the work
  • Quality of the scholarship
  • Quality of the presentation and organization of the dissertation

- Kathy Major, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics