In honor of Harold Ticho's 90th birthday, his contributions to the field of physics, and his extraordinary service to UC San Diego, an endowed fund for an annual award to a student in physics was established. The Harold K. Ticho Award will be used by the Department of Physics as a targeted recruitment tool to attract the best graduate students to study physics at UC San Diego.

Professor Harold Ticho

Born in Brno, Czechoslovakia in 1921, Dr. Ticho became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1944. He attended the University of Chicago, where he received BS (1942), MS (1944) and PhD (1949) degrees in physics. His entire faculty career was spent in the UC system: he served as a professor of physics at UCLA for 35 years, and subsequently held the same position at UC San Diego until his retirement in 1991. Dr. Ticho's leadership and groundbreaking work in experimental elementary particle physics shaped our fundamental understanding of the basic building blocks of matter that led to the quark model of the nucleon. Furthermore, Dr. Ticho's contribution was critical to the work of the Nobel Prize-winning team of Luis Alvarez at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Among the multiple awards recognizing his research and scholarship are two Guggenheim Fellowships (1966/67 and 1973/74).

In addition to his research and educational contributions, Dr. Ticho provided crucial academic leadership for UC through his service in high-level administrative positions. In 1983 Dr. Ticho was appointed as Vice Chancellor - Academic Affairs for the San Diego campus. Working closely with Lu Sham (then Dean of Physical Sciences) and Norman Kroll (then Physics Department Chair), Dr. Ticho was responsible for an extended period of major growth in all of the sciences - and in physics in particular.

Award funds may be used for tuition/fee payments, stipends, summer support, and/or up to $3,000 of research-related expenses, including travel to conferences. All standard campus fellowship regulations and support limits apply.

Ticho Award Winners Luncheon with Doctor Ticho - 2013

Ticho Award Details

Amount: Up to $12,000

Eligibility: Incoming Physics graduate students

Selection: No specific application is required. A faculty committee will review the records of all eligible students and will select a recipient from among the most outstanding performers.

Selection: A faculty committee will review all nominations and will send their recommendations to the Department Chair, who will make the final decision.


2017: David Kenneth Moore

2017: David Kenneth Moore David Moore graduated from UCSD in 2017 with a double major in physics and mathematics after transferring from the San Diego Community College District in 2014. His research interests focus on the broad area of theoretical condensed matter physics. On his free time he enjoys programming anything from physical simulations to video games, as well as helping others with physics and math questions online.

2016: Samuel James May

2016: Samuel James May "I attended the University of California, Los Angeles as an undergraduate. At UCLA, I worked with research groups in both fluid dynamics and experimental elementary particle physics. Now, my primary research interests are in experimental elementary particle physics. Outside of physics, my interests include lacrosse, running and electronic music."

2015: Anna Miller

2015: Anna Miller "I earned my undergraduate degree in engineering physics and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During that time, I spent two years working with Dr. Peter Abbamonte to look at phase transitions in transition metal dichalcogenides. At UCSD, I hope to get involved in computational biophysics/bioinformatics research. Perhaps my most unique hobby is that I play foot based rhythm games like Dance Dance Revolution and Pump It Up."

2014: Timothy John Kennelly

2014: Timothy John Kennelly "I am from Aurora, Illinois and I attended the University of Iowa where my undergraduate research was on studying a specific method of plasma transport in Saturn's magnetosphere. I am interested in developing and using numerical models to understand various processes, such as turbulence and magnetic reconnection, in space and laboratory plasmas. In my free time I like go running and work on my cooking skills."

2013: Chelsey Dorow

"I attended the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities for my undergraduate degree. I am interested in condensed matter physics. I grew up in Duluth, Minnesota. My favorite pastimes include running, traveling, and studying French."

2012: Martin Frank Navaroli

His research interests include low temperature detectors and their applications in astronomical instrumentation. Working with Dr. Ben Mazin at UCSB, he did two years of undergraduate research on the development of a new type of low temperature detector technology called Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors (MKIDs), which are capable of determining both the energy and arrival time of individual photons in the near infrared, optical, ultraviolet, and X-ray ranges. Beginning in the fall of 2012, Martin plans to pursue his Ph.D in physics at UCSD working with Dr. Brian Keating on POLARBEAR, a Cosmic Microwave Background telescope located in northern Chile.

Funding: This award was made possible by the generosity of Dr. Ticho's family and friends. Additional contributions are always welcome; please see Giving to Physics for details.