Kevin Chan

Like many grad students, Kevin enjoyed school as a kid. He liked a
lot of his classes, especially in math and science, although he built
a miserable bottle rocket in 11th grade physics. As an undergraduate
at Harvard he majored in math but also did research in physical
chemistry, astrophysics, and particle physics. When he came to
Berkeley in 2005 to pursue his Ph.D., he decided that condensed matter
was the field for him. He is currently in the group of Marvin Cohen
performing first-principles theoretical calculations of the properties
of materials. He thinks it’s neat that many properties can be
calculated with quantitative accuracy just by knowing the structure
and species of the atoms making up a material. He is also motivated
by the potential applications of these materials for human benefit.

When not doing physics, Kevin spends a lot of time on the soccer field
or running up into the hills to take in views of the bay. While
soccer and running are activities he starting doing while growing up
in San Diego, CA, he has also succeeded in adopting some some of the
local Berkeley customs, including cooperative living, gardening,
cooking vegetables, and meditation. Cooking is particularly important
since he really likes to eat. In his room sit a violin and a guitar
that are occasionally played but mostly collect dust.

Kevin is inspired by the rich history and great research in physics
and other fields at Berkeley, and he hopes to help others to be
inspired through the Compass Project.