YC Honors Program Presents Annual Nobel Prize Nanosecond Party

The Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program at Yeshiva College hosted the annual Nobel Prize Nanosecond Party for its students on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020. The much-anticipated event featured six members of Yeshiva University’s faculty presenting six-minute talks on each of this year’s six Nobel Prizes.

The virtual event was co-sponsored by the Yeshiva College Department of Physics and moderated by Dr. Gabriel Cwilich, professor of physics and division coordinator of natural and mathematical sciences, who inaugurated the Nobel Prize Nanosecond Party in 2004. During the event, he recounted the development of the annual celebration that has become a Yeshiva College tradition.

  • Dr. Sumanta Goswami, associate professor and chair of biology at Yeshiva College, spoke about the discovery of the hepatitis C virus that merited the Prize in Medicine (Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice)
  • Dr. Fredy Zypman, professor of physics and chair of the department of physics at Yeshiva College and the Katz School of Science and Health, discussed the insights into black holes that earned the Prize in Physics (Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez)
  • Dr. Josefa Steinhauer, associate professor of biology, explained the technology of CRISPR-Cas9 and the breakthroughs in genetic editing for the Chemistry Prize (Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna)
  • Prof. David Puretz, lecturer in writing, shared a poem from Nobel laureate Louise Glück and spoke about the power of her work
  • Prof. Maria Zaitseva, adjunct assistant professor of political science, detailed the efforts of the World Food Programme that received the Peace Prize
  • Dr. Tadashi Hashimoto, assistant professor of economics, discussed Dr. Robert Wilson, one of the co-winners of the Economics Prize, and his contributions to the area of auction theory. Dr. Hashimoto shared with the students that Dr. Wilson personally mentored him as one of his graduate school advisers and was a member of his doctoral dissertation committee.

Ari Englander ’22YC, a first-time Honors Program attendee, remarked, “This event reminded me just how much there is to know about the world around us, and how lucky we are to have such knowledgeable professors teaching us.”

Dr. Eliezer Schnall, director of the Schottenstein Honors Program, said, “The annual Nobel Nanosecond event showcases the rich diversity of intellectual life available to our students, with professors expert in physics, biology, the social sciences and the humanities sharing their knowledge with our students relating to a broad array of cutting-edge research fields.”

Nobel Prize Medal
Nobel Prize Medal