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Commencement & Convocation Information 2018

Commencement & Convocation Information 2018

From the Office of the Registrar & the College of Science


University Commencement will be held on Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 6:30pm in the Jon M. Huntsman Center (Map). Candidates for graduation in the summer 2017, fall 2017, spring 2018, or summer 2018 terms may attend.

Commencement is open to the public and free to attend. No tickets or RSVP required. This year's commencement speaker will be Ben Nemtin, star of MTV's "The Buried Life" and New York Time's best-selling author. Barbara Tanner and Raymond Uno will receive honorary doctorate degrees, the highest honor give by the university. Those who are unable to attend commencement can watch it streamed live on

For those of you attending or participating in graduation ceremonies this spring, here's some important information.


(For the entire campus where the VIPs speak)
Thursday, May 3, 2018
Jon M. Huntsman Center (Map)

  • 5:00 pm - Graduates assemble in the Parking Terrace west of the Huntsman Center dressed in cap and gown
  • 5:30 pm - Guests should be seated
  • 5:45 pm - Procession begins
  • 6:30 pm - Commencement ceremony begins


(Where your name is called and you walk across the stage)
College of Science (Click here for other colleges' date, time and location)
Thursday, May 3, 2018
Jon M. Huntsman Center (Map)
More info

  • 7:15 - 7:45 am - Graduates assemble outside Jon M. Huntsman Center (see the link above for additional details)
  • 9:00 am - Convocation ceremony begins
  • 11:00 am College of Science Reception - location TBA


Following the Convocation, graduates and their guests are invited to a reception for the College of Science Class of 2018. Details to be provided soon.


Convocation will also be streamed live online so forward these links to family and friends who want to view it, but can't attend:
On-demand streaming of the College of Science Convocation will be available here.
The live stream link will be available here.


Campus parking lots may be used at no charge during commencement and convocation ceremonies. Please see the commencement parking map for parking locations as well as shuttle and TRAX stops. Additionally, since campus parking is limited, we encourage the use of UTA TRAX on these days. The use of TRAX while on campus is free both days, but fare is still required for any off campus travel.

Shuttle Services

As campus parking is limited, graduates and their guests are encouraged to use the free campus shuttle service to travel between commencement events. Shuttles run throughout campus and are scheduled every 10 minutes. Track the current location of any campus shuttle using the Live Shuttle Tracker.

Accessible Parking

For a map to all accessible parking options on campus, visit the campus map and select the "Accessible" option from the Map Features drop-down menu.

Construction Alerts

For a map with notifications regarding all parking lots effected by campus construction, view the campus map and select the "Construction" option from the Map Features drop-down menu.

Commuter Services

For more information about transportation and parking options, visit the Commuter Services website.

To learn more, please visit the Commencement Ceremony Parking & Transportation page.



Presented by the Motley Wandering Minstrels, "Copenhagen", a play by Michael Frayn, opens on Thursday, April 12 and will close Saturday, April 21.
The show will be held on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays @ 7 p.m. in room 102 of the James Fletcher Building on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City!

A play by Michael Frayn, about the secret meeting of Niels Bohr & Werner Heisenberg in 1941.

Click to enlarge

From the Daily Utah Chronicle:

Winner of the 1999-2000 Tony Award for Best Play.

"In 1941, Werner Heisenberg, one of [Niels] Bohr’s top students, went to visit him in Copenhagen for a private meeting,
'and what happened at that meeting has been a topic of discussion ever since,' according to director Beth Bruner.
In this play, Bohr and Heisenberg meet in the afterlife and try to work out what exactly they did at that meeting and why they did it."



With a cast of members from the University of Utah community, including pre-med student Jesse Peery as Werner Heisenberg and theatre professor Richard Scharine as Niels Bohr.

Dates & Time:

  • Thursday, April 12 @ 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, April 13 @ 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 14 @ 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 19 @ 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, April 20 @ 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 21 @ 7:00 p.m.

Location: Room 102 of the James Fletcher Building at the University of Utah. (Click link to view map)

Tickets & More Information. Copenhagen is open to everyone. Tickets are $5 for the general public, and free for students with their ID. You can pay or show your ID at the door, but seating is limited, so email the Motley Wandering Minstrels at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for reservations.

Click here to learn more and read the article by the Daily Utah Chronicle.


Frontiers of Science with Dr. Ryan J. Watts

Thursday, April 12, 2018 @ 6:00 p.m. - Frontiers of Science with Dr. Ryan J. Watts! "Charting New Territory in Neurodegeneration" in room 220 of the Aline Wilmot Skaggs Building (ASB) on the U of U Campus!


with Dr. Ryan J. Watts,
Ryan J. Watts, PhD, CEO, Denali Therapeutics

Date & Time: Thursday, April 12, 2018  at 6:00pm

Location: 220 Aline Skaggs Building at the University of Utah
View Map

Neurodegeneration is one of the largest medical challenges of our time. Recent human genetic and cell biological insights into the causes and progression of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia, ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases is offering new territory for the discovery and development of effective medicines. At Denali Therapeutics, Dr. Watts is leading a team of scientists and clinicians focused on inventing disease-modifying therapies to halt neurodegeneration. Denali is elucidating the biological mechanisms of four pathways with direct links to neurodegeneration. Understanding these pathways is leading to the discovery of biomarkers and therapies to treat disease. Nevertheless, a major barrier to developing neurological disease medicines has been the body’s own defense mechanism, known as the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which has evolved to protect the brain from toxins. In addition to pursing new targets, Denali is engineering medicines to cross the BBB and access disease targets in the brain.

Frontiers of Science is free and open to the public. The Frontiers lecture series features eminent scientists and researchers from across the country who are exploring the latest frontiers in their fields. All lectures are free and open to the public, although tickets are required and seating is limited. Click here to learn more about the Frontiers of Science lecture series.


2018 Graduate Student Research Symposium a Great Success!

The second annual Department of Physics & Astronomy Graduate Research Symposium took place Friday, March 31, 2018 at the University of Utah Guest House.

The idea behind this event is to bring all graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and all career and tenure track faculty together to foster communication, collaboration, and the exchange of ideas. This event provides first year graduate students an excellent opportunity to get to know our research programs, and professors are able to advertise their research projects and open research positions, all in a more relaxed atmosphere, outside the classroom, thus encouraging more student/faculty interaction.

There was a great turnout, with 50 student poster presentations and close to 100 total attendees. The event stimulated vigorous scientific discussion and was also quite fun.

The award winners for best poster presentation are:

  • 1st Place - Vijith Jacobpoovelil from Dr. Gail Zasowski's research group with his poster:
    "Stellar Doppelgangers & the Power of Chemical Tagging"
  • 2nd Place - Sanduni Fernando & Jason Martineau from Dr. Jordan Gerton's research group with their poster:
    "High Information Point-Spread Functions for Color Sensitive Localization Microscopy"
  • 3rd Place - Megha Agarwal from Dr. Eugene Mishchenko's research group with her poster:
    "Binding Energy & Lifetime of Excitons in Metallic Nanotubes"
  • Honorable Mention: Kevin McCarthy from Dr. Valy Vardeny's research group with his poster:
    "The Effects of Galaxy Assembly Bias on Redshift-Space Distortions"

Vijith Jacobpoovelil

Jason Martineau

Megha Agarwal

Kevin McCarthy

If you see these students around the department, please congratulate them for their achievement!


More photos available here:



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