Third-year Niklas Thompson earns Goldwater Scholarship

Niklas Thompson, a third-year chemistry and mathematics major, has been selected as a Barry M. Goldwater Scholar. In addition, Samuel Greene, a second-year chemistry major, received an honorable mention.


According to UChicago’s Office of the Dean of Students in the College, Thompson is one of 282 students selected in this year’s competition from a field of nearly 1,200 of the United States’ top math, science and engineering students.

Thompson is pursuing both a BS in chemistry and a BA in mathematics at UChicago. He hopes to pursue a PhD, focusing his research on chemical synthesis and chemical biology.  He currently conducts research in organometallic synthesis under Greg Hillhouse, professor in chemistry, and previously engaged in research under Milan Mrkisch, a chemistry professor now at Northwestern University. Thompson also previously participated in research at the University of Pennsylvania’s department of cancer biology.


Greene also is pursuing a BS in chemistry, with an emphasis on climate change and alternative energy sources. He has participated in National Science Foundation-funded research in biofuels at the Colorado School of Mines and ecology-related research in the department of botany at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Goldwater Scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit, and virtually all intend to obtain a PhD and pursue research careers. The one- and two-year scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

Recent Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 73 Rhodes Scholarships, 102 Marshall Awards (seven of the 40 awarded in the United States in 2009) and numerous other distinguished fellowships.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency that was established in 1986. The scholarship program honoring Sen. Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields.

Since 2005, 21 UChicago students have received Goldwater Scholarships and four others have been selected as honorable mentions. UChicago ranks third in Goldwater Scholarships, following MIT and Harvard University, which both produced 23 scholars in that same period.