Oberlin News Center

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Oberlin News Center

Senior chemistry major Yihui Chen has been awarded the Ernest B. Yeager Award for research in spectroscopy. The award is given annually to one undergraduate in the northeast Ohio and northwestern Pennsylvania region by the Cleveland section of the American Chemical Society.

Chen sits next to Oberlin’s supercomputer, an instrument that aided her in her research.  
Photo By Tanya Rosen-Jones

“The competition for these awards is stiff, and so it is a testament to the strength of Yihui’s accomplishments that she was chosen as this year’s winner,” says Professor of Chemistry Manish Mehta.

For the award, Chen will receive $300 in cash and a one-year membership to the Society for Applied Spectroscopy.

The award will be presented at the 57th Annual Conference on Spectroscopy and Analytical Chemistry at John Carroll University on May 15, where Chen will give an oral presentation of her research on the structural effects of electron delocalization in polyenes, which has a wide range of applications in energy technology and electronics.

“I’ve learned a great amount from doing research, and to get an award on top of that was a pleasant surprise,” says Chen. “I’m grateful to my research advisor, Professor Norman Craig, for nominating me, and the Oberlin chemistry and biochemistry department for the opportunity to do honors research.”

Along with her honors research in spectroscopy, Chen has taken piano lessons in the Conservatory of Music with Professor of Piano Alvin Chow, played violin in the Arts & Sciences Orchestra, and has been involved in the Oberlin Christian Fellowship. Following graduation, Chen will return to her hometown of Singapore to pursue an MD/PhD at the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School