JILA Undergraduate Research Assistant Aaron Barrios is Awarded a 2024 Jacob Van Ek Scholarship

Submitted by kennac on Fri, 04/19/2024 - 9:42 am

Undergraduate research assistant Aaron Barrios has been awarded a Jacob Van Ek Scholarship for 2024 for his work with JILA Fellow Jason Dexter on black holes. 

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Aaron Barrios/LinkedIn

JILA undergraduate student Aaron Barrios has recently been honored with the prestigious Jacob Van Ek Scholarship, an accolade from the University of Colorado Boulder College of Arts and Sciences to a select group of exceptional undergraduates. This year, Barrios is among 23 distinguished students to receive one of the college's highest honors, reflecting his outstanding contributions and academic excellence in Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics.

The scholarship is named after Jacob Van Ek, who profoundly impacted CU’s academic landscape. Van Ek, born in 1896, began his illustrious career at CU shortly after completing his doctorate in 1925 at what is now Iowa State University. He quickly ascended from an assistant professor to a full professor within a mere three years and served as the dean of the College of Liberal Arts from 1929 to 1959. His legacy continues to inspire and recognize student excellence through this scholarship.

Aaron Barrios's research, under the mentorship of JILA Fellow and Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences professor Jason Dexter, focuses on the intriguing dynamics of black holes and accretion disk theory. Barrios' work primarily investigates how isotropic emissions around black holes can become anisotropic, a critical study in understanding the behavior of light and radiation in extreme gravitational fields. 

Written by Kenna Hughes-Castleberry, JILA Science Communicator

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