Photo of a UCLA Chemistry lab

41 UCLA scientists among world’s most influential scholars, based on citations

Photo of a UCLA Chemistry lab

A UCLA chemistry lab. The Clarivate report identifies researchers whose publications have “been repeatedly judged by their peers to be of notable significance and utility.”


The world’s most influential scientific researchers in 2018 include 41 UCLA scholars.

In its annual list, Clarivate Analytics names the most highly cited researchers — those whose work was most often referenced by other scientific research papers for the preceding decade in 21 fields across the sciences and social sciences. (The 2018 list is based on citations between 2006 and 2016.)

The researchers rank in the top 1 percent in their fields in producing widely cited studies, indicating that their work “has been repeatedly judged by their peers to be of notable significance and utility,” according to Clarivate. Current UCLA faculty members and researchers who were named to the list, noted with their primary UCLA research field or fields, are:

Three UCLA professors awarded 2019 Sloan Research Fellowships

Three young UCLA professors have been named recipients of 2019 Sloan Research Fellowships. The fellowships, which were announced today, were awarded to 126 scientists and scholars from 57 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.

“Sloan Research Fellows are the best young scientists working today,” said Adam Falk, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “Sloan Fellows stand out for their creativity, for their hard work, for the importance of the issues they tackle and the energy and innovation with which they tackle them. To be a Sloan Fellow is to be in the vanguard of 21st-century science.”

Winners of Sloan Research Fellowships receive a two-year, $70,000 award to support their research. The fellowships are intended to enhance the careers of exceptional young scientists and scholars in chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences and physics.

UCLA’s 2019 recipients are:


Photo of Denis Chertverikov

Denis Chertverikov

Denis Chetverikov

Chetverikov, an assistant professor of economics at UCLA since 2013, studies econometrics, an area of economics that focuses on the use of mathematical and statistical methods to describe economic systems. His recent research includes work on high-dimensional models, shape restrictions and applications of empirical process theory in econometrics. He has been published in Econometrica, the Annals of Statistics, and the Annals of Probability. He is also the recipient of a 2016 grant from the National Science Foundation; and the MIT Presidential Fellowship in 2008. He received his doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2013 and his master’s from the New Economic School in Moscow in 2007.



Photo of Yongjie Hu

Yongjie Hu

Yongjie Hu

Hu, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, studies nanoscale transport processes and advanced materials for research into energy and micro/nanoscale sensor systems. His group’s discovery of the world’s most efficient semiconductor material for thermal management was featured in the Aug. 10, 2018 issue of the journal Science. His research has been recognized with a National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award, U.S. Air Force Young Investigator Award, and the American Chemical Society’s Doctoral New Investigator Award. Hu and colleagues also received a UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge grant, a program made possible by the Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation. Hu joined the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering in 2014. Prior to UCLA, he was a Battelle postdoctoral fellow at MIT and earned his doctorate from Harvard University.



Aaswath Raman

Photo of Aaswath Raman

Aaswath Raman

Raman, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering, investigates how to control light and heat at the nanoscale. His laboratory brings together a multi-disciplinary computational and experimental perspective to design, fabricate and study metamaterials and new complex optical materials that can shape, absorb and emit light in highly unusual and useful ways over a broad range of wavelengths. Raman and his team are strongly motivated by climate change and the need for new energy technologies that better harness the light and heat around us. He has pioneered the development of radiative sky cooling as a new energy technology, showing how a natural phenomenon in which heat dissipates into the sky and space can, among other things, cool buildings without using electricity, and also generate electricity at night. In 2018, Raman gave a widely viewed TED talk on his research. His honors include being named to MIT Technology Review’s annual Innovators Under 35 list. He is a recipient of the Sir James Lougheed Award of Distinction from the Government of Alberta, Canada; the SPIE Green Photonics Award; and the inaugural Nelson “Buck” Robinson Science and Technology Award for Renewable Energy from the Materials Research Society. Raman is also the co-founder and chief scientific officer of SkyCool Systems, a startup company based on his radiative sky cooling research.

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu speaks with UCLA professor Abel Valenzuela during an audience Q&A following the Winston C. Doby lecture.

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu says government can help make society more just for all

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu speaks with UCLA professor Abel Valenzuela during an audience Q&A following the Winston C. Doby lecture.

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu speaks with UCLA professor Abel Valenzuela during an audience Q&A following the Winston C. Doby lecture.

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu came from Taiwan to the United States with his family when he was 3 years old. And since then, he has tried to champion the ideals that propelled him and his family to success.

“In my mind, [my parents] achieved the American dream,” the California Democrat told the crowd as he delivered the UCLA Academic Advancement Project’s Winston C. Doby Distinguished Lecture. “They went from being poor, to owning a home, to giving my brother and I an amazing education.”

Lieu told his story to a rapt audience of students, faculty and alumni on Feb. 19 at the California NanoSystems Institute. This year was the seventh Doby lecture, which is put on by UCLA’s Academic Advancement Program.

Known as AAP, the Academic Advancement Program is the nation’s largest university-based student diversity program, with a tradition of more than 40 years at UCLA. It has reached more than 5,600 students through academic advising, collaborative learning workshops, mentoring, scholarships and a summer bridge program for entering freshmen and transfer students.

AAP established the Doby lecture to honor its creator and first director, Winston C. Doby, who devoted more than 40 years advocating for access and social justice in higher education for all students.

“He continues to be an inspiration to me,” said Charles Alexander, associate vice provost for student diversity and current AAP director. “He was very involved in many, many incredible things in terms of building this campus and building campus community.”

As Lieu considered the topic of how to make society more just and fair for everyone, he broke it down into three distinct areas for his approximately 45-minute lecture: education, immigration and criminal justice reform.

“The single best investment our nation can make is in education,” said Lieu, who added that he found inspiration in Doby’s work and the work of UCLA’s Academic Advancement Project. “We have to think about it, not just for higher education, but all the way down.”

Lieu emphasized the benefits of investing in education for children ages 0-5, and to also look for holistic solutions. He emphasized the need to lift families out of poverty as the best way to improve educational outcomes

“That would do more to improve public education than anything we could do,” Lieu said.

He cited an example of a Los Angeles nonprofit that went into schools and tested children’s eyesight. As many as 30 percent of students in several schools needed eyeglasses, which the nonprofit delivered. Once the students were able to see clearly, test scores improved. “If you could take into account these non-school factors, that is a big way to improve public education.”

On immigration, Lieu expressed his frustration that a deal to protect people who qualified for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program fell through, but vowed to continue to find a way to halt any unfair immigration laws that President Donald Trump’s administration might propose. Lieu said that he would still consider giving in to some of the administration’s demands — perhaps even a wall — if there was comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, he and many others seek. Lieu said he did not want to rule that out.

Even though it can often be difficult to find political common ground in Washington, D.C., Lieu co-authored a recently passed criminal justice reform bill. The bill has lowered sentences for non-violent crimes, among other actions.

“It was not huge, but it was a step in the right direction,” Lieu said, adding that a good second step would be to implement bail reform. “If you really look into it, it is a disaster. On any given day, hundreds of thousands of people are locked up in prisons and jails, not because they’ve been convicted of anything, but because they are too poor to pay the fee to get out of jail or prison.”

Under current bail laws people get released because they can afford to pay a large bail, not because they committed a crime that makes them less of a threat to the community. Consequently, poorer people languish in jail.

Lieu said a newer risk analysis system that adjusts to that reality has been previously implemented in Washington, D.C. and Kentucky — and this year in California — has shown early positive results.

Lieu briefly discussed Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the border between the United States and Mexico.

“Study after study after study say that both documented and undocumented immigrants commit less crime than people born here,” Lieu said, adding that he thinks there is a good argument to be made in the courts to halt the national emergency declaration.

Lieu concluded by taking the time to talk about the humanitarian crisis caused by the Yemen Civil War. He said his heart goes out to the Yemen civilians who are suffering, and he’s distressed by the mounting casualties from Saudi Arabian airstrikes — something he has fought to bring to the national consciousness. “War crimes are not a partisan issue.”

After his speech, Lieu fielded questions from the audience, assisted by moderator Abel Valenzuela, UCLA professor of urban planning and Chicana and Chicano studies, as well as UCLA Chancellor Gene Block’s adviser on immigration. Topics included the 2020 presidential election, Green New Deal and affirmative action.

Lieu concluded by emphasizing the social justice aspect of the evening, and vowing to continue to fight for those ideals in Congress. “I’m in politics to make sure this [American] dream remains possible for people who want to work hard and succeed.”