Undergraduate Honors

Physics Undergraduate Honors and Awards

An upper-class physics major who has demonstrated superior academic ability may earn Honors in Physics in one of two ways.

Research Work

With departmental approval, the student enrolls in PHYS 498 - Physics Honors, for a full- or half-course load. The student then works closely with a faculty member on a research project agreed upon by the faculty member, for a total of at least four credit hours. The results of this project are presented in a senior thesis defended by the student at a departmental seminar. A successful defense demonstrating a superior research competence and mastery of the subject earns the recognition of distinguished independent work in physics. Further details are available from the department.


The student successfully completes PHYS 424 Honors Quantum Mechanics and PHYS 425 Honors Electrodynamics, both with a grade of B or better.  In addition, the student successfully completes a capstone project.  The capstone project is prepared under a faculty member's supervision while registered for a four-credit independent study (PHYS 597).  Each course for this option is taken as 4 credits unless specified otherwise.  Further details are available from the department.

Undergraduate Physics Senior Honors Thesis:

  • Peter Tomlinson and Mo Li (Spring 2019)

  • Shehtab Zaman (Fall 2018)

  • George E. Moore Award for Academic Achievement in Physics

    This award is given annually to an outstanding senior physics major. This award was established to honor the late George E. Moore, a professor in the department for a number of years, by his wife. The award is based on academic achievement, research work and an overall dedication to physics.


    • Simon O'Connorr (2022)
    • Kaveen Sandaginpathira (2021)
    • Michelle Beaulieu, Russell Berger, and Orlando Santiago (2020)
    • Peter Tomlinson and Randy Owen (2019)
    • Xue Dong and Samuel Stromswold (2018)
    • Jaymes Flournoy and Matthew Petryk (2017)
    • Itai Maimon (2016)
    • Zachary Lebens-Higgins (2015)
    • Rostislaav Grynko and Zachary Tuchfeld (2014)
    • Anthony Frachioni (2013)
    • Sungoh Park and Mellissa Stanke (2013)
    • Mikhail Davydov and Gabriel Lotto (2012)
    • Mark Dello Stritto and James Ng (2011)
    • Jiri Stehlik (2010)
    • Timothy White and Matthew Dornfeld (2009)
    • Colby Chiauzzi (2008)
    • Jeffrey Berger and Alessandra Borgia (2007)
    • Joshua Wickman (2006)
  • Robert J. Penfield Award for Academic Promise in Physics

    The Robert J. Penfield Award is given each spring to a Physics Junior who has shown high interest and outstanding academic promise in Physics. Robert Penfield earned his PhD at Syracuse University in 1952. He dedicated the next 40 years to teaching and advising undergraduate students at Binghamton University. When he joined the faculty, we were known as Harpur College, which was located in Endicott. When he retired, we were Binghamton University here in Vestal.


    • Erin Delargy (2022)
    • Max Meyers (2021)
    • Kaveen Sandaginpathira (2020)
    • Matthew Krebs and Robert Beblavy (2019)
    • Bradley Phelps, Melissa Popeil, Peter Tomlinson, Shehtab Zaman (2018)
    • Xue Dong (2017)
    • Jaymes Flournoy (2016)
    • Richard J Barley, Edward Kicsak and Matthew Petryk (2015)
    • Scott Fennelly, Zachary W. Lebens- Higgins and Darin Mihalik (2014)
    • Zachary Tuchfeld (2013)
    • Anthony Frachioni (2012)
    • Mikhail Davydov (2011)
    • Gabriel Lotto (2011)
    • Mark Dello Stritto (2010)
    • James Ng (2010)
  • The Brownridges' Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research


    • Paul DePola (2022)
    • James McAllister and Max Meyers (2021)
    • Russell Berger and Max Meyers (2020)
    • Keith Tirpak (2019)
  • Sigma Pi Sigma

    Sigma Pi Sigma, a chapter of the National Physics Honor Society, has existed in the department for many decades. The physics major who has achieved a grade-point average in physics of 3.2 or higher in addition to an overall grade-point average of 3.0 or higher are invited to join this prestigious society in their junior or senior year. All students who accept the invitation to join are inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma at a ceremony in the spring.


    • Brandon Gallipoli
    • Chad Nelson
    • Denis O'Byrne
    • Douglas Chadwick
    • Henry Corbin
    • Jake Kaurman
    • John Kern
    • Mary Mahoney
    • Matthew Krebs
    • Nancy Huang
    • Randy Owen
    • Robert Beblavy
    • Steven Blum
    • Vincent Cuda
    • Galo Paez Fajardo (graduate student)