As an undergraduate at Yale University, Katherine Aidala was a double major in applied physics and psychology. She went on to graduate school in applied physics at Harvard where her thesis was on imaging electron motion in magnetic fields in a two-dimensional electron gas. This involved designing and constructing a cryogenic scanning probe microscope. Aidala continues to focus on scanning probe microscopy as a flexible technique to study a variety of nanoscale systems.
She is a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, as well as a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. In 2008, Aidala received the Cottrell College Science Award for beginning faculty members from Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement. Her research has been published in Nature Physics, Physical Review Letters, and Nano Letters.
At Mount Holyoke, Aidala teaches Physics 216, a calculus based introduction to electricity and magnetism; Physics 308, Introduction to Analog Circuits; Physics 336, Advanced Quantum Mechanics; and Physics 211, Women and Gender in Science.
- "How to get more women on science," Office of Communications and Marketing, April 7, 2015
- "Aidala illuminates the universe's dark side," Office of Communications and Marketing, February 25, 2015
- "Short Academics Get Short Shrift," Office of Communications and Marketing, December 19, 2014
- "'Science Cafes' Feed Hunger for Technical Understanding," Daily Hampshire Gazette, May 17, 2013
- "Mount Holyoke Physics Professor Makes a Pitch for President's Daughters," Office of Communications, November 28, 2011
- "Aidala Goes to Washington," Office of Communications, October 21, 2011
- "Obama Names Aidala a Top Young Scientist," Office of Communications, September 27, 2011
- "Physics Prof Wins NSF Award," Office of Communications, April 7, 2010