When Michal Shavit received one of the Chaim Mida Prizes for Theoretical Physics in 2018, her career trajectory changed forever. This spring, while visiting Toronto for a Weizmann League event, she met the man behind the award that changed her life.
When Michal Shavit received one of the Chaim Mida Prizes for Theoretical Physics in 2018, her career trajectory changed forever. She was able to publish her first paper and give a seminar at the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics in Moscow, Russia, all before finishing her Ph.D.
The Chaim Mida Prizes for Theoretical Physics, established by the H&R Mida Charitable Foundation, support outstanding students in the field of theoretical physics from Weizmann’s Feinberg Graduate School. The prizes provide students with funding for travel to international conferences and workshops, or to visit international labs.
“This prize is very important to me,” says Shavit. “It really enables you and gives you independence and freedom in your research…I was very fortunate to have met a lot of different scientists and physicists who have helped shaped my research today.”
When Shavit visited Toronto last spring as part of the Scientists of Tomorrow event hosted by the Toronto Weizmann League, she had a special encounter with the man who established the prize, Hymie Mida. Shavit was excited to be able to share with him face to face what the prize had helped her accomplish as well as her future plans.
“It was great to hear what Michal has done with the Prize, and how it has enabled her,” says Mida.
Mida, a graduate of physics and mathematics himself, established the prize because he recognized the importance of students getting the opportunity to learn from and exchange ideas with peers in their field, and to use those experiences to map their career.
Now back at the Weizmann Institute, under the guidance of Prof. Gregory Falkovich in the Department of Physics of Complex Systems, Shavit is studying hydrodynamics—the study of the motions of fluids and how electrons flow like water.