We were founded in late 2017, by two UCLA physics majors in the class of 2018, just after we both finished the harrowing process of applying for PhD programs.
Both Jacob and Raj found it relatively difficult to find research positions as undergraduates before their senior year, since the skills taught in lower division and core upper division physics classes do not directly apply to most research. As such, we wanted to make a stepping stone for our successors, who could use Upsilon Lab as a springboard into traditional undergraduate research positions.
Why Upsilon Lab?
Good question! When we were first figuring out what we wanted to do to help improve the department by providing students with the opportunity to gain research skills, we wanted it to be something “by undergraduates, for undergraduates.” With this in mind, alongside our mutual love for greek letters as physics majors, we decided to use an analogue to the letter u- upsilon, of course- to stand for undergraduates.
Interested in founding a similar organization?
We’ve written a guide for this express purpose. Take a look at it on the Founding an Academic Organization Skill Guide page.