Kimberly Short and Her Favorite Element

Physicist and former assistant director of the Southeast Center for Mathematics and Biology reveals her favorite element

April 24, 2019

Editor's Note: This story was modified on April 26 to update Kimberly Short's professional status. 

The monthly series "My Favorite Element" is part of Georgia Tech's celebration of 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, #IYPT2019GT. Each month a member of the Georgia Tech community will share his/her favorite element via video.

Kimberly Short is a physicist. She earned her B.S. degree in the University of Arizona and M.S. degree in the University of California, Los Angeles. She is finishing her Ph.D. under the supervision of School of Physics Professor Kurt Wiesenfeld and expects to defend her dissertation in summer 2019.

"Mendeleev's periodic table is a triumph of human pattern recognition," Short says. "He had the foresight to leave holes in his periodic table for theretofore undiscovered elements. Using patterns in the elements in his table, he was able to make predictions of the properties, such as chemical behaviors and masses, of these undiscovered elements"  

Short was formerly the assistant director of the Southeast Center for Mathematics and Biology (SCMB). SCMB is one of four NSF-Simons Research Centers for Mathematics of Complex Biological Systems (MathBioSys). The other three are the Center for Mathematical and Statistical Analysis of Biology at Harvard University, the Center on Multiscale Cell Fate at the University of California, Irvine, and the Center for Quantitative Biology at Northwestern University. 

Her favorite element is .... Watch the video!

Renay San Miguel, communications officer in the College of Sciences, produced and edited the videos in this series. 

Other videos in this series are available at

March 2019: Elayne Ashley, scientific glass blower

February 2019: Amit Reddi, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry

January 2019: Jeanine Williams, biochemistry major and track star



For More Information Contact

A. Maureen Rouhi, Ph.D.
Director of Communications
College of Sciences