Atoms - An Unfinished Story... : Spyridon Michalakis atTEDxYouth@Caltech

Atoms - An Unfinished Story... : Spyridon Michalakis atTEDxYouth@Caltech

previous video
Share this video:
next video
Video Description
Spiros grew up in Greece, where he learned mathematics from Euclid and physics from Aristotle. After taking part in the Olympics for math supernerds (IMO '97), he moved to MIT for four years, to make sure that the math and physics he had learned as a kid were up-to-date. They weren't, so he decided to get a degree in Mathematics with Computer Science. After graduating from MIT, he moved to sunny California for a PhD in Mathematical Physics from UC Davis. It was during this time that he first visited the beautiful campus of Caltech on a collaborative project with MIT undergraduate students involving a 3.5 ton cannon. Upon becoming a Doctor (the other kind), he moved to Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico, where he spent his days trying to solve an impossible-looking problem (#2). After he somehow succeeded (in drawing pretty pictures for the 30-page proof), Caltech offered him a room with a view, where he is now Director of Outreach for the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, as well as a regular research dude. As part of the general duties of every Caltech researcher, Spiros is currently collaborating with Project Runway's Alicia Hardesty and Caltech's Crystal Dilworth on a fashion line that will redefine nerdy. On his spare time, Spiros enjoys playing volleyball, eating sushi and curating IQIM's sciency blog Quantum Frontiers. He is also the faculty advisor for Caltech's Chapter of InnoWorks, which is amazing given that he is not a faculty member at Caltech. You can follow his shenanigans on Twitter @quantum_spiros.

Show Links and Credits

About PHD TV

Spread the word!

PHD TV illustrates and communicates the ideas, stories and personalities of researchers, scientists and scholars worldwide in creative, compelling and truthful ways.

PHD TV is an offshoot of the online comic strip "Piled Higher and Deeper".

We believe there is a gap between scientists and academics and how the public perceives what they do and who they are. If you'd like to help us close that gap, please join us, partner with us or contribute to PHD TV!


We partner with individual researchers and institutions to create engaging videos that communicate complex research ideas. If you'd like to join us or work with us, please e-mail us at support[-at-]

Join our list of contributors
Do you have a special skill or interest in production, writing or animation and want to help us create content? Let us know!

Partner with us
Do you have an outreach budget and would like to work with us to create a video about your work? Please contact us!

Contribute to our cause
PHD TV is free to watch thanks to your support. Right now the simplest way to donate is by purchasing The PHD Movie online (click here). You can also buy stuff from our store.

All content on this page copyright 2015 Piled Higher and Deeper Publishing, LLC.