About Abigail Jiang

Born in Portland, Oregon, Abigail Jiang is the child of Chinese engineers who immigrated to the United States in pursuit of graduate education. Abigail spent their childhood interpolating in “Chinglish” between their grandparents’ home in the coastal city of Dalian and their American upbringing in the Pacific Northwest. Despite attempting to evade the fate of studying engineering just like her parents, Abigail discovered an affinity for the not-too-distant physical sciences, supported by brilliant mentors and peers throughout high school and college.

Abigail graduated from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) with a dual Bachelor of Science in materials science and history. Abigail conducted research on quantum materials and battery materials in the groups of Professors Joseph Falson and Kimberly See respectively. With the mentorship of Professors Maura Dykstra and Danielle Wiggins, Abigail also won Caltech’s university-wide senior thesis prize for her study of 20th century urban development in Los Angeles Chinatown.

Beyond academic research, Abigail cofounded Caltech’s Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) student organization, collaborated with local and national AAPI advocacy efforts in the wake of COVID-19, and spearheaded a STEM research program serving first-generation, low-income high school students. They also advocated for and implemented new university policies to address the needs of LGBTQIA+ and first-generation students.

Currently, Abigail is pursuing a PhD in applied physics at Harvard University. Advised by Professor Julia Mundy and Professor Jarad Mason, Abigail synthesizes novel materials to investigate fundamental phenomena in quantum physics, and explore new functional applications in energy and sustainability. In addition to their research at the intersection of physics, chemistry, and materials science, Abigail is also invested in bridging disciplinary boundaries across the sciences and humanities through secondary studies in the history of science.

Inspired in part by her parents’ and grandparents’ journeys to seek higher education despite direct political challenges in China and the US, and in part by her personal aspirations to facilitate accessibility and equity in academia, Abigail is committed to combining passions for research, mentorship, and advocacy in pursuit of a career as academic faculty.


  • PhD in Applied Physics, Harvard University
  • BS in Materials Science, California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Professional Fields

Milestones and Recognition

  • Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship - Materials Physics

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