About Me

A picture of me in front of my poster presented at the 2019 DNP conference
That's me!

Hey y'all! My name is Sam, and I'm a physics graduate student at the University of Washington. I grew up right outside of Louisville, KY (if the "y'all" didn't give it away) before attending Yale College for undergrad --     I graduated in 2020 with a double major in math and physics.

In addition to being a fledgling physicist, I am also a musician, an avid reader, an extremely amateur photographer, and a trivia enthusiast.


Like everyone my age, I'm always checking my phone.

You can easily reach me at sjborden@uw.edu.

Teaching and Mentorship

Since I'll be a first-year graduate student in 2020, I'm very excited to start my teaching career. Having great graduate student mentorship as an undergrad helped me succeed, so I want to pay it forward. I am currently a TA for Physics 123: Waves.


As an incoming graduate student, I've yet to make a final commitment to a subfield; however, I am extremely excited by the work being done in precision physics -- specifically rare event searches. My past research experiences arc from geophysics and seismology to neutrinoless double beta decay searches. Click here if you want to learn more about my research!


My goal as a physicist is not to just do research, but to also spread the same sense of excitement and wonder that science gives me. I personally know the importance of STEM outreach, especially early age STEM programs -- I probably would not have been a scientist without them. I am firmly committed to diversity and making physics an equitable and safe space for all.

  • Conference Experience for Undergraduates -- Having benefitted from this program as an undergrad, I recently signed up to be a graduate student mentor for undergraduates during the Division of Nuclear Physics Fall 2020 meeting.
  • Yale Splash! - This is an amazing program where volunteers from various areas of study come together over a series of three weekends to teach STEM courses to middle school and high school students from the New Haven community. I made sure the classrooms were ready for student teachers, and I also helped student teachers set up their science demonstrations.
  • Letters to a Pre-Scientist - I recently volunteered to send letters to aspiring scientists in middle school who may not have access to STEM role models.
  • COVID-19 Tutoring - During the COVID-19 pandemic, I volunteered to tutor high school and college students who were struggling as classes went remote.

Bonus picture, circa late 2016