In Physics Department:

Professor Paul Lyman, Graduate Advisor (Office: Rm. 484; Tel.: (414) 229-4626)

Professor Lyman is available to advise you on academic matters concerning your graduate studies.

Professor Robert Wood, Associate Chair (Office: Rm. 482; Tel.: (414) 229-5303)

Professor Wood is involved with TA appointments and class assignments.

Kate Valerius, Graduate Program Assistant (Office: Rm. 442, Tel.: (414) 229-6575)

Kate Valerius is your first point of contact. She will help you with the application process, monitors and maintains all application files and, for those students who join the department, works closely with them, along with the Graduate Advisor, during their career.

Steve Kennedy, Academic Department Manager (Office: Rm. 441, Tel.: (414) 229-6266)

Steve Kennedy is the person to see regarding payroll-related and financial matters.

Department Receptionist (Rm. 442, Tel.: (414) 229-4474)

Department receptionist can assist with general questions regarding the department as well as arranging for a meeting with the Department Chair.

Professor Valerica Raicu, Department Chair (Office: Rm. 450, Tel.: (414) 229-4969)

In Graduate School (Mitchell Hall):

Patricia Hayes, Doctoral Student Specialist (414) 229-6263

Pat is the first contact for doctoral students in the Graduate School. She handles all doctoral degree requirements and any other related problems and questions that you might have.

Information for New Students

Internal Revenue Services (IRS) and I-9 forms:

Obtain and fill out the following forms and return them to Academic Department Manager, Steve Kennedy. The deadline for these items is within 3 days of the appointment for Fall.

  • I-9 (new T.A.’s)
  • W-4 (everyone)
  • Foreign Students only: Verification of Employment

Health Insurance:

Sign up for health insurance within 30 days of hire. Submit your completed application to Benefits in Engelmann 125. All the health plans offered by the State of Wisconsin have what is called a uniform benefits package. In addition to cost, another major difference between the various health plans are the providers or physicians that participate in the plan. If you know of a specific physician, or like the idea of having medical care close to where you live, then pay close attention to the provider’s listed with each plan.If you have questions, the Benefits office (414)229-4925 is very helpful in sorting out the various health plans.

Registering for Classes:

  • See or contact Prof. Paul Lyman for advice and class selection.
  • To register for your classes on line, go to the I&MT Computer Lab in Bolton Hall, Rm 225, and ask the consultant on duty for help in this procedure. You will have to supply a PIN number, which the consultants can help you obtain.
  • Access Paws website


  • Open a local bank account
  • Steve Kennedy or the front office (Physics 442) can provide a form to arrange for automatic payroll deposit.
  • New students are eligible to get an advance on their paycheck. Otherwise, your initial paycheck will not arrive until October 1. For more information see the Academic Department Manager, Steve Kennedy (414)229-6266.

Foreign Students Only:

  • Get a temporary Social Security Number from the Payroll Office in Engelmann Hall 170. You will need to bring your I-94 and I-20, which you must present to the Payroll Office.
  • To obtain a permanent Social Security Number go to the Federal Building (across from the Grand Avenue Mall) at 310 W. Wisconsin Ave., Suite 260 (on the second floor in the West tower) in downtown Milwaukee. You will need your passport, I-94 and I-20 forms. Their phone number is 800-772-1213 (national) or 414-297-1790 (local).

You cannot be paid until you have a Social Security Number.


  • Since you are a student at UWM you have been issued a ePanther identification. To utilize this identification for accessing your email, campus computing facilities, the UWM library facilities, and other uses you must activate your ePanther account. This is most easily accomplished by going to the UWM Campus Technology website. There are nearly 400 computers at six campus locations that can be accessed with your ePanther ID and password. The website General Access Computer Labs/Lounges gives details of locations and up-to-date availability information.
  • You will need a separate ID/password to access the Physics Computer Lab (Physics Rm. 226.) Use of the computers in this room is limited to Physics majors, graduate students, scientists, postdocs, and staff. The room is also used as a teaching lab for several physics department courses on a limited basis. E-mail the Physics department manager Steve Kennedy to obtain an access ID/password.
  • Get a Upass (transit pass) that enables you to use the Milwaukee County Transit System, which is automatically paid through segregated student fees.
  • Make sure you attend the department chairman’s party (date to be announced). This is a great way for you to meet the faculty and the senior graduate students.
  • Do some outdoor things in the limited amount of sunshine that we have left at this time of year. Go to the lakefront and rollerblade, etc., etc.
  • Attend the weekly Wednesday Afternoon Physics Teas (4 pm, every Wednesday afternoon in Physics 453, beginning the second week of classes) to meet and talk with your classmates and your professors.


  • For information about housing go to the Off Campus Housing page of UWM Auxiliary Services.


Physics Building

Photocopying: There are two photocopiers in Room 444 for work-related copying. The copy room is open Monday through Friday from 7:45am to 4:30pm. Get there before 4:30 p.m. since it is usually locked after business office hours.

Library: There are a number of journals and books available in the N. J. Papastamatiou Memorial Library, which is housed in Room 487 of the Physics building. To access the collection, you may get a key from any Physics department secretary. The lending library contains standard graduate textbooks and a good selection of books in mathematical physics, particle physics and gravitational physics. The journals in the collection include Physical Review B and D, Physical Review Letters, Astrophysical Journal, Comm. Math Physics and Journal of Mathematical Physics. For more current issues, check with professors who have subscriptions or go to the Golda Meir Library located on campus.

Computers: Most research groups have their own PC’s and printers. There is a shared laser printer in Rm. 404 that is accessible for printing from any of the mainframes (e.g., your alpha account). This room also has a full set of UNIX manuals.

There are also PC’s and Macintosh computers in the Physics Department’s computer lab Rm. 223 with a printer that is for general grad student use outside of class hours. The main function of this lab is to support undergraduate lab courses, and the lab is usually tied up weekday afternoons.

FAX: There is a FAX machine in the Front Office (442). However, it is for work-related business only. The FAX number is (414)229-5589.

Elsewhere on Campus

Klotsche Center: This is the Gym that is for students, staff, and faculty, and because of such high demand, you might consider getting a locker relatively early.

Norris Student Health Center: The Norris Student Health Center is open on Monday-Thursday 8:00am – 4:45pm and on Friday 9:00am – 4:45pm.

Golda Meir Library: This is the UWM campus library. The library catalog is available on line.

Computing: Free accounts on one of the alpha servers are made available to all registered UWM students. Your alpha login and temporary password are sent to you by mail. There are 7 Computer Labs around campus. Also, if you have a PC or Mac at home, then find out about the licenses for software and hardware that you can buy cheaply.

Student Union: The Student Union is not necessarily the optimal place to eat. Nevertheless, there are places in the basement to drink beer, shoot pool, and even play ping-pong. There are also film series, art exhibits, and other events in the Union as well as a craft center where you can work on clay or engage in other art studio pursuits.

Fine Arts: There are a large number of theater and music related events on campus, particularly around the Fine Arts building. Many of them are very inexpensive, or even free.

For more information

For information on Graduate School rules and regulations, see the Graduate Student and Faculty Handbook. This handbook is the place to go for official information on Graduate School dates and deadlines, academic policy and procedures, and degree requirements imposed by the Graduate School.