Ritesh Agarwal earned his undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 1996, and a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Chicago. He received his PhD in physical chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2001. After completing his PhD., Ritesh was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard where he studied the optical and photonic properties of semiconductor nanowires. His work led to the development of electrically-driven single nanowire lasers and avalanche photodiodes. Ritesh is currently a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include understanding and engineering light-matter interactions at the nanoscale using a variety of one- and two-dimensional semiconductors, plasmonic nanocavities, and studying phase transitions and electronic memory switching at the nanoscale.His group is actively involved in the development of new experimental techniques to probe the novel properties of materials at the nanoscale and the development of new electronic, optical and energy conversion devices. Ritesh is the recipient of the NSF CAREER award in 2007, NIH Director’s New Innovator Award in 2010 and the SPIE Symposium Nanoengineering Pioneer award in 2014.