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William Zhao

B.Sc., UChicago, 2023

William is from Toronto, Ontario. Identifying as a somewhat quirky polymath, he attended the University of Chicago and graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in chemistry and a B.A. in history. While in UChicago, he conducted research in total synthesis and the preparation of allenes in Professor Viresh Rawal’s lab. Under the supervision of Prof. Rawal, he prepared early stage precursors for an ambiguine total synthesis project. Immensely excited by photoredox chemistry, he decided to continue his graduate studies in Princeton and joined the MacMillan group. In his free time, William is a foodie and enjoys cooking, travelling, and reading history.

Fun Facts
  • Joining the group as the third Will, William decided to go by his full name to avoid a Will War.
  • As an amateur, undergraduate-trained historian, William enjoys reading Québécois, Central European, and Latin American history.
  • William studied French for two years in UChicago with a parisien instructor but taught himself québécois before going on a short trip to the beautiful province. As a consequence of that and prolonged disuse, he can now only speak broken French with a rusty québécois accent, introduce himself as Guillaume in French, and occasionally swear in québécois when mildly irritated. (Je ne me souviens plus!)
  • Moving to Princeton from the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Ontario, William found Lake Carnegie’s alleged status as a lake questionable.