Uroš Seljak was born in 1966 in Nova Gorica, Slovenia. Although Seljak grew up in an intellectual household—his mother was an educator and his father an architect—he didn’t fully appreciate his own scientific talents until he participated in a high school mathematics competition. He soon won the championship of the top math competition in what was then Yugoslavia, and he competed in the 1984 International Math Olympiad.
Seljak earned his B.A. in Physics and his M.A. in Physics from the University of Ljubljana. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1995 and served as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University from 1995 to 1998. After teaching and research stints at Princeton University, the International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, and the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of Zurich, Seljak joined the faculty in the Astronomy and Physics departments at the University of California, Berkeley, where today he is the co-director of the Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics and a senior fellow at the Berkeley Institute for Data Science. He shares his appointment with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he is a senior faculty scientist in the Physics Division.
Among his professional honors, Seljak has received the Helen B. Warner Prize for Astronomy from the American Astronomical Society and fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Packard Foundation and the American Physical Society. In 2019 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.