The University of Chicago MRSEC facilitates innovation by tackling some of the most profound intellectual challenges of materials research through interdisciplinary, collaborative efforts among multiple research groups. We make a dedicated effort to foster a research environment that promotes creativity and rigor, where students, postdocs and faculty benefit from interactions with those with different technical backgrounds and research interests. This effort includes a strong commitment to education and outreach, including outreach to our inner city neighborhoods and the general public. Central to our mission is nurturing the next generation of materials science researchers and improving its diversity through successfully training students at all levels (undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral fellows) in our research labs. We operate Shared Facilities that enable state-of-the-art materials preparation and measurement, requiring resources beyond what can be attained by an individual research lab. Coupling these complementary aspects of our program strengthens the entire scientific enterprise. It provides a vibrant resource to the University of Chicago, the broader materials science community, our neighborhood and the general public.