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Director's Welcome

Christopher Jarzynski
Christopher Jarzynski

The mission of the Institute for Physical Science and Technology (IPST) is to foster excellence in interdisciplinary research and education at the University of Maryland. IPST accomplishes this by integrating people, science and technology.

Our selective and highly ranked graduate programs in the fields of

provide specialized training at the intersection of traditional fields, and are a central component of our mission.

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IPST Spring Assembly Meeting

Date: Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Time: 12:30 to 2:30 pm
Place: 1116 IPST Bldg. - Conference Room

2017 OPA reports

The 2017 Outside Professional Activities (OPA) reporting system is open and accessible at The OPA is a required report for full-time Tenured/Tenure Track Faculty, full or part-time Professional Track Faculty, and full time Exempt Staff. The report provides information on outside activities conducted during the previous year. If you are part of one of these groups you must complete the report by March 3, 2017.

News and Special Events

Chemical Physics Alumnus named a 2017 Sloan Research Fellow

February 23, 2017. Professor Suriyanarayanan Vaikuntanathan (University of Chicago) has been awarded a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship in Chemistry. Suri received his Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from UMD in 2011. An Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Chicago, Suri and his group develop and use tools of equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics to understand the behavior of complex systems in physical chemistry, soft condensed matter physics and biophysics.

"I was delighted to hear the news that Suri was named a 2017 Sloan Research Fellow. This award is a testament to his scientific creativity and to the attention that his research has attracted", says Christopher Jarzynski (IPST / Chemistry / Physics), Suri’s Ph.D. advisor.

Vaikuntanathan’s current work has demonstrated how non-equilibrium growth dynamics can be harnessed for novel material self-assembly as well as how information processing mechanisms in biophysical circuits can be protected against rogue fluctuations.

The two-year $60,000 Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded to U.S. and Canadian researchers in the fields of chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences, and physics.

Since 1955, Sloan Research Fellows have gone on to win 43 Nobel Prizes, 16 Fields Medals, 69 National Medals of Science, 16 John Bates Clark Medals and numerous other distinguished awards.

UMD Student Interdisciplinary Team Head to SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition Design Weekend

January 27, 2017. The UMD Hyperloop Team is in Hawthorne, California testing their human-scale pod on the recently constructed SpaceX test track. One of 30 teams competing, the UMD multi-disciplinary team of more than 25 undergraduate students is supported by IPST, Engineering and CMNS. The SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition, geared towards university students and independent engineering teams, begins on January 27, with the winners being announced on January 29.

Update (1/30/2017): Congratulations to the UMD Hyperloop Team who won the Performance and Operations" award AND placed in the top 10 in the "Design and Construction" category.

See the team assemble the Loop’s frame.

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