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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 4, 2016
Time: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. (lunch offered at noon)
Place: 1116 IPST Bldg. - Conference Room

News and Special Events

IPST Lends Support to the RUM SpaceX Hyperloop Competition

April 28, 2016. In the winter of 2015 IPST was approached by student members of the RUM Hyperloop Team seeking space for team meetings over the winter break. After some discussion with the student team leaders IPST was able to provide use of conference room space in the IPST building (Bldg. 085) for the students to meet and finalize their presentation to SpaceX in January 2016. It was a successful presentation and the RUM (University of Maryland and Rutgers University) Student Team was one of 22 universities selected to develop a prototype of their design to be tested over the summer.

IPST continues to support the RUM Hyperloop Team by providing space for team meetings, lab area for assembling rail and pod parts and testing the prototype. We are please to assist the Engineering College and the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences in supporting these undergrad students in their quest to have their design selected for development by SpaceX.

Sokhan Min receives Outstanding Employee Award

April 28, 2016. Ms. Sokhan MIn (IPST) has received the Dean’s Outstanding Employee Award (exempt staff) from the College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences (CMNS). Sokhan began working for IPST in 2004 as a student, and has progressed to Office Clerk, Administrative Assistant, Business Services Specialist, Research Coordinator, to her current position as Assistant Director of Administrative Services. Her service to IPST throughout these years has been characterized by exceptional diligence and professionalism. We are grateful for all she has done for the Institute, and truly proud that she has been recognized by this award.

Jeffrey Bub published book on quantum mechanics

April 28, 2016. Distinguished University Professor Jeffrey Bub (IPST / Philosophy) has recently published a book entitled "Bananaworld: Quantum Mechanics for Primates" (Oxford University Press). This engaging book explains the strange and counterintuitive features of quantum mechanics to non-physicist readers. Jeffrey emphasizes the close connections between quantum mechanics and information. These connections have come to be appreciated in recent decades and are actively being explored by researchers around the world, including at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) and the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS) here at the University of Maryland.

John Weeks to be honored at upcoming Rutgers Statistical Mechanics Conference

April 28, 2016. The achievements of Distinguished University Professor John Weeks (IPST / Chemistry and Biochemistry) will be celebrated at the upcoming 115th Statistical Mechanics Conference at Rutgers University, May 8-10, 2016. The other two guests of honor at this meeting will be Professor David Chandler (Berkeley) who is John’s longtime colleague, and Professor Julia Yeoman (Oxford) who was a postdoc with Distinguished University Professor Emeritus Michael Fisher.

Teri Schuler and Alexandra Thirumalai join IPST staff

April 28, 2016. Ms. Teri Schuler has joined IPST as an Administrative Assistant, providing assistance to the faculty and staff in the IPST building. She has had extensive experience on campus, having worked since 1993 at various departments, including Family Studies, the History Department, the Department of Environmental Science and Technology and the National Foreign Language Center. Ms. Alexandra Thirumalai, who completed her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Maryland in 2012, has begun working as an Administrative Assistant Contract Employee in the IPST business office. Please welcome Teri and Alexandra to our staff!

Pratyush Tiwary to join the faculty of IPST and Chemistry/Biochemistry

April 28, 2016. Dr. Pratyush Tiwary has accepted an offer of a tenure-track faculty position, with a joint appointment in IPST and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Pratyush will join our University as an Assistant Professor in the summer of 2017, after finishing his current postdoctoral position at Columbia University in the group of Bruce Berne. Pratyush obtained his PhD in 2012 from the Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science at Caltech, and he spent two years as a postdoc with Michele Parrinello in Zurich. His research in computational and theoretical chemistry focuses on the development of algorithms for the simulation of complex systems characterized by multiple time scales.

Greg Morrison accepts faculty position in Physics at the University of Houston

April 28, 2016. Professor Greg Morrison (UMD Physics 2008) has accepted a tenure track faculty position at the University of Houston. Greg obtained his PhD in Physics in 2008, working in the research group of Distinguished University Professor Dave Thirumalai, now at the University of Texas. Professor Morrison’s research is in the field of complex networks.

Chris Jarzynski elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

April 28, 2016. Distinguished University Professor Chris Jarzynski (IPST / Chemistry and Biochemistry) has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The American Academy, founded in 1780, is a society and center for nonpartisan policy research dedicated to the cultivation of the arts and sciences. Other IPST faculty who are members of the American Academy include Distinguished University Professors Michael Fisher, Eugenia Kalnay and John Weeks. Chris will be inducted into the American Academy this October in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Denise Abu-Laban to retire

April 28, 2016. Ms. Denise Abu-Laban, who has worked as Coordinator in the IPST Director’s Office since 2008, will take early retirement, effective June 1, 2016. Denise has worked tirelessly and with great professionalism in assistance to Dr. Roy and Dr. Jarzynski, and she has organized IPST Assemblies, promotion and appointment dossiers, and summer schools, among many other duties. Prior to working at IPST, Denise worked in the Dean’s Office of the College of Life Sciences as well as the Registrar’s Office. Her devoted service to the Institute and her gracious manner will certainly be missed!

Recent news and news archive...



Informal Statistical Physics Seminar
Tue, May 3, 2016
1:15 pm - 2:30 pm
1116 IPST (Bldg. 085)

Linear response bounds far-from-equilibrium current fluctuations
Jordan Horowitz

Physics Colloquia
Tue, May 3, 2016
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Lobby Physical Sciences Complex (Bldg. 415)

Economic Inequality: Piketty versus Econophysics
Anwar Shaikh
New School for Social Research

Mathematics Colloquium: Aziz Lecture
Wed, May 4, 2016
3:15 pm - 4:15 pm
3206 Mathematics (Bldg. 084)

Quantum Dots and Dislocations: Dynamics of Materials Defects
Irene Fonseca
Carnegie Mellon University

More seminars...