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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.


Dan Lathrop elected Vice-Chair of APS/GSNP

January 20, 2017. IPST and Physics Professor Daniel Lathrop was recently elected Vice-Chair of the American Physical Society (APS) Group on Statistical and Nonlinear Physics (GSNP). The Vice-Chair serves in that capacity for one year, becomes Chair-Elect in year two, and then serves as Chair of GSNP in year three.

Lathrop’s research in the Nonlinear Dynamics Lab focuses on turbulent fluid flows, geomagnetism and experiments on superfluid helium. A Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Lathrop was the recipient of the 2012 Stanley Corrsin Award in recognition of "...his striking observations of flow in a quantum fluid including detection of counter-flow that confirmed the two-fluid picture of quantum fluid, observation and characterization of reconnections of quantized vortices, and the discovery of an inverse-cube tail in the velocity distribution of superfluid turbulence."


Gemstone Team ARMIT wins prize from FedCentric LLC

December 7, 2016. Gemstone Team ARMIT undergraduate research is developing augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) interfaces for UAVs (drones) for such missions as search and rescue. IPST’s Dr. Anil Deane is their mentor.

FedCentric LLC’s Big Data business recognized the innovation and value of Gemstone TEAM ARMIT by awarding team ARMIT $1000 towards their research. Shown in the picture is the team at the award ceremony at the FedCentric HQ in College Park on Nov 30th.
Team ARMIT


Michelle Girvan and colleagues awarded NFS grant

November 21, 2016. IPST and Physics Associate Professor Michelle Girvan and her University of Maryland colleagues Daniel Butts, Bill Fagan, Hector Corrada Bravo and Amitabh Varshney have been awarded a five-year $3 million National Science Foundation Research Traineeship grant to establish a new training and research program in network biology. Fewer than 10 percent of proposals submitted to the program are funded.

Graduate students in the COMBINE: Computation and Mathematics for Biological Networks program will be immersed in interdisciplinary research and training that integrates quantitative modeling methods from physics and mathematics with data processing, analysis, and visualization tools from computer science to gain deeper insights into the structural and dynamical principles governing living systems. "With the opportunities provided by this grant, our graduate students will learn how to apply cutting-edge quantitative tools to uncover the laws that govern life itself" said IPST Director Chris Jarzynski. For a detailed account of this story, please read the CMNS press release.

Thirteenth Burgers Symposium on Nov. 16th

November 14, 2016. Jim Wallace, Chair of the Burgers Program for Fluid Dynamics, invites you to the 2016 Burgers Symposium on Wednesday, November 16th, in the Kay Boardrooms (1107 & 1111) of the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building. This year marks the 13th anniversary of the annual Burgers Lecture, which will be given by Jayanta Bhattacharjee, Harsh-Chandra Research Institute - Allahabad, India. There will also be lectures by Megan Leftwich, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, George Washington University; Johan Larsson, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland; and James Carton, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Maryland. The event will feature a poster session with prizes awarded to the best poster in each category. For details, visit the Burgers Program for Fluid Dynamics website.


James A. Yorke named a 2016 Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate

September 23, 2016. Distinguished University Professor James A. Yorke (IPST / Math / Physics), with UMD alumnus Celso Grebogi (University of Aberdeen) and Edward Ott (Physics / ECE / IREAP), was selected as a 2016 Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate in physics, for describing a control theory of chaotic systems, widely known as the OGY method. The Citation Laureates program uses a variety of criteria, including scientific research citations, to identify the most influential researchers who are likely to win the Nobel Prize. Yorke, the 2003 recipient of the Japan Prize, is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Mathematical Society, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

For more information read the CMNS story or the Web of Science story.


22nd Annual Shih-I Pai Lecture

September 15, 2016. The Institute for Physical Science and Technology and the Department of Physics announce the 22nd Annual Shih-I Pai Lecture. This year's lecture will be presented by Carlos J. Bustamante, Professor of Physics, Chemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology and the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Chair of Biophysics at the University of California, Berkeley. His talk, "The Folding Cooperativity of a Protein is Controlled by the Topology of its Polypeptide Chain", will be given on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 4 pm in room 1412 of the Physics building at the University of Maryland, College Park. A reception preceding the lecture will take place at the James A. Yorke Rotunda in the Mathematics building from 3 to 3:50 pm. All are invited. Further details can be found at the Annual Shih-I Pai Lecture news announcement.


New form of fire discovered by Elaine Oran and UMD colleagues

September 1, 2016. Professor Elaine Oran (IPST / Aerospace Engineering) and her University of Maryland colleagues Huahua Xiao and Michael Gollner have discovered a novel flame phenomenon: a "blue whirl" fire tornado that burns without producing soot. This discovery could lead to new approaches for reduced-emission combustion and improved oil spill cleanup. Their August 23rd paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has attracted significant media coverage including the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, Nature World News and Live Science.


Mikhail Anisimov named Distinguished University Professor

August 23, 2016. Our colleague Professor Mikhail Anisimov (IPST / ChBE) has been named a Distinguished University Professor. Mikhail’s research on topics such as critical phenomena, supercooled water, and mesoscopic fluctuations have previously earned him the 2015 Touloukian Award — given once every three years for outstanding contributions to thermophysical properties — as well as a University System of Maryland Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (2015). This past Spring, Mikhail organized a fascinating US-Russia workshop on Phase Transitions in Fluids and Plasmas, hosted by IPST.

Mikhail and the other new Distinguished University Professors will be honored at this year's Campus Convocation on Wednesday, September 14th, at 3pm in the Memorial Chapel.


Ellen D. Williams named Caltech Distinguished Alumna

July 20, 2016. Distinguish University Professor Ellen D. Williams (IPST / Physics) was named a Distinguished Alumna from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) during its 2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards "For her sustained record of innovation and achievement in the area of structural-surface physics. She founded the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at the University of Maryland and was the chief scientist for BP. She now serves as director of the Advanced Research Project Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) in the U.S. Department of Energy."


Maryland researchers explain why traveling east exacerbates jet lag

July 14, 2016. University of Maryland researchers Zhixin Lu (Chemical Physics), Kevin Klein-Cardeña (student in TREND REU), Steven Lee (student in TREND REU), Professor Thomas M. Antonsen (Physics / ECE), Professor Michelle Girvan (IPST / Physics) and Distinguished University Professor Edward Ott (Electrical Engineering / Physics / IREAP) have uncovered an explanation for a common observation among travelers: jet lag tends to be worse when traveling east rather than west. Their explanation involves a mathematical model of the neurons in the human brain that are responsible for maintaining the body’s internal clock. This clock has a natural period that is about 24.5 hours instead of the 24 hours of the daily cycle, and the model suggests that this difference accounts for the different experiences of jet lag in eastward and westward travel. This research was published in the journal Chaos, and has been highlighted by the Washington Post, CNN, and numerous other news sites.


Chemical Physics graduate Richard Remsing wins prestigious ACS Postdoc Award

June 10, 2016. Dr. Richard Remsing, who received his Ph.D. in 2013 in Chemical Physics under the supervision of Distinguished University Professor John Weeks (IPST / Chemistry), has been awarded a Postdoctoral Research Award from the Physical Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society. The award cites his research in electron transfer reactions within layered manganese dioxides, with his postdoctoral advisor, Professor Michael Klein (Temple University). Dr. Remsing's Ph.D. research investigated the structure and thermodynamics of molecular systems, particularly aqueous solutions, using the tools of Local Molecular Field Theory developed by the Weeks group at the University of Maryland.


James Drake collaborator in joint NASA and UMD mission to first ever observe how magnetic reconnection takes place in space

May 13, 2016. Professor James Drake (IPST / IREAP / JSSI / Physics) is a co-author in a research paper published in the May 13 issue of the journal Science that reports on the results of the first ever observed magnetic reconnection between the magnetic fields of the Sun and the Earth as recorded by NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission. The interactions of both magnetic fields are essential for life on Earth as the Earth's magnetic field serves as a shield against the high energy particles emitted by the Sun. For more on this fascinating research read the official CMNS press release.


US-Russia workshop on Phase Transitions in Fluids and Plasma

May 10, 2016. Professor Mikhail Anisimov (IPST / ChBE) recently organized a US-Russia workshop on Phase Transitions in Fluids and Plasma, which was hosted by IPST on April 29 - May 2. This workshop brought together experts from the University of Maryland and the Russian Academy of Sciences to discuss the physics, chemistry and modeling of fluids and plasmas under extreme conditions.


Professor Eun-Suk Seo elected the 46th President of the Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association

May 9, 2016. Professor Eun-Suk Seo (IPST / Physics) was elected the 46th President of the Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association (KSEA). KSEA was established in 1971, and has grown to have ~10,000 members with ~70 chapters/branches across the US. Professor Seo will mark a historic moment by becoming the first woman to be President of KSEA. Professor Seo is the leader of the ISS-CREAM project, an international collaboration investigating the origin of the extremely high energies of cosmic rays.


Ellen Williams elected to Royal Society

May 3, 2016. Distinguished University Professor Ellen D. Williams (IPST / Physics) has been elected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. Ellen is known for her pioneering work in experimental surface science, exploring both fundamental issues in basic statistical mechanics and practical applications to nanotechnology. She founded the University of Maryland Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and served as its Director from 1996 through 2009, and is now on leave of absence, serving as Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) in the US Department of Energy. The Royal Society is the national science academy of the United Kingdom, and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence (since 1660). Distinguished University Professor Michael E. Fisher is a Fellow of the Royal Society.


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, John Weeks and Ellen Williams. Chris will be inducted into the American Academy this October in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


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.


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!


Dave Levermore named Distinguished Scholar-Teacher

April 4, 2016. Dave Levermore (IPST / Mathematics) has been selected as a 2016-2017 Distinguished Scholar-Teacher. Each year, the Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Program at the University of Maryland honors a small number of faculty members with this award, which recognizes excellence in both scholarship and teaching. As part of this award, Dave will give a public presentation this fall on a topic related to his scholarship.


2016 Biophysics and Chemical Physics Spring Banquet

March 8, 2016. The Biophysics and Chemical Physics programs invite you to participate in the 2016 Spring Banquet in lieu of the annual fall and spring reception. This event serves to welcome prospective students and to celebrate current student achievements. The banquet will take place on Friday March 25, 2016 from 1 to 4 in room 3150 of the Physican Sciences Complex. Please RSVP by Monday March 18 to Debbie Jenkins (dajenkin@umd.edu) or Star Jackson (starj@umd.edu). There will be a poster session in which a $500 prize will be awarded. Please encourage your students to participate. A Student Achievement Award in the amount of $1,000 will be announced at the banquet.


Devarajan "Dave" Thirumalai named Chair of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin

February 10, 2016. After thirty years at Maryland, Distinguished University Professor Devarajan "Dave" Thirumalai (IPST / Chemistry) has moved to the University of Texas at Austin, to become the Chair of the Department of Chemistry. Dave is an outstanding scientist and educator, and was the founding Director of the Maryland Biophysics Program. His theoretical research at the interface of chemistry, physics and biology has been recognized by numerous awards, including his recent election as a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and the 2016 Award in Theoretical Chemistry given by the Physical Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society "for outstanding contributions to physical and biophysical chemistry, especially work on protein and RNA folding, protein aggregation, and effects of molecular crowding in cells". Dave is a highly valued colleague who has contributed greatly to the intellectual life of the Institute. We will miss him, and we wish him all the best as he embarks on the next stage of his academic career.


Twelfth Burgers Symposium on Nov. 18th

November 18, 2015. Jim Wallace, Chair of the Burgers Program for Fluid Dynamics, invites you to the 2015 Burgers Symposium on Wednesday, November 18th, in the Kay Boardrooms (1107 & 1111) of the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building. This year marks the 12th anniversary of the annual Burgers Lecture, which will be given by Juergen Kurths, Humboldt University of Berlin, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany. There will also be lectures by Luca Moriconi, Department of Physics, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro Brazil; Anya Jones, Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland; and Stefan Hickel, Department of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. The event will feature a poster session with prizes awarded to the best poster in each category. For details, visit the Burgers Program for Fluid Dynamics website.


UMD student participation in NASA ISS-CREAM project is significant

October 22, 2015. The International Space Station Cosmic Ray Energetics and Mass (ISS-CREAM) experiment, one of the National Air and Space Administration (NASA) missions, provides opportunities for students at UMD to experience participation in a top level multi-national scientific project, all of this thanks to and under the supervision of professor Eun-Suk Seo (IPST / Physics). Over 100 graduate and undergraduate students have had and benefited from this opportunity. "The students play a very important role," Seo said. "They participate in all aspects of the mission, from the construction aspects, design aspects, to testing integration and data analysis."


Eitan Tadmor receives 2015 Peter Henrici Prize

October 22, 2015. Distinguished University Professor Eitan Tadmor (IPST / Math / CSCAMM) has received the 2015 Peter Henrici Prize for his "original, broad, and fundamental contributions to the applied and numerical analysis of nonlinear partial differential equations and their applications in areas such as fluid dynamics, image processing, and social dynamics." The Peter Henrici Prize is awarded once every four years by ETH Zurich and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) for original contributions to applied analysis and numerical analysis and/or for exposition appropriate for applied mathematics and scientific computing. Professor Tadmor is the Director of the Center for Scientific Computation and Mathematical Modeling (CSCAMM) at the University of Maryland.


IPST faculty are Challenge Grant recipients in 2015

October 22, 2015. The University of Maryland, Baltimore and the University of Maryland, College Park launched the eighth year of their joint Research and Innovation Seed Grant program at the University of Maryland BioPark on October 14. The program, part of the University of Maryland: MPowering the State initiative, is intended to foster collaboration between disciplines and between the universities. It focuses upon projects in areas such as personalized medicine, bioinformatics, bioengineering, complex therapeutics, health care optimization, public health informatics, health information technology, and health science research. Professor Wolfgang Losert (IPST / IREAP / Physics / Fischell Department of Bioengineering) was one of the Challenge Grant recipients for 2015 in collaboration with John T. Fourkas (IPST / Chemistry and Biochemistry), and UMB Associate Professor of Physiology Stuart Martin. Their project is titled Nanotopographic Diagnostic Panel for Breast Cancer Metastasis.


Eun-Suk Seo presents ISS-CREAM work to the President of the Republic of South Korea, Park Geun-hye

October 20, 2015. Professor Eun-Suk Seo (IPST / Physics) was invited by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to present ISS-CREAM at the historic visit of Park Geun-hye, President of the Republic of South Korea, to NASA on October 14. Professor Seo also attended the ROK-US Friendship Night 2015 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium where the First Lady of Maryland, Yumi Hogan, attended the celebration.
From right: GSFC Director, Christopher J. Scolese and President of South Korea, Park Geun-hye. From left: Professor Eun-Suk Seo.


21st Annual Shih-I Pai Lecture

October 15, 2015. The Institute for Physical Science and Technology and the Department of Physics announce the 21st Annual Shih-I Pai Lecture. This year's lecture will be presented by Chung S. Yang, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor and John L. Colaizzi Chair in Pharmacy Department of Chemical Biology and Director, Center for Cancer Prevention Research Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. His talk, U.S. Training of Chinese Scientists and Its Impact, will be given on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 4 p.m. in room 1412 of the Physics building at the University of Maryland, College Park. A reception preceding the lecture will take place at the James A. Yorke Rotunda in the Mathematics building from 3 to 3:50 p.m. All are invited.

Abstract: In the 19th century, the agrarian Chinese society and the Manchu government could not defend China against the invasion of the industrialized Western powers. After a series of humiliating defeats, the Chinese leaders realized the need to learn Western industry and military technology. The government thereafter selected top students for training abroad. Many of the scholars, such as Hu Shi and Zhu Kenzhen who came to the U.S. in 1910, made a major impact in China, not only in science and education but also in cultural movement and societal change.

This lecture will highlight the stories of Professor Shih-I Pai and his contemporaries, who came from China to the U.S. to study in the 1930s and 1940s, and their contributions to both China and the U.S. This group of scientists included the gifted inventor Yao-Tzu Li, the famous rocket scientist Qian Hsusen and the Nobel laureates Chen-Ning Yang and Tsung-Dao Lee. After the normalization of diplomatic relationships between the U.S. and China in the mid-1970s, there has been tremendous scientific interactions, and many U.S.-trained Chinese scientists have actively contributed to the advancement of science and technology. I will highlight some activities in the biomedical field that I witnessed. In conclusion, U.S-trained Chinese scientists contributed greatly to the scientific development in both the U.S. and China and to societal change in China. They continue to benefit not only the U.S. and China, but the entire world.


Dave Thirumalai elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society

October 13, 2015. Professor Dave Thirumalai (IPST / Chemistry & Biochemistry) was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) by the APS Council of Representatives at its September 2015 meeting upon the recommendation of its Division of Biological Sciences. Election to Fellowship in the APS is limited to no more than one half of one percent of the membership and is recognition by peers of outstanding contributions to physics. The citation reads as follows: For his pioneering applications of concepts form statistical mechanics and polymer physics in developing new computational tools and theoretical models that have greatly advanced our understanding of the behavior of bio-macromolecules. We congratulate Dave for this honor.


Chris Jarzynski featured in Physical Review E celebration

October 13, 2015. To celebrate its 50,000th publication, Physical Review E is presenting a series of milestone papers on its website: http://journals.aps.org/pre/. Each week the journal will highlight a different paper, selected as having made a significant contribution to its field. A paper so featured was written by professor Chris Jarzynski (IPST / Chemistry and Biochemistry): "Equilibrium free-energy differences from nonequilibrium measurements: A master-equation approach”, Phys. Rev. E 56, 5018 (1997). An earlier paper by Chris was highlighted by Physical Review Letters in 2008 to celebrate that journal’s 50th anniversary: http://journals.aps.org/prl/50years/milestones.


IPST faculty work at core of new guideline for calculation of thermodynamic properties of supercooled water

September 4, 2015. The International Association for the Properties of Water and Steam (IAPWS), at its meeting in Stockholm in 2015, has adopted a guideline for the calculation of thermodynamic properties of supercooled water, a metastable state of liquid water at low temperatures. The IAPWS guideline is valid at temperatures from 300 K down to the homogeneous ice-nucleation temperature and at pressures up to 400 MPa. It is based on an equation of state developed by Vincent Holten, Jan V. Sengers (IPST), and Mikhail A. Anisimov (ChBE/IPST) at the University of Maryland and published in the Journal of Physical and Chemical Reference Data 43, 043101 (2014). Knowledge of the thermophysical properties of supercooled water is of key importance for a variety of environmental and industrial applications, such as (i) elucidation of cloud micro-physical processes in terrestrial and extraterrestrial atmospheres, (ii) description of ice formation in oceanic water, (ii) search for habitable planets and moons in the solar system and its nearest neighbors, (iv) development of effective technologies for food production, freeze-waste-water treatment, cryo-desalination of seawater and for ice-heat storage.


Wolfgang Losert named interim associate dean for faculty affairs and graduate education

August 11, 2015. Professor Wolfgang Losert (IPST/IREAP/Physics/Fischell Department of Bioengineering) has been named interim associate dean for faculty affairs and graduate education in CMNS effective August 15, 2015. Wolfgang will assume the role previously held by Paul Smith, who served the college for over five years in this role. For more, read the official CMNS news release.


Eun-Suk Seo receives Scientist of the Year Award at US-Korea Conference on Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship

August 7, 2015. Professor Eun-Suk Seo (IPST/Physics) received the Scientist of the Year Award at the US-Korea Conference on Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship (UKC2015), in Atlanta, Georgia, that took place from July 29 to August 1, 2015. This award is given to one person annually by the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies and Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association jointly. Dr. Seo was in The Hague attending the 34th International Cosmic Ray Conference when the news was announced. The importance of her CREAM work was well recognized in many presentations, including Plenary Review/Rapporteur talks at this conference.


Stu Antman winner of 2015 Lyapunov Award

August 7, 2015. Professor Stuart Antman (IPST/Math) is the winner of the 2015 Lyapunov Award of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. This biannual award, established in 2003, is given for life-long contributions to the field of nonlinear dynamics. The award emphasizes impact of research contributions, education and training of researchers and/or practitioners, and overall leadership in advancing the corresponding field. The award is presented by ASME's Design Engineering Division, and awarded at the annual ASME International Conference on Multibody Systems, Nonlinear Dynamics and Control, as part of the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences.


Dave Thirumalai to receive 2016 CRSI Medal

August 2, 2015. Professor Devarajan Thirumalai (IPST/Chemistry & Biochemistry) will receive the 2016 Chemical Research Society of India (CRSI) Medal. This medal is conferred on chemists of Indian origin working outside India and who have contributed extensively in the promotion of chemical research. The 18th CRSI National Symposium in Chemistry is scheduled to be held at Panjab University, Chandigarh, during February 5-7, 2016.


Dan Lathrop's research is showcased in Voice of America

July 22, 2015. Professor Dan Lathrop (Geology/IPST/Physics/Electrical & Computer Engineering/Mechanical Engineering) and his research studying the magnetic field of the Earth was highlighted in an article and video segment in Voice of America. Lathrop's research aims at understanding the mechanisms by which the Earths magnetic field flip over time.


Mikhail Anisimov receives Touloukian Award

June 21, 2015. Professor Mikhail Anisimov, with appointments in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE) and the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, was one of the recipients of the 2015 Touloukian Award. This is a national ASME award named in honor of Professor Touloukian, and presented at the triennial Symposium on Thermophysical Properties. For more information see the news release from ChBE.


Eugenia Kalnay elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

May 12, 2015. Professor Eugenia Kalnay (Civil & Environmental Engineering/AOSC/ESSIC/IPST/Mechanical Engineering) was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Founded in 1780, the Academy is a leading center for independent policy research. The 197 new members will be inducted at a ceremony at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, MA, on October 10.


Celebration of Professor Bob Dorfman

April 16, 2015. On April 1 we celebrated 50 years of the many contribution of Professor Bob Dorfman to science and the status and well-being of the Institute for Physical Science and Technology. In September 1964 J. Robert Dorfman joined the University of Maryland as an Assistant Professor in the Institute for Fluid Dynamics and Applied Mathematics, precursor of IPST. During the years 1983-1992 Professor Dorfman served as Director of the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, the Dean of the College of Computer Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost of the University of Maryland, College Park.


Mikhail Anisimov recognized by USM Board of Regents

April 16, 2015. Professor Mikhail Anisimov was recognized at the 2015 USM Board of Regents Faculty Awards in the Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity category.

"Dr. Anisimov's field of research includes thermodynamics of fluids, liquid crystals, polymers, surfactant solutions, and other nano-structured materials. Dr. Anisimov has an impressive ability to create connections between the basic sciences and engineering. His breakthrough work has real world applications including oil recovery, procedures for plane de-icing, food preservation, and climate research through cloud formation.

His research includes collaborations with scientists from Asia, Europe, and Latin America, and he also serves on the editorial boards of five international research journals. In addition to teaching courses, Dr. Anisimov has advised several PhD students, supervised the research of undergraduate students, and mentored junior faculty and community college instructors.

In 2013, Dr. Anisimov established the Light Scattering Center at UMCP to promote research, education, and commerce in new fields of materials science, chemical and biomolecular engineering, colloid science, and chemistry and biochemistry for academia, government labs, and industry." Reads the official announcement.


Elaine Oran recognized with Honorary Doctorate

April 16, 2015. Professor Elain Oran was recognized by the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées (INSA) Rouen with an Honorary Doctorate during the 30-year Anniversary Program on April 3.


DJ Patil named Chief Data Scientist at White House

April 16, 2015. On February 18 Dr. Dhanurjay "DJ" Patil, UMD alum and a student of Jim Yorke, was named Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Data Policy and Chief Data Scientist in the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House. He was interviewed by Amrita Jayakumar, from The Washington Post.


Work on neutron detection featured in local newspaper

April 16, 2015. Professor Michael Coplan’s work with his collaborators on neutron detection was featured in the Diamondback on its March 31, 2015 issue.


Fushman and Sukharev elected Affiliate Professors at IPST

March 4, 2015. David Fushman, Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Interim Associate Director of the Maryland Biophysics Program (in IPST), and Sergei I. Sukharev, Professor in the Department of Biology, and Interim Director of the Maryland Biophysics Graduate Program (in IPST), were considered by IPST faculty in February 2015 for appointment as Affiliate Professors in IPST. Both candidates’ nominations were unanimously approved by the Institute’s faculty. Congratulations and welcome to the Institute for Physical Science and Technology to both of them.


Mikhail Anisimov to receive 2015 USM Regents' Faculty Award

February 25, 2015. Professor Mikhail Anisimov (IPST/CHBE) has been selected to receive a 2015 University System of Maryland Regents' Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship, Research, or Creative Activity. This is the highest honor that the University System of Maryland Board of Regents bestows to recognize exemplary faculty achievement.
Professor Anisimov is an interdisciplinary scientist whose research focuses on the thermodynamics of fluids and fluid mixtures, liquid crystals, polymers, and other soft-matter materials, and he is an internationally recognized expert in the field of critical phenomena and phase transitions.


Michael E. Fisher awarded prize from NIHERST

February 13, 2015. On January 10, 2015, Trinidad and Tobago's National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST), in collaboration with the Caribbean Academy of Sciences, and Trinidad and Tobago's Ministry of Science and Technology, honored Professor Michael E. Fisher with The Rudranath Capildeo Award for Applied Science and Technology — Gold in a ceremony that took place at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain, the capital of that country. Professor Fisher, a Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, Regents Professor, and Research Professor in IPST, was born in Trinidad, West Indies.


Michelle Girvan elected GSNP member at large at APS

February 13, 2015. Associate Professors Michelle Girvan (IPST/Physics) and Benjamin Vollmayr-Lee of Bucknell University (a former postdoc with Professor Michael E. Fisher), were elected members at large of the Topical Group on Statistical & Nonlinear Physics of the American Physical Society on December 24 2014. The appointment lasts for 3 years.


Ehrman and Oran elected Affiliate Professors at IPST

February 13, 2015. Sheryl H. Ehrman, Professor and Chair of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department, and Elaine S. Oran, Professor in the Aerospace Engineering Department, were considered by IPST faculty in December 2014 for appointment as Affiliate Professors in IPST. Both candidates’ nominations were unanimously approved by the Institute’s faculty. Congratulations and welcome to the Institute for Physical Science and Technology to both of them.


Brian Hunt voted Professor Emeritus in IPST and Mathematics, and Research Professor in IPST

February 13, 2015. On January 15 2015, upon his retirement, Brian Hunt became Professor Emeritus in the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, and Research Professor in the Institute for Physical Science and Technology. Dr. Hunt, a mathematical "child prodigy", began his studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, when he was a mere youngster – eleven years old - and began his professional career here in 1995 as Assistant Research Scientist, and then Research Associate in 1992 in IPST. In 1996 he became Assistant Professor in both Mathematics and IPST, was promoted to Associate Professor in 2000, and became a full Professor in 2006. He became the Undergraduate Director of Math in 2010, and skillfully served in that capacity for two years. Brian has served on many committees on campus, in Math, and in IPST, and has served as the Assistant Coach of the Montgomery County Math Team since 1992, earning an excellent record of campus and community service.


Konstantina Trivisa
Konstantina Trivisa

Professor Konstantina Trivisa (IPST and Mathematics) accepted a joint appointment in IPST and became the new Associate Director of the Institute. Since 2007 Professor Trivisa has been the Director of the highly ranked Applied Mathematics & Statistics, and Scientific Computation program at the University of Maryland. Her research is in the area of nonlinear partial differential equations, and in 2013 she was the recipient of a Simons Foundation Fellowship in Mathematics, for applications of fluid dynamics to biology and ecology. "Konstantina is a highly accomplished mathematician with wide-ranging, interdisciplinary interests. We welcome her in her new appointment as a faculty member in the Institute and as our Associate Director", said Dr. Christopher Jarzynski, IPST Director.


Special issue of Science sheds light on shape, evolution and lifespan of comet 67P-Churyumov/Gerasimenko

January 31, 2015. Three UMD scientists co-authored four papers revealing new discoveries on the shape, evolution, and lifespan of comet 67P-Churyumov/Gerasimenko. The papers are the result of the analysis of the data gathered so far by the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission and published in a special issue of Science. One of the authors is Murthy Gudipati, a principal scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a part-time senior research scientist at the UMD Institute for Physical Science and Technology. The other two are astronomers Michael A’Hearn and Dennis Bodewits. Read more about their fascinating work in the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences press release.


UMD and NIH Researchers Receive BRAIN Initiative Award

December 15, 2014. Professor Wolfgang Losert (IPST and Physics), Associate Professor of Biology Patrick Kanold, and Dr. Dietmar Plenz (NIH) obtained a Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative award to study, measure and analyze the activity of large populations of neurons in multiple layers of the cerebral cortex in order to identify key groups of neurons —called "crowds"— that change over time. The UMD-led team will focus their efforts on the auditory cortex, a region in the brain’s cerebral cortex that is crucial for human language communication.


Eugenia Kalnay receives 2015 Joanne Simpson Mentorship Award

December 15, 2014. Distinguished University Professor Eugenia Kalnay (AOSC and IPST) is the recipient of the 2015 Joanne Simpson Mentorship Award by the American Meteorological Society (AMS) "...for effectively mentoring many early career scientists, with her unstinting generosity of time and attention in providing advice, encouragement, leadership, and inspiration." Kalnay was also awarded AMS Honorary Membership.


Wendell Hill elected official of the American Physical Society

December 15, 2014. Professor and Joint Quantum Institute Fellow Wendell Hill (IPST and JQI) has been elected Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of the Mid-Atlantic Section of the American Physical Society (APS), effective January 1, 2015. Recently established, the Mid-Atlantic Section has the goal of strengthening the physics community in its region and to aid APS in its mission to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics at the regional level.


Ellen Williams Confirmed as Head of ARPA-E

December 11, 2014. Distinguished University Professor Ellen Williams (IPST and Physics) was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to lead the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy, or ARPA-E, a branch of the U.S. Department of Energy. In this capacity, Professor Williams will be in charge of the agency that advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment. ARPA-E projects have the potential to radically improve U.S. economic security, national security, and environmental well-being. ARPA-E empowers America’s energy researchers with funding, technical assistance, and market readiness. For more information on her confirmation, please read the official University press release.


Eleventh Burgers Symposium on Nov. 13th

November 5, 2014. Jim Wallace, Chair of the Burgers Program for Fluid Dynamics, invites you to the 2014 Burgers Symposium on Thursday, November 13th, in the Kay Boardrooms (1107 & 1111) of the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building. This year marks the 11th anniversary of the annual Burgers Lecture, which will be given by Katepalli Sreenivasan, Executive Vice Provost for Science and Technology, President and Dean of the Polytechnic School of Engineering, and Professor of Physics and Mathematics at New York University. There will also be lectures by Gijs Ooms, Former Scientific Director of the J.M. Burgerscentrum, The Netherlands; Charles Meneveau, from Johns Hopkins University; Rachel Lee and Ken Kiger, both from the University of Maryland, College Park; and Bruno Eckardt, from Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany. The event will feature a poster session with prizes awarded to the best poster in each category. For details, visit the Burgers Program for Fluid Dynamics website.


Washington Post Features UMD/Goddard Collaboration and Dr. Seo’s ISS-CREAM Project

October 31, 2014. Professor Eun-Suk Seo's ISS-CREAM probe and Michael Coplan's Ion Composition Instrument on the ISEE-3 satellite have been featured in a Washington Post article highlighting the long collaboration between the University of Maryland, College Park, and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). The proximity of campus to GSFC has fostered a long time collaboration between both institutions that has translated into great learning and job opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students at UMD. It is projects such as ISS-CREAM, lead by Dr. Seo, whose purpose is to detect cosmic rays at wide energy ranges with the ultimate goal of understanding the origin of cosmic rays and the implications that these phenomena carry for the universe, that capture the imagination and labor of students. The proximity to GSFC, the mentorship and direction of Dr. Seo, and the abundance of interest among students, have resulted in a very successful cosmic ray physics program at UMD that will see its culmination with the launch in February or June next year of ISS-CREAM.


Konstantina Trivisa appointed new Associate Director of IPST

September 30, 2014. Professor Konstantina Trivisa (IPST and Mathematics) accepted a joint appointment in IPST and became the new Associate Director of the Institute. Since 2007 Professor Trivisa has been the Director of the highly ranked Applied Mathematics & Statistics, and Scientific Computation program at the University of Maryland. Her research is in the area of nonlinear partial differential equations, and in 2013 she was the recipient of a Simons Foundation Fellowship in Mathematics, for applications of fluid dynamics to biology and ecology. "Konstantina is a highly accomplished mathematician with wide-ranging, interdisciplinary interests. We welcome her in her new appointment as a faculty member in the Institute and as our Associate Director", said Dr. Christopher Jarzynski, IPST Director.


20th Annual Shih-I Pai Lecture

September 22, 2014. The Institute for Physical Science and Technology and the Department of Physics announce the 20th Annual Shih-I Pai Lecture. This year's lecture will be presented by Scientist Emeritus Dr. Johanna M. H. (Anneke) Levelt Sengers, National Insititue of Standards and Technology. Her talk, Pride and Prejudice in Science and Engineering, will be given on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 4 p.m. in room 1412 of the Physics building at the University of Maryland, College Park. A reception preceding the lecture will take place at the James A. Yorke Rotunda in the Mathematics building from 3 to 3:50 p.m. All are invited.


Christopher Jarzynski named Distinguished University Professor

August 11, 2014. Christopher Jarzynski, director of IPST and professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has been awarded the title of Distinguished University Professor. This title, the highest academic honor that our university confers upon a faculty member, was awarded by President Wallace Loh in acknowledgement of Jarzynski’s work in the field of nonequilibrium thermodynamics. Jarzynski joins a long and prestigious list of IPST faculty members who have been awarded this title, including James Drake who received it earlier this year.


Zombie Spaceship

August 8, 2014. IPST professor Michael Coplan was quoted in an August 8, 2014 New York Times article about the International Sun-Earth Explorer-3, a NASA spacecraft launched in 1978 that passed near Earth recently, long after contact with the craft had been lost. A team of citizen scientists have rebooted many of the experiments on the spacecraft, including Coplan’s instrument that measured the ion composition of the solar wind from 1978 to 1985 and the composition of the tail of comet Giacobini-Zinner in 1985. A number of Maryland undergraduate and graduate students who went on to scientific and technical careers participated in the design, construction, and calibration of the instrument as well as the analysis of the data. More information about the spacecraft, including its 36-year trajectory and some of the data it has collected, can be found on spacecraftforall.com, a website started with help from Google.


Biology professor Sergei Sukharev named interim director of Maryland Biophysics

July 29, 2014. Sergei Sukharev has been appointed Interim Director of the Maryland Biophysics Program for the coming year. Sukharev is a professor of Biology, and has served as the Associate Director of the Maryland Biophysics Program. His research focuses on mechanosensitive ion channels, which convert mechanical forces into electrical or chemical signals in cells. He and the members of his research group study these channels using a combination of experimental approaches and computational modeling.

Sukharev is the recipient of the 2008 Michael and Kate Barany Award for Young Investigators “for his outstanding and creative contributions to membrane biophysics”. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of General Physiology and Journal of Biological Chemistry.

In his new role, Sukharev follows Wolfgang Losert, who has been appointed Interim Associate Dean for Research in the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS).


IPST Professor Millard Alexander elected to IAQMS

July 9, 2014. Millard Alexander has been elected to membership in the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science (IAQMS). Alexander is a Distinguished University Professor with a joint appointment in IPST and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. His research focuses on non-adiabatic effects in molecular collisions, in weakly bound complexes and in molecular photodissociation. His previous honors include a Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and the Hildebrand Award from the Chemical Society of Washington, among others.

The IAQMS promotes research and international collaboration related to the application of quantum theory to chemistry and chemical physics. According to its website, its members "are chosen among the scientists of all countries who have distinguished themselves by the value of their scientific work, their role of pioneer or leader of a school in the broad field of the application of quantum mechanics to the study of molecules and macromolecules".


IPST Professor Wolfgang Losert Named College's Associate Dean for Research

July 2, 2014. Wolfgang Losert has been named Interim Associate Dean for Research in the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS) effective July 1, 2014. Losert has appointments in IPST, Physics, and the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics (IREAP). His research focuses on discovering emergent dynamic properties of complex systems at the interface of physics and biology, with a special emphasis on cancer biology. To take on this new position in the dean’s office, Losert will step down from his roles as member of the Burgers Board for Fluid Dynamics and director of the Maryland Biophysics graduate program.

“Given Wolfgang's outstanding research contributions, I am confident that he will have a tremendous impact on the college’s research excellence, interdisciplinary collaborations, and industry partnerships," said Jayanth Banavar, dean of CMNS.

Losert assumed the role previously held by IPST professor Dan Lathrop, an innovative experimentalist who assisted immensely in the development of the college during his tenure as associate dean for research.


Back-to-back Phys Rev Letters by IPST Faculty, Postdocs and Student

July 1, 2014. A recent issue of Physical Review Letters features two back-to-back papers on granular materials by Professor Wolfgang Losert (IPST/PHYS/IREAP) and colleagues. The first of these papers, describing numerical work with Professor Michelle Girvan (IPST/PHYS/IREAP) as one of the authors, revisits the problem of “cage-breaking” for a granular system and develops a new method for quantifying how grains move under the influence of their nearest neighbors. The second paper experimentally studies the rearrangement of particles upon impact of a projectile onto a bed of grains. University of Maryland postdocs Mitch Mailman, and Kerstin Nordstrom are first authors on these papers. Graduate student Matt Harrington co-authored both articles.


Expanded autobiographical notes of J. M. Burgers published by J. V. Sengers and G. Ooms

July 1, 2014. Distinguished University Professor Emeritus and Research Professor Jan V. Sengers (IPST) and his colleague G. (Gijs) Ooms, former director of the J. M. Burgerscentrum (JMBC) in the Netherlands, have published a new set of autobiagraphical notes of J. M. Burgers. The notes were composed in 1954 by Burgers. This work appears in the 2013-2014 Annual Report of the JMBC. Professor Sengers has also deposited a copy in the Niels Bohr Library of the the American Institute of Physics, where it appears in its catalogue.


UMD represented at prestigious conference

June 20, 2014. This year, the prestigious American Conference on Theoretical Chemistry, which has taken place every three years since 1972, will feature three invited speakers with joint appointments in IPST and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry: John Weeks, Garyk Papoian and Chris Jarzynski. The conference will host speakers from a number of prominent institutions such as Stanford, Berkeley, Caltech, Princeton, Cornell, and MIT. The University of Maryland is the only institution being represented by three invited speakers.


Robert W. Zwanzig (April 9, 1928 - May 15, 2014)

May 19, 2014. Prof. Robert Zwanzig, Distinguished University Professor and Professor Emeritus in the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, died quietly in his sleep on May 15. He had a very distinguished career as a researcher and teacher in the field of statistical physics, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1972, and was awarded the Debye Award by the American Chemical Society in 1976 and the Langmuir Award by the American Chemical Society in 1984. He joined the faculty of the University of Maryland in 1968 and retired in 1988, after which he joined the Chemical Physics Division of the National Institutes of Health.


Robert Zwanzig, from the issue of The Journal of Physical Chemistry dedicated on the occasion of his 60th birthday. Photo: Al Danegger

Bob Zwanzig was a brilliant theoretical physicist and chemist. He was well known for his ability to describe a wide variety of physical phenomena using very sophisticated model systems of his own invention, and he possessed the mathematical skills to obtain results from them with striking clarity. Perhaps he is best known for his “projection operator method” which allows one to obtain equations for time-dependent distributions and correlation functions in a very simple and direct way, showing that a technical breakthrough can lead to deeper conceptual understanding of the behavior of many-particle systems. This method continues to be widely used by workers of all generations in his field.

Bob Zwanzig was a great teacher of graduate students and mentor for younger scientists. His insights and skill were greatly admired and in many instances helped his colleagues to successfully find their way in their own research efforts. He will be greatly missed.


Chemical Physics alumni get tenure-track positions at prestigious universities

May 8, 2014. Two Chemical Physics program alumni have obtained tenure-track positions at prestigious universities. Last year, Edward O’Brien (PhD 2008) started a tenure-track faculty position at Penn State. Ed was a member of the Thirumalai group here at Maryland, and then did postdoctoral work at the University of Cambridge in the UK.

Suriyanarayanan Vaikuntanathan (PhD 2011) has recently accepted a tenure-track faculty position at the University of Chicago. Suri was in Christopher Jarzynski’s research group, and did his postdoctoral work at UC Berkeley.


Two UMD LabTV videos capture Gold Awards at 2014 Tribeca Film Festival

April 29, 2014. Two University of Maryland (UMD) LabTV videos were awarded Gold Awards at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 25, in New York City. One of the winning videos featured Rachel Lee, a physics Ph.D. student in Wolfgang Losert’s lab. Ms. Lee works on a joint project with Carole Parent, from the National Cancer Institute, and it was shot by Kai Keefe (a double major in broadcast journalism and environmental science.) Dr. Losert’s lab was selected as one of only a few UMD labs to be featured on LabTV. The aim of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) sponsored LabTV project is to generate short videos of STEM graduate students working on NIH funded projects. The goal is to foster enthusiasm about health related science careers. Congratulations to Ms. Lee and Mr. Keefe.


Detecting neutrons with light

April 29, 2014. A joint paper on neutron detection, published by Michael Coplan (IPST), Charles Clark (NIST/JQI/IPST), and colleagues, was featured in a National Institute of Standards and Technology web site. The news release offers a short video highlighting the working principles behind the novel neutron detector.


Inauguration of the Frank W. J. Olver Reading and Seminar room

April 29, 2014. On April 21, Ms. Claire Olver and members of the Olver family, with distinguished university guests, attended the inauguration of The Frank W. J. Olver Reading and Seminar Room (4301 CSS bldg.) to commemorate the first anniversary of the passing of our dear colleague. The ceremony was conducted by professor and IPST director, Dr. Rajarshi Roy. At the inauguration, doctors Daniel Lozier (NIST), William Reinhardt (APS/IPST), and Charles Clark (NIST/JQI/IPST) offered their remarks. Dr. Peter Olver, son of Dr. Frank Olver and Head of the School of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota, gave a heartfelt speech on behalf of the Olver family. The dedication plaque was unveiled by Dr. Michael Coplan. A warm reception followed the formal inauguration. Photos of the occasion.


Dr. Peter Olver, second from left, and Ms. Claire Olver, second from right, surrounded by other Olver family members.


James Drake named Distinguished University Professor

April 24, 2014. Professor James Drake (Department of Physics/IPST/IREAP) has been awarded the title of Distinguished University Professor, adding to a long and prestigious list of IPST faculty members that have been recognized and honored this way. This official title, the highest academic honor that our university confers upon a faculty member, is reserved for a small number of exceptionally distinguished scholars. This title was awarded by President Loh in acknowledgement of Dr. Drake's internationally recongnized work in the field of plasma physics. Please join us in congratulating Jim on this accomplishment.


AMSC program ranked #10 by U.S. News and World Report

April 4, 2014. The Applied Mathematics & Statistics, and Scientific Computation program, under the direction of Konstantina Trivisa, and part of the Mathematics department at UMD, was ranked number 10 in 2014 by U.S. News and World Report in the category of Best Graduate Schools in Applied Mathematics. This reflects the great leadership and vision that Dr. Trivisa has brought to the AMSC program.


Biggest genome assembled by joint UC Davis-UMD-Johns Hopkins team

April 4, 2014. A team led by Jim Yorke at UMD and Steven Salzberg at Johns Hopkins assembled the genome of the loblolly pine, the largest genome ever sequenced. This was part of the overall effort led by David Neale at the University of California, Davis, to assemble this collosal genome. The UMD team - Jim Yorke, Aleksey Zimin, Guillaume Marcais and Mike Roberts - focused on the assembly alone. "The key person in the Maryland effort was Aleksey Zimin (in UMD’s IPST) and he will lead the assembly effort for the sugar pine assembly. Also, while we did use a super computer, it was a rather small super computer – 64 core processors with a terabyte of ram. Our assembly program is called MaSuRCA (MarylandSuperReadsCeleraAssembler) that is open source and freely available. It is being downloaded at a rate of 200 times per month (200 distinct web addresses) because it does a great job assembling genomes of all sizes, minimizing gaps and errors." Yorke said. The Genetics Society of America features an article with further details on this fascinating project.


2014 Chemical Physics and Biophysics Spring Reception and Poster Session

March 10, 2014. On Friday March 14, from noon to 3 p.m., the Chemical Physics and the Biophysics programs will celebrate the 2014 spring reception and poster session. All Chemical Physics and Biophysics students, as well as faculty and staff, are invited. The reception will take place at the IPST building lobby. Please RSVP to Debbie Jenkins or Star Jackson by Monday March 10.


Professor Christopher Jarzynski announced new IPST director

Christopher Jarzynski
Christopher Jarzynski

February 24, 2014. Professor Christopher Jarzynski, from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Institute for Physical Science and Technology (IPST) has been offered and has accepted the position of Director of IPST, effective July 1, 2014. Dr. Jayanth R. Banavar, Dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, made the announcement at a short meeting with IPST faculty and staff on Thursday February 20. Dr. Jarzynski and his research group focus on statistical mechanics at the molecular level, the foundations of non-equilibrium thermodynamics, the application of statistical mechanics to problems of biophysical interest, and the development of efficient numerical schemes for estimating thermodynamic properties of complex systems. “He brings to the position an exceptionally distinguished scientific career and a broad understanding of science and technology”, Dr. Rajarshi Roy, current IPST director, said. Dr. Roy’s term will end June 30, 2014.


First Frank B. McDonald Award given at American Geophysics Union 2013 meeting

Rene McDonald at American Geophysics Union 2013 meeting award ceremony February 17, 2014. Ms. Beate Krøvel Humberset, a Ph.D. student at Birkeland Centre for Space Science, University of Bergen, Norway, was awarded the first Frank B. McDonald Award at the December 2013 American Geophysics Union (AGU) meeting. The award was presented to Ms. Humberset by Rene McDonald, wife of the late Dr. McDonald. This is a travel grant award that was instituted after the passing of Dr. McDonald from contributions from his friends and colleagues. In the picture above Dr. James A. Klimchuk, president of the Space Physics and Aeronomy Section of the AGU accompanies Ms. Humberset, center, and Rene McDonald.


William Reinhardt new Adjunct Professor at IPST

February 2, 2014. Dr. William P. Reinhardt has accepted the position of Adjunct Professor in the Institute for Physical Science and Technology (IPST) at the University of Maryland, College Park. Eligible IPST faculty voted unanimously in favor of Dr. Reinhardt’s appointment last month.

Dr. Reinhardt was most recently a Professor and Associate Chair of the Undergraduate Program in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. He has worked in many areas, including electron scattering from atoms and molecules, inter- and intra-molecular energy transfer, classical, semi-classical and quantum chaos, rotational and vibrational energy levels in polyatomic molecules. His current interests are phase transitions, solatons and vortices in Bose-Einstein condensates, and thermodynamics, and he is the author of three chapters in the NIST Handbook of Mathematical Functions.

His honors and awards include Couper Scholar of Phi Beta Kappa, Fulbright Senior Scholar, American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, American Physical Society Fellow and, Alfred P. Sloan Fellow.


Daniel Dwyer Joining CBMG and IPST

February 2, 2014. Dr. Daniel J. Dwyer has accepted a position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics (CBMG) (tenure home), with a joint appointment in the Institute for Physical Science and Technology (IPST), in the College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Dwyer’s appointment is part of the Quantitative Biology Cluster hire initiative. He will join us at the beginning of August 2014.

Dan was awarded his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry in 2007 from Boston University. He is currently a Senior Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Boston University, in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Dwyer to CBMG and IPST.