Special Statement Regarding Graduate Admissions in 2020

Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, in our graduate admissions process this year:

1) Students who have taken courses in Spring 2020 Pass/Fail rather than for a letter grade will not be penalized in any way. 

2) GRE scores will *not* be required this year, and their absence will not be used to count against any applicant.

Welcome new Assistant Professors, Arnold Mathijssen and Martin Claassen!

The department is pleased to announce the hiring of two new assistant professors in Condensed Matter Physics.  Arnold Mathijssen ( is an experimentalist working in the general area of soft and living matter, currently as a postdoc at Stanford.  His particular research interests are in the collective functionality of intelligent active matter, bridging multi-scale biology with the physics of solids, fluids and information.  Martin Claassen (

Arjun Yodh: Using stress to shape microlevel structures

A new study describes how external forces drive the rearrangement of individual particles in disordered solids, enabling new ways to imbue materials with unique mechanical properties.

Lisa Tran Wins Glenn H. Brown Prize of the International Liquid Crystal Society

It is my great pleasure to announce the recipients of ILCS Honors & Awards 2020.
This year, we have received nomination of some 40 candidates.   I would like to congratulate the winners for their research achievements and continued contributions to the liquid crystal community in future.  

Prof. Nader Engheta to receive the 2020 Max Born Award

Congratulations to our colleague, Prof. Nader Engheta (SEAS, secondary appointment in Physics and Astronomy), who has been selected to receive the 2020 Max Born Award from the Optical Society (OSA)!  This is a wonderful and well-deserved honor for Nader, and through our association with him, for our department.

Bo Zhen's research in "Fixing leaky optical pipes with topological glue"

Combining theoretical insights with experimental results, physicists demonstrate a new design for optoelectronic devices that could help make optical fiber communications more energy efficient.

Congratulations to our May degree PhD candidates who successfully defended their dissertation! (see list)

Ashley Baker, Anthony Chieco, Rachael Creager, Paul Masih Das, Tatyana Gavrilchenko, Christopher Lynn, Charlotte Pfeifer, and Tae-Hyeon Shin


Vijay Balasubramanian examines the optimal immune repertoire for bacteria

Researchers develop a physical model that describes the optimal amount of ‘memory’ of prior infections that bacteria should have in order to efficiently mount a successful immune response.