Oxford University selects Vijay Balasubramanian as the George Eastman Professor for the 2024-2025 academic year

The Eastman Professorship was established in 1929 by George Eastman, founder of the Eastman Kodak Company. Eastman created a chair at Oxford University to be filled on a visiting basis by senior American Scholars of the highest distinction.  Each appointment is made for one year. The fund which supports the Eastman Professorship is administered by the Board of Directors of the AARS through the American Trust For Oxford University.


Physics for Architects in Active-Learning Format by Bill Ashmanskas

The pandemic motivated me to convert Physics for Architects into SAIL (Structured, Active, In-Class Learning) format. Our classroom now buzzes with activity, making physics as engaging for the 50 students as it is for me.

PHYS 0008 is a sector course tailored to visual learners, many eager to excel in a later Architectural Structures course. Most students have seldom used math since high-school calculus or physics.


American Academy of Arts and Sciences recently elected Charlie Kane as a new member

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences honors excellence and convenes leaders from every field of human endeavor to examine new ideas, address issues of importance to the nation and the world, and work together “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people.”

charlie kane

Charlie Kane Recipient of Ira H. Abrams Memorial Award for Distinguished Teaching

The Ira H. Abrams Memorial Award for Distinguished Teaching for Faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences seeks to recognize teaching that is intellectually rigorous and exceptionally coherent and that leads to an informed understanding of a discipline. Recipients of the Ira Abrams Memorial Award are expected to embody high standards of integrity and fairness, to have a strong commitment to learning, and to be open to new ideas. As the School of Arts and Sciences' highest teaching honor, the Abrams Award recognizes faculty who have sustained records of teaching excellence.


Sam Dillavou receives GSNP Annual Postdoctoral Speaker Award

The annual Postdoctoral Speaker Award sponsored by the American Physical Society’s Topical Group on Statistical and Nonlinear Physics (GSNP) was won by Sam Dillavou, for his talk on “The Ensemble Peels the Onion: Emergent Learning Via Sequential Error Mode Reduction.”  Sam’s work is part of IRG-1 on Learning Metamaterials, in the lab of Doug Durian in collaboration with Andrea Liu and Mark Miskin. Read more here.


What to know: 2024 total solar eclipse

Gary Bernstein and Bhuvnesh Jain speak with Penn Today about the significance of the coming total eclipse.

On April 8, large swathes of the United States will temporarily experience day turning into night as the moon passes in front of the sun with its shadow causing a total solar eclipse. The shadow will enter from Texas, travel through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire, finally exiting via Maine. Read full article here


Congratulations to the Department of Physics and Astronomy’s Student Award Winners!

Award certificates will be presented before the Department Colloquium on April 10th at 3:30pm in DRL A8.

The Elias Burstein Prize

masao sako

Masao Sako: Faculty Co-Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Innovation

Provost John L. Jackson. Jr. and Deputy Provost Beth A. Winkelstein announced the appointment of Masao Sako, the Arifa Hasan Ahmad and Nada Al Shoaibi Presidential Professor of Physics and Astronomy, as faculty co-director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Innovation, beginning April 1, 2024.


Physics & Astronomy's Daniel Gomes, Winner: Audience Choice 2024 Penn Grad Talks

On February 23, some of Penn Arts & Sciences’ top graduate students shared their insights with a packed house (and online audience) at the 2024 Penn Grad Talks. The day-long program featured students from the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and the School’s professional masters’ programs, who each gave TED Talk-style presentations on their research, vying to win prizes of $500.