Physics and Astronomy Researchers Maxim Lavrentovich, Eric Horsley, Asja Radja, Alison Sweeney and Randall Kamien Explore First-order Patterning Transitions on a Sphere as a Route to Cell Morphology

A common set of intricate cell surface patterns are observed in many different kinds of organisms, from insects to plant pollen to fungal spores to eyelash mite carapaces.  These patterns are most famous in the popular imagination when they’re found on pollen, and can be reticulate, hexagonal, striped, spiky, knobbed, lobed, etc.  To boot, the patterns definitely aren’t random - one tree species will produce billions of nearly identical pollen cells within a single tree and do so stably for millions of years - pollen is a great way to identify things in the fossil record.

Physics and Astronomy Professor in Newly Funded Simons Collaboration

The Simons Foundation has just announced the establishment of the Simons Collaboration on Cracking the Glass Problem, bringing together an international team of scientists, including Professor Andrea Liu, under the direction of Professor Sidney Nagel of the University of Chicago. 

More info on the award can be found here.


Physics and Astronomy Postdoctoral Fellow Wins Young Scientist Award

Keisuke Yoshihara, a postdoctoral fellow in experimental particle physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania, received a "Young Scientist Award" at the 71st Annual Meeting of the Physical Society of Japan, which took place 19-22 March 2016.

Dr. Yoshihara earned this recognition as a result of his work as a graduate student at the University of Tokyo on the discovery and subsequent study of the Higgs boson in the ATLAS Experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider.

Physics and Astronomy PhD Student Wins Teaching Award

Congratulations to PhD Candidate Elodie Resseguie, who has been awarded the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching by Graduate Students. The Dean's Award seeks to recognize teaching that is intellectually rigorous, exceptionally coherent, and that has considerable impact upon students.

Physics and Astronomy Professor Wins SAS Teaching Award

Congratulations to Professor Masao Sako, award winner of this year's Dean's Award for Innovation in Teaching in the School of Arts and Sciences. This award is presented annually to SAS faculty members who utilize innovative teaching techniques in the service of outstanding teaching.

Finding A Plants Fingerprint in the Veins of its Leaves

Working collaboratively with Max Planck Institute and the New York Botanical Gardens, Professor Eleni Katifori of the Department of Physics and Astronomy theorizes that the veins of plant leaves can serve as a fingerprint. The idea is to deeply explore the tiniest veins of a leaf to extract as much information possible which will reveal hidden traits and characteristics unique to the plant.

To read the article in full, visit Penn News

Penn Researchers’ Theory: Brain’s Location-tracking Cells Use Transcendental Number System

Professor Vijay Balasubramanian and Postdoctoral Researcher Xue-Xin Wei have worked together to theorize how grid cells in the brain can mentally, then physically map movement, in a similar way to how a GPS is used to track location.

For the full story and video, visit Penn’s Spotlight

Physics Professor Wins 2016 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching

Congratulations to Professor Klein on being chosen as the winner of the prestigious Lindback Award, the highest teaching honor given by the University of Pennsylvania. Award winners are determined by nominations and recommendations made by both faculty and students. 

Previous Lindback Award Winners

Graduate Student Sarah Friedensen Wins the Ella N. Pawling 2015-2016 Award

Congratulations to graduate student Sarah Friedensen for being named the Ella N. Pawling 2015-2016 Fellow by the School of Arts and Sciences to support her academic pursuits.


Graduate Student Jeffrey Campbell Wins the Hector Tyndale Fellow 2015-2016 Award

Congratulations to graduate student Jeffrey Campbell for being named the Hector Tyndale 2015-2016 Fellow by the School of Arts and Sciences to support his academic pursuits.