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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.


  • 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."


  • American Physical Society awards
  • October 26, 2018. Christopher Jarzynski, Dave Thirumalai, former IPST postdoc Christina Marchetti and UMD alumnus Jordan Horowitz were among the American Physical Society’s spring 2019 prize and award winners. All four conduct research in statistical physics.

    Distinguished University Professor Christopher Jarzynski (IPST / Chemistry and Biochemistry / Physics) has been awarded the 2019 Lars Onsager Prize for "...seminal contributions to non-equilibrium thermodynamics and statistical mechanics that have had remarkable impact on experimental research in single-molecule and biological physics, engendering whole new fields of theoretical, numerical, and laboratory research, as well as for groundbreaking work on the thermodynamics of small systems."

    The prize is presented in recognition of outstanding research in theoretical statistical physics including the quantum fluids.

    Jarzynski joins IPST Distinguished University Professor Emeritus Michael E. Fisher who received the inaugural Onsager prize in 1995 for "...his numerous and seminal contributions to statistical mechanics, including but not restricted to the theory of phase transitions and critical phenomena, scaling laws, critical exponents, finite size effects, and the application of the renormalization group to many of the above problems."


  • Pratyush Tiwary is featured in Biochemistry
  • February 6, 2019. IPST and Chemistry/Biochemistry Assistant Professor Pratyush Tiwary is one of 34 early career biological chemists profiled in Biochemistry’s 2019 special issue "Future of Biochemistry: The International Issue". Tiwary's multi-disciplinary research group aims to "...develop and apply the next generation of all-atom resolution simulation methods, based on statistical mechanics and artificial intelligence, that can transcend time scales from femtoseconds to days".

    He joins 2 alumni listed in the 2018 special edition, Bryan Dickinson and Sarah Slavoff who both earned their B.S. degree in Biochemistry in 2005. For more, you can read the College of Computer, Mathematical & Natural Sciences' news release.