Phi Beta Kappa Elects 40 Division of Science Students

15 05 2015

Phi_Beta_Kappa_KeyThe Brandeis chapter of Phi Beta Kappa recently elected 97 new members. Of the 97, at least 40 undergraduate students are majors in the Division of Science (Biochemistry, Biological Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Neuroscience, Physics and Psychology). Information is not available from Mathematics.

Congratulations to the following new Phi Beta Kappa members from the Division of Science:


Malia Barbra McAvoy
Yehonatan Otzar Meschede-Krasa
Juhee Park
Lior Rozhansky
Hanchen Zhao (double major with Chemistry)

Biological Physics

Abigail Rose Knecht


Ignatius Ang
Zachary Ian Fried
Jenna Leah Kahane
Ariel Jennifer Katz
Yang Li
Yixuan Liao
Alice Yuan Meng
Khang Vi Nguyen (double major with Chemistry)
Danielle Marie Quintin
Sarah Shin


Khang Vi Nguyen (double major with Biology)
Soobyung Park
Noam Isaac Saper
Hanchen Zhao (double major with Biochemistry)

Computer Science

Kenneth William Foner
Huy Quang Mai
Grady Berry Ward

Mathematics (names not available)


Jessica Allison Haley (double major with Psychology)
Kiera Gillian Sarill (double major with Psychology)


Wei Zhong Goh
Stefan Stanojevic
Daniel Jackson Kutner


Kyra Jordana Borenstein
Hannah Dvorah Caldwell
Nicole Danielle Cardona
Avi David Cohen
Annie Cui
Jason Michael Desimone
Emily Rose Friedman
Jonathan David Gilman
Clara Emily Gray
Cecilie Gromada
Sarah Jessica Hack-Chabot
Jessica Allison Haley (double major with Neuroscience)
Jessica Lynn Lieberman
Danielle Mizrachi
Emily April Mostow
Linda Sue Nakagawa
Talia Michelle Portal
Jenna Louise Rice
Kiera Gillian Sarill (double major with Neuroscience)
Aliza Naomi Shapiro

See full story on BrandeisNow.

Physics students win awards

13 05 2015
The Physics Department recently held its annual Student Research Symposium in Memory of Professor Stephan Berko. At the symposium, the undergraduate speakers describe their senior thesis honors research as the final step in gaining an honors degree in physics. The graduate student speakers are in the middle of their PhD research, and describe their progress and goals. The prize winners are nominated and chosen by the faculty for making particularly noteworthy progress in their research. Here are the Berko prize winners for 2015:

Undergraduate Berko Prize Winners:

Adam Wang Title: “Controlling Coupled Chemical Oscillators: Toward Synchronization Engineering and Chemical Computation” video

Jacob Gold Title: “Inhibitively Coupled Chemical Oscillators as a Substrate for Logic Gates and Larger Circuits” video

Graduate Berko Prize Winners:

Lishibanya Mohapatra Title: “How cells control the size of their organelles?” video

Feodor Hilitski Title: “Measuring mechanics of active microtubule bundles, one filament at a time” video

Congratulations to all of our prize winners:

Cesar Agon, Falkoff Prize

Hannah Herde,  Falkoff Prize

Matthew Cambria, Physics Faculty Prize

Stefan Stanojevic, Physics Faculty Prize

Wei Zhong Goh, Dr. Joseph Garrison Parker Prize

Zi Jing Teoh, Steinberg Prize in Physical Sciences with Interest in History

Abigail Knecht, Molly W. and Charles K. Schiff Memorial Award in Science


Jané Kondev wins the Lerman-Neubauer ’69 Prize for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring

8 05 2015

Kondev_labThe 2015 recipient of the Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer ‘69 and Joseph Neubauer Prize for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring is Jané Kondev, Professor of Physics. This prize requires its recipient to be not only be an exceptional teacher, but also a person known to be an outstanding mentor and advisor.

Jané has advised first year students and majors, served on senior thesis and dissertation committees, and supervised undergrads, grads and post-docs working in his lab. Additionally, he had chaired the Physics department, served as chair and Undergraduate Advising Head of the Biological Physics program, and co-directed the Quantitative Biology graduate program. His courses include the first year seminar, “Nature’s Nanotechnology,” as well as “Advanced Introductory Physics,” “Biological Physics” and “Quantum Mechanics.”

Jané earned his BS at the University of Belgrade and his PhD at Cornell University, and a postdoc at Brown University, where he won two Excellence in Teaching Awards. The goal of his research at Brandeis is to develop quantitative models of biological structure and function that can be tested experimentally. His current projects include the study of cell-to cell variability in gene expression, homologous recombination in yeast, synthetic genetic circuits, and formin assisted actin assembly.

Jané’s research has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the MIT Whitehead Institute. His co-authored undergraduate textbook, Physical Biology of the Cell, won the 2013 Society of Biology Book Award, and his articles have been published in such journals as the Physics Today, Genetics, Cell Reports, and Biophysics.

Students in his courses write:

“Jané is an awesome instructor. He really cares that the students understand the material.”

“I learned a lot from informal conversations with Professor Kondev, and I appreciate all the energy and passion that he brings to the classroom.”


“Scientist of small things”

17 02 2015
IMAGE: BMXIMAGE (from Forbes India)

IMAGE: BMXIMAGE (from Forbes India)

Forbes India recently named Brandeis post-doc alumna Prerna Sharma as one of India’s “30 under 30″. Sharma, who worked in Prof. Zvonimir Dogic’s group in Physics, is currently an Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.

Read the original at Prerna Sharma: The scientist of small things, or perhaps her 2014 Nature paper on Hierarchical organization of chiral rafts in colloidal membranes


MRSEC Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (2015)

6 02 2015
The Division of Science wishes to announce that, in 2015, we will offer  MRSEC Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships for Brandeis students doing undergraduate research, sponsored by the Brandeis Materials Research Science and Engineering Center.The due date for applications  is February 24, 2015,  at 6:00 PM EST.MRSEC Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships will provide $5000 in stipend support to allow students to do summer research in MRSEC labs (housing support is not included). Students who will be rising Brandeis sophomores, juniors, or seniors in Summer 2015 (classes of ’16, ’17, and ’18). No prior lab experience is required. A commitment from a Brandeis MRSEC member to serve as your mentor in Summer 2015 is required.

The Division of Science Summer Program will run from May 26 – July 31, 2015. Recipients are expected to be available to do full time laboratory research during that period, and must commit to presenting a poster at the final poster session on July 30, 2015. Five positions are available.

The application form is online (Brandeis login required). Questions that are not answered in the online FAQ may be addressed to Steven Karel <divsci at>


Deser to receive 2015 Einstein Medal

18 01 2015

From BrandeisNOW:

In May, the Albert Einstein Society will award [Professor Emeritus of Physics Stanley Deser] and University of Maryland colleague Charles Misner the prestigious Einstein Medal for their contributions to the study of General Relativity. The ceremony will take place in Bern, Switzerland, where Einstein began his career.

Greater Boston Area Statistical Mechanics Meeting, Nov 8

16 09 2014

Brandeis will host the 16th annual Greater Boston Area Statistical Mechanics Meeting (GBASM) on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, from 9:30-3:00. GBASM is a workshop that brings together researchers interested in statistical mechanics, nonlinear dynamics, condensed matter physics, biophysics, and related topics for a day of presentations and discussions.  The meeting consists of four invited talks (30 min.), and a larger number of contributed “table talks”.

The four invited speakers for this year are:

The contributed talks will follow the format we adopted last year. Instead of three minute talks with a limited time for questions, contributors will give a brief announcement of their work in the lecture hall. We will then move to the adjacent room where each contributor will sit at a table with their laptop or tablet and discuss their research with interested participants. This format will eliminate the expense associated with posters and provide greater feedback to contributors. The time preparing for a “table talk” should be similar to preparing for a short talk.

The cost of the meeting is subsidized by the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, Brandeis University; the Department of Physics, Boston University; the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, Harvard University. Thanks to these subsidies, bagels, coffee, tea, and lunch will be provided at no cost if you register by the deadline of Saturday, Nov. 1.

More information   |  Registration


Professor Jané Kondev is named an HHMI Professor by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

1 07 2014
Jane' Kondev

Photo by Mike Lovett

Physics professor Jané Kondev wants to bolster interdisciplinary undergraduate research at Brandeis University, and The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has awarded him $1 million to do it.

The grant is part of the prestigious and highly competitive HHMI Professor program, which funds a small group of research scientists who are making science more engaging for undergraduate   students. Kondev is among 15 leading scientist-educators who will receive $1 million over five years to create activities that integrate research with undergraduate education.

Read the full story>>BrandeisNOW.

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