4th Annual Sprout Grants – Call for applications

Bring your research and entrepreneurial ambitions to life!

The Brandeis University Virtual Incubator invites member of the Brandeis Community (undergrads, grad students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, staff) to submit an application for a “Sprout Grant”. These grants are intended to stimulate entrepreneurship on campus and help researchers launch their ideas and inventions from Brandeis to the marketplace.

This spring we will be awarding $50,000 to be shared amongst the most promising proposals.

Come get your questions about the Sprout grant answered at one of our upcoming information sessions.

Info sessions:

Tuesday      February 18th    1pm – 2pm

Tuesday      February 25th    10am – 11am

Thursday     February 27th    11am – noon

Tuesday      March 4th          11am – noon

All information sessions will be held in the Shapiro science center 1st floor library, room 1-03 (the glass walled room near the elevators).

Deadlines: Preliminary applications are due on Friday, March 7th

Benefits of participation:

  • Teams that are selected to submit full applications will be given assistance in further developing their ideas into an effective business pitch.
  • Sprout grant winners will be connected with an experienced mentor, and given further assistance in getting their ideas to market by the Office of Technology Licensing.
  • Previous winners have come from many departments: Neuroscience, Biology, Biochemistry, Physics and Computer Science. Some of the funded technologies have resulted in patent applications and are moving towards commercial development. Read more about previous winners from your department here: Sprout winners 2011, Sprout winners 2012, Sprout winners 2013.

For more information go to our website (http://www.brandeis.edu/otl/grants/index.html) or contact Melissa Blackman at melblack@brandeis.edu.

Thermalization From Glasses to Black Holes

bangalore2Textbook thermodynamics treats equilibrium states of large systems, in which macroscopic variables (temperature, pressure and so on) remain static, and how small perturbations of such systems relax with time.  There have been a number of exciting recent developments in studying (a) how such equilibrium states are reached in a closed quantum or classical system, and (b) generalizations of thermodynamics to small systems and to systems that are intrinsically out of equilibrium.  This work spans both classical and quantum mechanics, and ties together biological systems, soft matter (such as glasses and granular systems), quantum matter, nuclear physics, quantum information, quantum gravity, and string theory.
This is clearly an area of inquiry in which contact between these different fields will lead to important advances, much as contact between condensed matter and particle physics did for the study of symmetry breaking (the source of multiple Nobel prizes, including this year’s and of the renormalization group.  We (Brandeis Physics  faculty Aparna BaskaranBulbul ChakrabortyMatthew Headrick, and Albion Lawrence) felt that an ideal way to promote this was to put together an intensive series of pedagogical lectures covering recent results in the aforementioned fields.  With the encouragement of the National Science Foundation (due in large part to Brandeis’s IGERT program in Geometry and Dynamics  we took advantage of our deep contacts with the Indian physics community to put together an Advanced Studies Institute (ASI) on thermalization, under the auspices of the new International Center for the Theoretical Sciences (ICTS)  in Bangalore, and co-organized by Chandan Dasgupta  (Indian Institute of Science), Gautam Mandal (TIFR, Mumbai), Sanjib Sabhapandit  (Raman Research Institute and ICTS), and Krishnendu Sengupta  (IACS , Kolkata).
The school was extremely successful, with beautiful lectures on cutting-edge physics from the leading experts in their respective areas.  We recommend these lectures highly to those interested in these subjects.  Links to the lecture notes, and to some related review articles, can be found here:
and there is a YouTube channel for the lectures here:

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