# Research

The APAM Department offers undergraduate and graduate research in the fields of applied physics, applied mathematics, and materials science and engineering. The graduate program includes research in plasma physics and controlled fusion; solid-state physics; optical and laser physics; medical physics; atmospheric, oceanic, and earth physics; and applied mathematics.

## Research Areas

**Applied Physics Research**

Applied Physics research focuses on plasma physics and controlled fusion; solid-state physics; and optical and laser physics

**Applied Mathematics Research**

Research focuses on mathematical analysis, partial differential equations, numerical analysis, probability, dynamical systems, multiscale modeling, high performance scientific computation, and numerical optimization with applications in optics and photonics, material science, machine learning, data science, imaging science, biology, and climate modeling

**Materials Science & Engineering Research**

Research activities focus on thin films and electronic materials that enable significant advances in information technologies

**Medical Physics Research**

Research focuses on radiation therapy, diagnostic radiology, and nuclear medicine

## Cross-Cutting Research

Our faculty's cross-cutting research addresses key and emerging areas in society, such as energy, environment, and health

## Biomathematics & Biophysics

**Qiang Du, Applied Mathematics**

Numerical analysis, mathematical modeling and scientific computation with selected applications in physical, biological, materials, data and information sciences

**Oleg Gang, Applied Physics**

Soft matter physics; programmable self-assembly of nanoscale systems; soft and biomaterials with tailored functions

**Latha Venkataraman, Applied Physics**

Single-molecule transport and mechanics, electron transport at the nano-scale, x-ray photoemission spectroscopy

**Chris H. Wiggins, Applied Mathematics**

Applied mathematics, mathematical biology, biopolymer dynamics, soft condensed matter, genetic networks and network inference, machine learning

**Nanfang Yu, Applied Physics**

Nanophotonics, mid-infrared and far-infrared optics and optoelectronic devices, 2D and 1D designer optical structures, active plasmonics and meta-surfaces integrating gain and nonlinear media, quantum cascade lasers, infrared imaging and spectroscopy, biophysics: perception and control of infrared radiation by insects

## Computational Science

**Daniel Bienstock, Applied Mathematics**

Applied mathematics, methodology and high-performance implementation of optimization algorithms, applications of optimization: preventing national-scale blackouts, emergency management, approximate solution of massively large optimization problems, higher-dimensional reformulation techniques for integer programming, robust optimization

**Simon J. L. Billinge, Materials Science and Engineering**

Amorphous and nanostructured pharmaceuticals and molecular materials, methods for solving the nanostructure problem, nanoscale fluctuations in exotic electronic materials, nanostructured materials for energy and environmental remediation, software for complex modeling and nanostructure determination

**Liliana Borcea**, **Applied Mathematics**

Wave propagation in random media with applications to wave based imaging and free space optical communications; Inverse problems for hyperbolic, elliptic and parabolic partial differential equations; Data driven reduced order modeling and applications to inverse problems; Scientific computing

**Qiang Du, Applied Mathematics**

Numerical analysis, mathematical modeling and scientific computation with selected applications in physical, biological, materials, data and information sciences

**Chris Marianetti, Materials Science and Engineering**

Predicting materials properties from first-principles computations; materials with energy related applications; density-functional theory; dynamical mean-field theory; transition-metal oxides; actinides, energy storage and conversion materials

**Lorenzo M. Polvani, Applied Mathematics**

Atmospheric and climate dynamics, geophysical fluid dynamics, numerical methods for weather and climate modeling, planetary atmospheres

**Kui Ren, Applied Mathematics**

Uncertainty quantification (UQ), reduced order models (ROMs), hyperbolic partial differential equations

**Adam H. Sobel , Applied Mathematics**

Atmospheric and climate dynamics, tropical meteorology, extreme weather

**Marc W. Spiegelman, Applied Mathematics**

Advanced computation for multi-physics problems with applications to coupled fluid-solid mechanics in Earth Sciences (e.g. magma dynamics, carbon sequestration)

**Shanyin Tong****, Applied Mathematics**

Applied and computational mathematics, in particular on uncertainty quantification, PDE-constrained optimization, optimization under uncertainty, rare events and inverse problems

**Chris H. Wiggins, Applied Mathematics**

Applied mathematics, mathematical biology, biopolymer dynamics, soft condensed matter, genetic networks and network inference, machine learning

**Renata Wentzcovitch, Materials Science/Applied Physics**

Computational materials physics, simulation of matter at extreme conditions, mineral physics

## Earth & Climate

**Liliana Borcea**, **Applied Mathematics**

Wave propagation in random media with applications to wave based imaging and free space optical communications; Inverse problems for hyperbolic, elliptic and parabolic partial differential equations; Data driven reduced order modeling and applications to inverse problems; Scientific computing

**Lorenzo M. Polvani, Applied Mathematics**

Atmospheric and climate dynamics, geophysical fluid dynamics, numerical methods for weather and climate modeling, planetary atmospheres

**Adam H. Sobel, Applied Mathematics**

Atmospheric and climate dynamics, tropical meteorology, extreme weather

**Marc W. Spiegelman, Applied Mathematics**

Advanced computation for multi-physics problems with applications to coupled fluid-solid mechanics in Earth Sciences (e.g. magma dynamics, carbon sequestration)

**Michael Tippett, Applied Mathematics**

Predictability and variability of the climate system, with emphasis on the application of statistical methods to data from observations and numerical models

**Renata Wentzcovitch, Materials Science/Applied Physics**

Computational materials physics, simulation of matter at extreme conditions, mineral physics

## Electron Conduction on the Nanoscale

**William Bailey, Materials Science and Engineering**

Nanoscale magnetic films and heterostructures, materials issues in spin-polarized transport, materials engineering of magnetic dynamics

**Katayun Barmak, Materials Science and Engineering**

Processing and structure (crystal structure and microstructure) relationships to electrical and magnetic properties of metal films; developing transmission electron microscopy automated orientation imaging techniques that can be applied to the study of nanostructured materials; use of differential scanning calorimetry for the study solid state reactions and phase transformations in thin films

**Latha Venkataraman, Applied Physics**

Single-molecule transport and mechanics, electron transport at the nano-scale, x-ray photoemission spectroscopy

**Nanfang Yu, Applied Physics**

Nanophotonics, mid-infrared and far-infrared optics and optoelectronic devices, 2D and 1D designer optical structures, active plasmonics and meta-surfaces integrating gain and nonlinear media, quantum cascade lasers, infrared imaging and spectroscopy, biophysics: perception and control of infrared radiation by insects

## Grain Structures in Films

**William Bailey, Materials Science and Engineering**

Nanoscale magnetic films and heterostructures, materials issues in spin-polarized transport, materials engineering of magnetic dynamics

**Katayun Barmak, Materials Science and Engineering**

Processing and structure (crystal structure and microstructure) relationships to electrical and magnetic properties of metal films; developing transmission electron microscopy automated orientation imaging techniques that can be applied to the study of nanostructured materials; use of differential scanning calorimetry for the study solid state reactions and phase transformations in thin films.

**Siu-Wai Chan, Materials Science and Engineering**

Metal oxides, crystal-size-related structural changes and properties in nanoparticles, thin films, grain boundaries and interfaces as well as their corresponding electrical properties

**James Im, Materials Science and Engineering**

Laser-induced crystallization of thin films, phase transformations & nucleation in condensed systems

**I. Cevdet Noyan, Materials Science and Engineering**

Characterization and modeling of mechanical and micromechanical deformation; residual stress analysis and nondestructive testing; x-ray and neutron diffraction, microdiffraction analysis

## Inverse Problems

**Simon J. L. Billinge, Materials Science and Engineering**

Amorphous and nanostructured pharmaceuticals and molecular materials, methods for solving the nanostructure problem, nanoscale fluctuations in exotic electronic materials, nanostructured materials for energy and environmental remediation, software for complex modeling and nanostructure determination

**Liliana Borcea**, **Applied Mathematics**

Wave propagation in random media with applications to wave based imaging and free space optical communications; Inverse problems for hyperbolic, elliptic and parabolic partial differential equations; Data driven reduced order modeling and applications to inverse problems; Scientific computing

**Oleg Gang, Applied Physics**

Soft matter physics; programmable self-assembly of nanoscale systems; soft and biomaterials with tailored functions

**Kui Ren, Applied Mathematics**

Uncertainty quantification (UQ), reduced order models (ROMs), hyperbolic partial differential equations

**I. Cevdet Noyan, Materials Science and Engineering**

Characterization and modeling of mechanical and micromechanical deformation; residual stress analysis and nondestructive testing; x-ray and neutron diffraction, microdiffraction analysis

**Shanyin Tong****, Applied Mathematics**

Applied and computational mathematics, in particular on uncertainty quantification, PDE-constrained optimization, optimization under uncertainty, rare events and inverse problems

## Nanomaterials

**Siu-Wai Chan, Materials Science and Engineering**

Metal oxides, crystal-size-related structural changes and properties in nanoparticles, thin films, grain boundaries and interfaces as well as their corresponding electrical properties

**Oleg Gang, Applied Physics**

Soft matter physics; programmable self-assembly of nanoscale systems; soft and biomaterials with tailored functions

**Irving P. Herman, Applied Physics**

Nanocrystals, optical spectroscopy of nanostructured materials, laser diagnostics of thin film processing, mechanical properties of nanomaterials

**Chris A. Marianetti, Materials Science and Engineering**

Predicting materials properties from first-principles computations; materials with energy related applications; density-functional theory; dynamical mean-field theory; transition-metal oxides; actinides, energy storage and conversion materials

**Michael Weinstein, Applied Mathematics**

Partial Differential Equations, applied analysis, dynamical systems, waves and multiscale phenomena in inhomogeneous, nonlinear and random media

**Renata Wentzcovitch, Materials Science/Applied Physics**

Computational materials physics, simulation of matter at extreme conditions, mineral physics

**Yuan Yang, Materials Science and Engineering**

Developing nanostructured materials for batteries and thermal management

## Optical Physics

**Liliana Borcea**, **Applied Mathematics**

Wave propagation in random media with applications to wave based imaging and free space optical communications; Inverse problems for hyperbolic, elliptic and parabolic partial differential equations; Data driven reduced order modeling and applications to inverse problems; Scientific computing

**Alexander L. Gaeta, Applied Physics**

Ultrafast nonlinear optics, nano-photonics, nonlinear propagation in fibers & bulk media

**Irving P. Herman, Applied Physics**

Nanocrystals, optical spectroscopy of nanostructured materials, laser diagnostics of thin film processing, mechanical properties of nanomaterials

**Michal Lipson, Applied Physics**

Silicon photonics, novel micron-size photonic structures for light manipulation, light confining structures

**Michael I. Weinstein, Applied Mathematics**

Partial Differential Equations, applied analysis, dynamical systems, waves and multiscale phenomena in inhomogeneous, nonlinear and random media

**Nanfang Yu, Applied Physics**

Nanophotonics, mid-infrared and far-infrared optics and optoelectronic devices, 2D and 1D designer optical structures, active plasmonics and meta-surfaces integrating gain and nonlinear media, quantum cascade lasers, infrared imaging and spectroscopy, biophysics: perception and control of infrared radiation by insects

## Plasma Physics & Fusion

**Allen H. Boozer, Applied Physics**

Plasma theory, theory of magnetic confinement for fusion energy, nonlinear dynamics

**Michael E. Mauel, Applied Physics**

Controlling high-temperature matter in the laboratory and studying the behavior of magnetized plasma to predict space weather and to achieve cost-effective fusion energy

**Gerald A. Navratil, Applied Physics **

Plasma physics, plasma diagnostics, fusion energy science

**Carlos Paz-Soldan, Applied Physics**

Plasma physics, magnetically confined plasmas, plasma stability and control, fusion energy technologies

**Elizabeth Paul, Applied Physics**

Plasma Physics, theory of the magnetic confinement of plasmas; fusion energy science; PDE-constrained optimization; shape optimization

## X-Ray & Neutron Scattering

**William Bailey, Materials Science and Engineering**

Nanoscale magnetic films and heterostructures, materials issues in spin-polarized transport, materials engineering of magnetic dynamics

**Simon J. L. Billinge, Materials Science and Engineering**

Amorphous and nanostructured pharmaceuticals and molecular materials, methods for solving the nanostructure problem, nanoscale fluctuations in exotic electronic materials, nanostructured materials for energy and environmental remediation, software for complex modeling and nanostructure determination

**Oleg Gang, Applied Physics**

Soft matter physics; programmable self-assembly of nanoscale systems; soft and biomaterials with tailored functions

**I. Cevdet Noyan, Materials Science and Engineering**

Characterization and modeling of mechanical and micromechanical deformation; residual stress analysis and nondestructive testing; x-ray and neutron diffraction, microdiffraction analysis

**Yuan Yang, Materials Science and Engineering**

Characterizing energy materials by Synchrotron-based techniques

#### Undergraduate Research

There are multiple on-campus and off-campus research opportunities for undergraduate students