Fourth Annual Greater Boston Area Statistical Mechanics Meeting
Saturday, October 19, 2003
Brandeis University

Schedule   Contributed Talks   Registration form   Directions   Announcements   Organizing committee   Advisory committee, PDF file for posting

Please join us on Saturday, October 19, 2002 at Brandeis University to talk and listen to your colleagues in the New England area working in statistical mechanics. The main goal of these meetings is to offer an informal, friendly, and supportive environment where people from a variety of departments and institutions can meet and exchange ideas and where old and new friends can meet. About 85 people attended the third annual Greater Boston Area Statistical Mechanics meeting at Brandeis.

There will be coffee and bagels from 9:00 am to 9:30 am and four sessions beginning at 9:30 am. Each session features a 30 minute invited talk, and the first three sessions also include three to four minute contributed talks in the spirit of the Rutgers statistical mechanics meetings. Viewgraphs can be used to show graphs and other visualizations of results, but the use of viewgraphs to present equations is discouraged. Contributors also are encouraged to post their viewgraphs during the coffee breaks to facilitate discussions. Coffee will be available at all times.

The cost of the meeting will be subsidized by the New England Section of the American Physical Society, and hence there is no registration fee if you register by the deadline. However, it is necessary to register in advance so that sufficient food and refreshments will be available. The deadline for registration is Monday, October 14. If you miss the deadline, you are still welcome to attend the meeting, but the cost will be $10, and we cannot guarantee that food will be available.. Information about joining the New England Section if you are not already a member will be available at the meeting.

All talks will be in Abelson, Room 131, in the Department of Physics. Signs will be posted.


9:00 - 9:30 amBagels, coffee, and tea    
9:30 - 10:40 am Morning Session I Sid Redner, Boston University Chair
9:30 - 10:00 am Greg Huber University of Massachusetts, Boston "Physics of Flagella."
10:00 - 10:40 am Contributed talks    
10:40 - 11:10 am Coffee and informal discussions    
11:10 am - 12:25 pm Morning Session II Nalini Easwar, Smith College Chair
11:10 - 11:40 am Eugene Demler Harvard University "Cooper pair tunneling through mesoscopic superconducting grains in the presence of Ohmic dissipation."
11:40 - 12:25 pm Contributed talks    
12:25 - 1:25 pm Lunch    
1:25 - 2:50 pm Afternoon Session I Bruce Boghosian, Tufts University Chair
1:25 - 2:10 pm Contributed talks    
2:10 - 2:40 pm Narayanan Menon University of Massachusetts, Amherst "Large force fluctuations in dense granular flows."
2:40 - 2:55 pm Coffee and informal discussions    
2:55 - 3:25 pm Afternoon Session II David Weitz, Harvard University Chair
2:55 - 3:25 pm Dean Astumian University of Maine, Orono "How cells and molecules move."

At the end of the meeting at 3:30 pm, there will be rooms available for informal conversations.

Contributed talks

Session I

  1. Udayan Mohanty, Boston College, "Dynamics of RNA in gels -- the role of conformation disorder."
  2. Eric Grelet, Brandeis University, "The baffling role of ionic strength in cholesteric phase of virus suspensions."
  3. Maria Kilfoil, Harvard University, "Out of equilibrium and back: stability of model pastes."
  4. Mehdi Yahyanejad, MIT, "Structure Space of Model Proteins."
  5. Alberto Fernandez-Nieves, Harvard University, "Liquid crystal droplets based colloidal crystals."
  6. Galder Cristobal, Harvard University, "Optical anisotropic solid particles for microfluidic applications."
  7. Itai Cohen, Harvard University, "Shear excitement of confined colloids."
  8. Matthew Koss, College of the Holy Cross, "The Response of Thermal Dendrites to a Step Change in Pressure."
  9. Suliana Manley, Harvard University, "Colloidal aggregation in the dilute limit."
  10. Rafael C. Howell, Dartmouth College, "The Emergence of Oscillons in a 2D Nonlinear Field Model."

Session II

  1. Jane' Kondev, Brandeis University, "Correlated quantum percolation."
  2. Matt Robinson, University of Maine, "An Information Theoretic Study of the Ising Antiferromagnet on a Triangular Lattice with Quenched Vacancies."
  3. Debra Kenneway, University of Maine, "A Look at the Two-Dimensional Ising Spin Glass Using Information Theoretic Measures."
  4. Bruce Boghosian, Tufts University, "Quantum Computation for Physical Modeling."
  5. Natali Gulbahce, Clark University, "Partition function zeros and pseudospinodals in long-range Ising models."
  6. Nikolay Prokofiev, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, "The two-dimensional Bose gas in the fluctuation region."
  7. Fred Ellis, Wesleyan University, "Film-Substrate Thermal Contact in Superfluids."
  8. Ivan Georgiev, University of Maine, "A Study of Criticality for a Two-Dimensional Driven Lattice Gas Using the Shannon Entropy."
  9. Allan Widom, Northeastern University, "Thermal Superradiance and the Clausius-Mossotti Equation."
  10. Ahmed E. Ismail, MIT, "Entropy considerations for coarse-grained systems."

Session III

  1. Sidney Redner, Boston University, "Leadership Statistics."
  2. Elana Klein, Brandeis University, "Statistical topography of noisy self-affine surfaces."
  3. Hasan Guclu, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, "Stochastic growth in random networks."
  4. Daniel Blair, Clark University, "Collision Statistics in Driven Granular Media."
  5. Gyorgy Korniss, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, "Nucleation and Ecological Invasion under Preemptive Competition."
  6. Greg Voth, Wesleyan University, "Fluidization transitions in highly sheared granular materials."
  7. Bill Jensen, University of Massachusetts, Boston, "Sandbox Physics: Seepage Erosion and Channelization."
  8. Allison Ferguson, Brandeis University, "Incipient Force Chains in Gravity Driven Granular Flows?"
  9. Ulrich Zurcher, University of Rhode Island, "Broken Ergodicity in a Rough Energy Landscape."
  10. Balazs Kozma, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, "Boundary-condition dependence of scaling: Roughness distribution of Edwards-Wilkinson surfaces."

Directions to Brandeis. After you enter the campus, you will need to take an alternate route due to construction. As you enter Brandeis through the main entrance on South Street, drive toward the police booth and then take the right fork. Go up the hill and then make the first left. Drive further up the hill and around the biology building until you reach the end of the road. You will now be at the K parking lot adjacent to the Physics building. You can park there or in any free spot along the way. The Physics building is on your left as you enter the parking lot. The building has an observatory on the rooftop and can be seen from reasonably far away. No parking permits are needed.

The Brandeis/Roberts commuter rail stop is very convenient. Trains depart to North Station at 3:44 pm, 6:11 pm, 6:34 pm, and 10:14 pm. Buses are also available.

Registration form

Name: E-mail:
Affiliation: Position:
Would you like to be on the e-mail list for announcements of future meetings?
A "make it yourself" sandwich buffet will be available at no charge. Please let us know if you are vegetarian.
Would you like to give a 3-4 minute contributed talk?
If so, please give the title of your talk:

Previous meetings:

  1. The first meeting took place on Saturday, October 16, 1999 at Brandeis. We also honored the memory and work of Eugene Gross, a founding member of the physics faculty at Brandeis University and researcher in statistical mechanics.
  2. Saturday, October 14, 2000.
  3. Saturday, October 20, 2001.


Organizing committee

Advisory committee

Please send questions, comments, and corrections to Harvey Gould,

Updated 12 November 2002.