Program, Eighth Annual Greater Boston Area Statistical Mechanics Meeting
Saturday, October 21, 2006

Approximately 80 people attended the 8th annual meeting. Institutions represented include Boston University, Brandeis University, Brown University, Bridgewater State, Clark University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, MIT, MIT Lincoln Lab, Northeastern University, UMass Boston, UMass, Amherst, Wellesley College, WPI, and Yale University. There were approximately 22 faculty members, 15 post-docs, 35 graduate students, 3 undergraduate students, and 5 from local industry. Departments represented included applied math, chemistry, engineering, and physics.

Thank you to everyone who attended.

The 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. Because of construction on the Brandeis campus, be sure to read the directions.

Contributed talks   Directions   Announcements   Organizing committee   Advisory committee

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 25 minute invited talk, and the first three sessions also include a total of 24 three minute contributed talks. Viewgraphs can be used to show graphs and other visualizations of your results, but the use of viewgraphs to present equations is discouraged. One Windows and and one Mac OSX notebook computer will be available on which you can load your talk from a USB flash drive in advance of the session. Powerpoint and Acrobat Reader will be available on both computers and Keynote will be available on the Mac. Contributors are encouraged to post their viewgraphs during the coffee breaks to facilitate discussions. Lunch will last for 90 minutes to give attendees a chance to mingle. Coffee will be available at all times. The meeting will conclude at approximately 3:00 pm to give you enough time to catch the train back to Cambridge if necessary.

9:00 - 9:30 amBagels, coffee, and tea    
9:30 - 10:25 am Session I Marcelo Gleiser, Dartmouth College Chair
9:30 - 10:00 am Olivia White MIT "Describing spin glass dynamics: Which length scales grow?"
10:00 - 10:25 am Contributed talks (8)    
10:25 - 10:55 am Coffee and informal discussions    
10:55 am - 11:50 am Session II Rama Bansil, Boston University Chair
10:55 - 11:25 am Azadeh Samadani Brandeis University "Cellular individuality in directional sensing"
11:25 - 11:50 am Contributed talks (8)    
11:50 - 1:20 pm Lunch and Conversation    
1:20 - 2:25 pm Session III Tom Powers, Brown University Chair
1:20 - 1:50 pm Contributed talks (8)    
1:50 - 2:20 pm Corey O'Hern Yale University "The figure-8 model: A minimal model for kinetic arrest"
2:20 - 2:35 pm Coffee and informal discussions    
2:35 - 3:05 pm Session IV Jan Engelbrecht, Boston College Chair
2:35 - 3:05 pm Subir Sachdev Harvard University "Quantum criticality beyond the Landau-Ginzburg-Wilson paradigm"

Contributed talks

Session I (8 talks)

  1. Paul Maragakis, Harvard University, "Free energies from multistate nonequilibrium work data."
  2. Jaegil Kim, Boston University, "Statistical temperature Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics algorithms."
  3. Kipton Barros, Boston University, "New Langevin dynamics for the long-range Ising model."
  4. Chengju Wang, Brown University, "The dynamics we can learn from the static potential energy landscape."
  5. Jon Machta, UMass, Amherst, "Ground states and thermal states of the random field Ising model.
  6. Sarah Maynard, Wellesley College, "Scaling effects in suspensions of silica particles in silicone oil."
  7. Aaron Schweiger, Boston University, "Critical droplets away from metastable equilibrium."
  8. Sidney Redner, Boston University, "Winning and losing in tournaments."

Session II (7 talks)

  1. Aaron Santos, Boston University, "Kinetics of phase transitions in DNA."
  2. Joshua Kalb, Brandeis University, "Single polymer statics and dynamics under confinement."
  3. Andrea Zoia, Polytechnic of Milan and MIT, "Limitations of fractional diffusion equation as applied to superdiffusive contaminant transport."
  4. Ya Liu, Brandeis University, "The shape of semiflexible polymer in confinement."
  5. Jeremy Schmit, Brandeis University, "Polymer dynamics in a tight squeeze."
  6. Jané Kondev, Brandeis University, "Polymer physics and chromosome geography."
  7. Hui Wang, Clark University, "Ergodic behavior in the long-range Fermi-Pasta-Ulam problem."

Session III (8 talks)

  1. Oliver Ruebenacker, UCHC/Harvard, "The Matryoshka model: Soft rheology and renormalization group theory."
  2. James Landry, MIT Lincoln Labs, "Forces in hopper flow."
  3. Frederick Bernardin, MIT, "Investigation of the contribution of molecular orientation to the mechanical properties of polystyrene."
  4. Germano Iannacchione, WPI, "Induced thermal dynamics in a glycerol+aerosil colloidal dispersion."
  5. Wenfeng Kang, UMass Amherst, "Power-law tail of the velocity distribution in an inelastic granular gas."
  6. Silke Henkes, Brandeis University, "An ensemble for soft spheres in the jammed phase."
  7. Joel Thorarinson, Dartmouth College, "Emergent dipole magnetic oscillons in strongly type II superconductors from vortex-antivortex decay in a thermal background."
  8. Evgeny Kozik, UMass, Amherst, "On-site number statistics of ultracold lattice bosons."

The cost of the meeting is subsidized by the New England Section of the American Physical Society, and hence there is no registration fee if you register by the deadline. Please join the New England Section if you are not already a member. It is necessary to register in advance so that sufficient food and refreshments will be available. The deadline for registration is Monday, October 16. 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. If you know that you are coming and haven't registered, please send a message to Harvey Gould.

Directions to Brandeis. The location of the meeting at Brandeis is the same as last year, but different than in previous years. The meeting will be held in the the first floor of Lemberg Lee Hall, Room 180, in the Lemberg Academic Center. Because of construction, it is necessary to take an indirect route. As you enter Brandeis through the main entrance on South Street, drive toward the police booth and then take a left. At the next intersection take a left just after the Admissions building. You will quickly be in the T parking lot, behind the theater. Turn right and drive to the very far end of the lot and park. Walk up the roadway ahead of you and enter the Lemberg Academic Center on your right. Campus map, click on the PDF version. No parking permits are needed. Signs will be posted on the day of the meeting.

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.


Previous meetings

  1. The first meeting took place on Saturday, October 16, 1999 at Brandeis. We 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.
  4. Saturday, October 19, 2002.
  5. Saturday, October 18, 2003.
  6. Saturday, October 16, 2004.
  7. Saturday, October 22, 2005.

Organizing committee

Advisory committee

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

Updated 31 May 2007.