12th Annual Greater Boston Area Statistical Mechanics Meeting
Saturday, October 9, 2010

Over 100 people attended the meeting - a new record! Thank you to all who attended and to all who gave a contributed or invited talk. You all helped to make the meeting a success.

Please join us on Saturday, October 9, 2010 at Brandeis University to meet and talk with your colleagues in the New England area working in statistical mechanics. The goal of these meetings is to offer an informal, friendly, and supportive environment where people from a variety of departments and institutions can exchange ideas and where old and new friends can meet.

Contributed talks   Directions   Announcements   Organizing committee   Advisory committee

Coffee, tea, and bagels will be served from 9:00 am to 9:30 am. The first of four sessions begins at 9:30 am. Each session features a 25 minute invited talk (plus five minutes for questions). The first three sessions also include 11-12 contributed talks. The contributed talks will be 2 minutes plus 30 seconds for questions.

To simplify the scheduling of the contributed talks, all contributed talks should be be in pdf format (rather than in Powerpoint or Keynote) so that they are platform independent. The number of slides should be no more than four so that there is time for questions at the end of each talk. Lunch will last for 90 minutes to give attendees a chance to mingle. Coffee and tea will be available at all times. The meeting will conclude at approximately 3:30 pm.


9:00 - 9:30 amBagels, coffee, and tea  
9:30 - 10:40 am Session I Michael Hagan, Brandeis University Chair
9:30 - 10:00 am Jeff Gore MIT Cooperation and reversibility in microbial evolution
10:00 - 10:40 am Contributed talks (11)   
10:40 - 11:00 am Coffee and informal discussions  
11:00 am - 12:10 pm Session II Aparna Baskaran, Brandeis University Chair
11:00 - 11:30 am Ginestra Bianconi Northeastern University Bose-Einstein distribution, condensation transition and multiple stationary states in multi-loci evolution of diploid populations
11:30 - 12:10 am Contributed talks (12)  
12:10 - 1:40 pm Lunch and informal conversations  
1:40 - 2:50 pm Session III Sid Redner, Boston University Chair
1:40 - 2:20 pm Contributed talks (12)
2:20 - 2:50 pm Pankaj Mehta Boston University The statistical mechanics of transcription-factor binding site discovery using hidden Markov models
2:50 - 3:05 pm Coffee and informal discussions  
3:05 - 3:35 pm Session IV Greg Huber, University of Connecticut Health Center Chair
3:05 - 3:35 pm L. Mahadevan Harvard University Statistical and continuum mechanics of ribbons and small plates

Contributed talks

Session I

  1. Dongshan Wei, Boston University, Enhanced sampling of peptides in explicit water by damping short-range interaction
  2. Udayan Mohanty, Boston College, Probing the alpha-helical structural stability of stapled p53 peptides
  3. Pavel Kraikivski, University of Connecticut Health Center, Kinetic analysis of actin dendritic nucleation from a physicist's standpoint
  4. Baris Avsaroglu, Brandeis University, Confinement and tethering of chromosome III in yeast
  5. Thomas Butler, MIT, The statistical mechanics of Turing patterns
  6. Guangnan Meng, Harvard University, Phase transition on curved surfaces
  7. Vaibhav Wasnik, Clark University, Actin waves
  8. Oren Elrad, Brandeis University, Dynamic encapsidation of a polymer by an icosahedral virus
  9. C. Nadir Kaplan, Brandeis University, Theory of depletion-induced phase transition from chiral smectic-A twisted ribbons to semi-infinite flat membranes
  10. Yasheng Yang, Brandeis University, Simulation of the phase behavior of colloidal membrane
  11. Kirill Korolev, MIT, Genetic demixing in bacterial colonies

Session II

  1. Luca D'Alessio, Boston University, Lorentz gas at finite temperature
  2. Carl Schreck, Yale University, Geometrical families of frictional packings
  3. Jason Olejarz, Boston University, Zero-temperature relaxation in 3D Ising ferromagnets
  4. Kevin Stokely, Boston University, On the phase behavior of deeply supercooled water
  5. Kang Liu, Boston University, Nucleation in the site-diluted Ising model
  6. Dapeng Bi, Brandeis University, Stress fluctuations in sheared granular packings
  7. Zhaohui Yang, Boston University, The role played by the surface mobile layer on the dynamics of polymer films
  8. Dongdong Peng, Boston University, Effect of molecular weight on the surface mobility of polymer films
  9. Andrew Clough, Boston University, Glass transition temperature of thin polymer films with slip
  10. Mitch Mailman, Brandeis University, Solution space picture of the unjamming transition and a dominant length scale in the force network ensemble
  11. Edward Fredkin, Carnegie Mellon University, BEC and quantized gravitational interaction
  12. Anand Priyadarshee, Carnegie Mellon University, Monte Carlo Model of BEC in free fall

Session III

  1. Sid Redner, Boston University, Can partisan voting lead to the truth?
  2. Alex Plyukhin, Saint Anselm College, Wave equations from a stochastic process
  3. Igor Novak, University of Connecticut Health Center, Near-universality of diffusion amid random overlapping obstacles
  4. Jim Bagrow, Northeastern University, Percolation on networks of overlapping modules
  5. Pramesh Singh, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, The Spread of influence on co-evolving homophilous networks
  6. Tom Stone, Husson University, Disease spreading on a dynamic small-world network
  7. David Hunt, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Synchronization with delays in a noisy environment
  8. Jierui Xie, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Influencing with committed agents in the two-word naming game
  9. Daniel Volovik, Boston University, First-passage properties of bursty random walks
  10. Andrea Asztalos, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Current flows and cascades in weighted networks
  11. Alan Gabel, Boston University, A facilitated asymmetric exclusion process
  12. Yayoi Teraeda, Tohoku University and Boston University, Diffusion processes in hard disk and hard sphere fluids

Post-deadline talks

  1. Ranjit Chacko, Clark University, Non-thermodynamic spinodals and coexistence in finite systems
  2. Zahera Jabeen, Brandeis University, Shock propagation in a perturbed granular gas
  3. S. S. Ashwin, Yale University, Lower bounds for critical quench rates in fluids
  4. Bhaswati Bhattacharyya, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Spatiotemporal regulation of chemical reactions by active cytoskeletal remodeling
  5. Anki Reddy, Clark University, Cyclically sheared granular packings: Crystal growth

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. There is no additional cost to join the New England Section.

It is necessary to register in advance so that sufficient food and refreshments will be available. The deadline for registration is Tuesday, October 5. If you miss the deadline, you may still attend the meeting, but the cost will be $10, and we cannot guarantee that food will be available. We will collect the registration fee for people who miss the deadline.


The location of the meeting at Brandeis University is the same as last year. The meeting will be held on the first floor of Lemberg Lee Hall, Room 180, in the Lemberg Academic Center. 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 of Eugene Gross, a founding member of the physics faculty at Brandeis University and well known 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.
  8. Saturday, October 21, 2006.
  9. Saturday, October 13, 2007.
  10. Saturday, October 18, 2008.
  11. Saturday, October 10, 2009.

Organizing committee

Advisory committee

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

Updated 15 October 2010.