13th Annual Greater Boston Area Statistical Mechanics Meeting
Saturday, October 15, 2011

About 80 people registered for the meeting! Thank you to everybody who attended and a special thanks to everybody who gave a contributed or invited talk.

Contributed talks Directions Announcements Organizing 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 12-13 contributed talks. The contributed talks will be 2.5 minutes plus 30 seconds for questions (three minutes total).

To simplify the scheduling of the contributed talks, all contributed talks should 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 Bill Klein, Boston University Chair
9:30 - 10:00 am Aparna Baskaran Brandeis University Dynamics and pattern formation in active fluids
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 Greg Huber, University of Connecticut Health Center Chair
11:00 - 11:30 am Andrew Strominger Harvard University Black holes: The harmonic oscillators of the 21st century
11:30 - 12:10 am Contributed talks (12)
12:10 - 1:40 pm Lunch and informal conversations
1:40 - 2:50 pm Session III Michael Hagan, Brandeis University Chair
1:40 - 2:20 pm Contributed talks (12)
2:20 - 2:50 pm Session III Bulbul Chakraborty, Brandeis University Chair
Marta Gonzàlez MIT Analytical model and measurements of aggregated mobility networks

Contributed talks

Session I

  1. Vladyslav Golyk, MIT, Non-equilibrium Casimir forces between cylindrical tubes.
  2. Carl Schreck, Yale University, Nonharmonic vibrations in systems composed of ellipse-shaped particles.
  3. Robert Hoy, Yale University, Sticky hard sphere packings: Isostatic versus hyperstatic.
  4. Ole Peters, Imperial College London, Nonergodicity in geometric random walks.
  5. Jared Harwayne-Gidansky, Yale University, Robust structure solver for enumerating hyperstatic sphere packings.
  6. Dapeng Bi, Brandeis University, Jamming by shear.
  7. Nancy Li, Boston University, Equilibration of polymer films cast from solutions with different solvent qualities.
  8. Gungor Ozer, Boston University, Adaptive steered molecular dynamics.
  9. Andrew Clough, Boston University, Solvent swelling as a means to control the properties of polymer films.
  10. Julien Chopin, Clark University, Building a granular tower one drop at a time.
  11. Alex Plyukhin, Saint Anselm College, Generalized fluctuation-dissipation relations.

Session II

  1. Pu Wang, MIT, Finding road usage patterns in modern cities.
  2. Jason Olejarz, Boston University, Growth inside a corner: Limiting interface shape.
  3. Tom Stone, Husson University, A conjecture concerning universality in small-world systems with an absorbing state.
  4. Yang-Yu Liu, Northeastern University, Control centrality and hierarchical structure in complex networks.
  5. Daniel Volovik, Boston University, The role of reinforcement in the spread of fads and innovations.
  6. Alan Gabel, Boston University, A random walk picture of basketball.
  7. David Hunt, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Synchronization in noisy networks with multiple time delays.
  8. Andrea Asztalos, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Dynamical robustness of spatial networks.
  9. Pramesh Singh, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Accelerating consensus on co-evolving networks: The effect of committed individuals.
  10. Ferenc Molnar, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Invasion, coexistence and extinction driven by preemptive competition and sex ratio.
  11. Jierui Xie, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Social influence of committed minorities in a two-party system.
  12. Burcu Yucesoy, UMass Amherst, Characteristic time scales and overlap distributions in replica exchange Monte Carlo simulations of spin glasses.

Session III

  1. Karthik Shekhar, MIT, Random matrix theory reveals the immunologic vulnerability of HIV.
  2. Zuojun Guo, Boston College, Probing the alpha-helical structural stability of stapled p53 peptides.
  3. Seyit Kale, Brandeis University, Multiple time scales of proton transfer in aqueous media.
  4. C. Nadir Kaplan, Brandeis University, Chiral smectics A: Unified theory of isolated membranes and pi-twist-wall defects.
  5. Maksim Imakaev, MIT, Chromatin folding in eukaryotes from the point of view of polymer physics.
  6. Dongdong Peng, Boston University, A closer look at the two layer model for polymer thin films.
  7. Bhaswati Bhattacharyya, JNCASR, Active chemical thermodynamics: Time temperature transformation curves in chemical reactions regulated by cytoskeletal activity.
  8. Dongshan Wei, Boston University, Thermal conductivity simulations of micrometer scale graphene.
  9. Michael Giver, Brandeis University, A stochastic model of chemical oscillations on a lattice.
  10. Johannes Taktikos, Technical University Berlin/Harvard University, Modeling of self-propelled autochemotactic walkers.
  11. Raghunath Chelakkot, Brandeis University, A particle based computational model of Eukaryotic flagella.
  12. S. S. Ashwin, Yale University, A statistical mechanics of jammed packings: incorporating basin volumes.

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 registered 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. The deadline for registration was Tuesday, October 11. If you missed 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 slightly different than in recent years. The meeting will be held in Silver Auditorium, Room 117, in the Sachar International 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. 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.
  12. Saturday, October 9, 2010.

Organizing committee

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

Updated 16 October 2011.