14th Annual Greater Boston Area Statistical Mechanics Meeting
Saturday, October 6, 2012

About 85 people attended the meeting. Thank you to all who participated. We look forward to the 15th meeting next October.

The number of contributed talks was a record, but the large number was a bit unwiedly and difficult to digest, especially in the afternoon when many of us were tired. We are rethinking the format for next year so that speakers will receive more feedback. The tentative format is for a set of speakers to give short abstract/advertisements of their work. We would then have an extended discussion period during which each speaker would sit at a separate table with their laptop or tablet and discuss their work with meeting participants. Such a format might remove some of the work and expense associated with posters, and provide greater feedback to speakers. Your comments and suggestions would be appreciated.

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. Speakers should bring their talk on a flash drive and come at least 10 minutes before their session to the front of the lecture hall to upload their talks. The number of slides should be no more than four so that there is time for questions at the end of each talk.

Coffee and tea will be available at all times. The meeting will conclude at approximately 3:00 pm.

Tentative Schedule

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 Daniel Needleman Harvard University The metaphase spindle as an active liquid crystal
10:00 - 10:40 am Contributed talks (13)
10:40 - 11:00 am Coffee and informal discussions
11:00 am - 12:10 pm Session II Aparna Baskaran, Brandeis University
11:00 - 11:30 am Anatoli Polkovnikov Boston University Efficiency bounds for nonequilibrium heat engines
11:30 - 12:10 am Contributed talks (13)
12:10 - 1:10 pm Lunch and informal conversations
1:10 - 2:20 pm Session III Michael Hagan, Brandeis University Chair
1:10 - 1:40 pm David Weitz Harvard University Fluctuating motion in cells
1:40 - 2:20 pm Contributed talks (13)
2:20 - 2:30 pm Short Break
Session IV TBA Chair
2:30 - 3:00 pm Bulbul Chakraborty Brandeis University Origin of rigidity of dry granular solids: Order in force space

Contributed talks

Session I

  1. Jan Tobochnik, Kalamazoo College and Boston University, Network analysis of patent citations
  2. Nadir Kaplan, Harvard University, Control of membrane geometry by tunable molecular properties
  3. Rosa M. Benito, U. Politecnica de Madrid, Complex network analysis of Twitter data from the 2011 Spanish presidential elections.
  4. Kun Zhao, Northeastern University, Percolation on antagonistic networks
  5. Elias Putzig, Brandeis University, Self regulation and emergent structures in active nematics
  6. Javad Noorbakhsh, Boston University, Quantitative model of microRNA-mRNA interaction
  7. Alex Lang, Boston University, Epigenetic landscapes explain partially-reprogrammed cells and identify key reprogramming transcription factors
  8. Dervis Can Vural, Harvard University, Does complexity lead to aging?
  9. Alex Plyukhin, Saint Anselm College, Microscopic models of Langevin dynamics
  10. Yaouen Fily, Brandeis University, Phase separation of self-propelled particles with no alignment
  11. Jason Olejarz, Boston University, Fate of 2D Kinetic ferromagnets and critical percolation crossing probabilities
  12. Kirill Korolev, MIT, Cooperation at the front of an expanding population
  13. Florentino Borondo, U. Autonoma Madrid, Direct numerical observation of the Kramers turnover in the LiNC = LiCN isomerization rate

Session II

  1. Kang Liu, Boston University, Cluster scaling in the site diluted Ising model
  2. Yang-Yu Liu, Northeastern University, Core percolation on complex networks
  3. Dashun Wang, Northeastern University, Modeling the dynamics of impact
  4. Jason R. Green, UMass, Boston, A nonequilibrium relationship between dynamical entropy and energy dissipation
  5. Lei Dai, MIT, Spatiotemporal warning signals for population collapse
  6. Alvaro Sanchez, MIT, Eco-evolutionary dynamics of a microbial social gene
  7. Andrew Chen, MIT, Predicting the collapse of a predator-prey ecosystem
  8. Rahul Kulkarni, UMass Boston, Analytical representation of protein distributions in stochastic models of gene expression
  9. Kaushik Balasubramanian, Brandeis University, Prolate spheroidal swimmers in shear
  10. Georgios Tsekenis, Northeastern University, Plasticity: A depinning phase transition of mean field character
  11. Roberta Sinatra, Northeastern University, Networks of motifs from sequence of symbols
  12. Shanadeen Begay, Boston University, Conformational analysis of small molecule systems with applications to protein binding studies using statistical temperature molecular dynamics CHARMM
  13. Julien Chopin, Clark University, Morphological transitions of a twisted elastic ribbon

Session III

  1. Burcu Yucesoy, UMass Amherst, The low-temperature phase of the Edwards-Anderson spin glass
  2. Matthew Enjalran, Southern Connecticut State University, Mean-field studies of frustrated itinerant electron systems
  3. Solen Ekesan, Brandeis University, Pseudo-classical electrons to approximate quantum chemistry
  4. Matthew Ludden, University of Maine, Consensus transitions in a coupled lattice Sznajd model
  5. Tom Stone, Husson University, Universal features of different small-world models
  6. Pramesh Singh, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Threshold model with multiple initiators
  7. David Galehouse, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, The impact of broadcasting on the Naming Game
  8. Matthew Kirby, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, The impact of committed agents in a time-varying network
  9. Daniel Goldstein, Brandeis University, The effects of noise on the zero dimensional Brusselator
  10. Nancy Ranxing Li, Boston University, Two-layer model description for the viscosity of polymer films
  11. Dongdong Peng, Boston University, Reduced viscosity in highly entangled polymer films
  12. Fei Chen, Boston University, Glass transition temperature of polymer nano composite films
  13. Nathan Israeloff, Northeastern University, Dynamic correlation of ions in proton exchange membranes

There is no registration fee if you registered by the deadline. The cost of the meeting has been subsidized by the following institutions:

The deadline for registration was Tuesday, October 2. 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 cost of previous meetings was subsidized by the New England Section of the American Physical Society. We thank the New England Section for their prior support and encourage you to join (at no additional charge) the New England Section if you are not already a member.


The meeting will be held on the first floor of the Lemberg Academic Center at Brandeis University, the same as last year. 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 convenient. 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. October 14, 2000.
  3. October 20, 2001.
  4. October 19, 2002.
  5. October 18, 2003.
  6. October 16, 2004.
  7. October 22, 2005.
  8. October 21, 2006.
  9. October 13, 2007.
  10. October 18, 2008.
  11. October 10, 2009.
  12. October 9, 2010.
  13. October 15, 2011.

Organizing committee

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

Updated 9 October 2012.