Spring 2018

Farnam Jahanian Named President of Carnegie Mellon University

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 13 March 2018

Farnam Jahanian, the nationally recognized computer scientist, successful entrepreneur, senior public servant and respected leader in higher education, has been appointed as the 10th president of Carnegie Mellon University. The appointment is effective immediately, with a formal inauguration scheduled for fall 2018.

Jahanian holds a master's degree and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

He currently serves as chair of the National Research Council's Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB), sits on the executive committee of the Council on Competitiveness, and is a trustee of the Dietrich Foundation. He also is a board member of the Computing Research Association (CRA), the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute, and the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, among others.


Jim Bain named ECE's new Associate Department Head for Academic Affairs

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 28 February 2018

 James Bain was recently named ECE's new Associate Department Head for Academic Affairs, effective June 1, 2018. In his new role, Bain will extend his work with the Graduate Studies Committee to the entire student body and play a vital role in establishing ECE's long-term educational strategy.


Peng Liu receives the 2018 Award in Early Excellence in Physical Organic Chemistry

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 28 February 2018

Peng Liu has been named the winner of the 2018 Award in Early Excellence in Physical Organic Chemistry, sponsored by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.  The award presentation will take place at the Reaction Mechanisms Conference, to be held at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, June 10-13, 2018, where he will receive the honorarium of $5000 and a plaque.


Jill E. Millstone is a recipient of the 2018 Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 14 February 2018

Jill E. Millstone has been selected to receive a 2018 Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award in the Junior Scholar category. Jill is recognized for her pioneering contributions in the area of synthesis and physical characterization of nanostructures, the quality of her scientific publications, the early recognition she has received from external organizations (which includes an Associate Editor position at ACS Nano) and for being an effective mentor to her graduate and post-doctoral trainees.

Congratulations Jill Millstone!

Geoff Hutchison wins 2018 Tina and David Bellet Excellence Award

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 7 February 2018

Geoff Hutchison is the 2018 Tina and David Bellet Excellence Awardee. The award recognizes his effectiveness and his innovations in teaching. Among many innovations Hutchinson developed Avagadro molecular editor; with that software, he designed projects hat allow Physical Chemistry students to perform quantum mechanical calculations to visualize results/concepts. 

Frolov and Team Featured on Pitt Website

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 12 January 2018

PQI Members Sergey Frolov, David Pekker, Noa Marom, Michael Hatridge, Benjamin Hunt, and Hrvoje Petek featured on Pitt Website for their accomplisment on landing $4.8M award from National Science Foundation (NSF) for International Research and Education (PIRE) program.Sergey Frolov will be the Director of new PIRE.  Hrvoje Petek, Michael Hatridge and David Pekker are other PQI co-PIs for this project. The duration of the program is 5 years.

Open system approaches for quantum transport through tunneling junctions

François Damanet
Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 4:00pm

Quantum transport is a key area in quantum physics which presents challenges in terms of theoretical description. In this talk, I will present how the non-equilibrium dynamics of tunneling junctions weakly coupled to baths of fermionic or bosonic particles can be investigated using open system approaches, namely input-output formalisms and master equations. As a specific example, I will first present our study of electron transport in a quantum dot tunneling junction connecting two normal or superconducting leads, where both single-particle and Cooper-pair tunneling are considered. In particular, I will show how signatures of Andreev bound states can be obtained in the output currents. Then, I will present our results on spin transport in a quadratic spin system connecting baths modeled as XXZ spin chains. Based on non-Markovian master equations for the system and t-Matrix Product States simulations to compute the bath correlation functions, we showed that the spin current through the system can be enhanced due to the presence of the interaction in the baths as well as exhibit transient rectification (i.e. different current under bias exchange). Finally, I will sketch a more general outlook on how non-Markovian master equations could be used to study the transport properties of a system of unknown spectrum, which is particularly useful for the case of complicated time-dependent or many-body system Hamiltonians.

Imanuel Bier Receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 24 April 2018

Imanuel Bier is a graduate student in our member Noa Marom's research group. His research combines his interests in quantum mechanical simulations with applied semiconductor research. He has been using computers to study the electron mobilities of organic semiconductors. This research uses a combination of quantum mechanical simulations with machine learning methods to identify correlations between the structure of an organic semiconductor and its electronic properties. He hopes to extend these techniques to molecular interfaces, similar to those found in thin-film organic solar cells. This research could lead to the discovery and design of organic electronics with enhanced electronic properties.