Spring 2019

A look inside the black box of scientific publishing

Speaker(s): 
Dr. Matteo Cavalleri
Dates: 
Friday, March 15, 2019 - 10:00am

Publishing the results of one’s research is an integral part of the scientific process, yet scholarly journals are often seen as black boxes by researchers. What happens to a paper after it is submitted? Who is deciding on its fate? What is the role of the journal editor and the editorial office? How does the peer-review process work, and are its core principles still relevant in today’s changing publishing landscape? 
In this talk I will discuss these questions in an attempt to de-mystify the peer review process from an editor's perspective, and provide advice for getting your...

Tavis Jacobs utilize electron microscopy to measure adhesion properties of nanoparticles

  • By Huiling Shao
  • 5 March 2019

To advance the understanding of micro- and nano-surfaces and to engineer more stable nanoparticles, the National Science Foundation has awarded the University of Pittsburgh’s Tevis Jacobs a $500,000 CAREER Award, which supports early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Dr. Jacobs, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, will utilize electron microscopy to directly study and measure adhesion properties of nanoparticles and their supporting substrates.

Dr. Jacobs noted that current processes to counter nanoparticle coarsening utilize stabilizing materials, but matching the most effective stabilizer to a nanoparticle is a time-consuming and costly trial-and-error process. The CAREER award will enable Dr. Jacobs and his lab group to develop new methods to measure the attachment and stability of nanoparticles on surfaces under various conditions, allowing researchers to enhance both surfaces and nanoparticles in tandem to work more effectively together.

Written by Paul Kovach.

Read more here

Phase-field Modeling of Polar States in Ferroelectric Heterostructures

Speaker(s): 
Long-Qing Chen
Dates: 
Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 4:00pm

This presentation will discuss the applications of the phase-field method to understanding and discovering new mesoscale polar states that might emerge from nanoscale ferroelectric heterostructures subject to different mechanical and electric boundary conditions. As an example, the determination of thermodynamic conditions and geometric length scales leading to the formation of ordered polar vortex lattice as well as mixed states of regular domains and vortices in ferroelectric superlattices of PbTiO 3 /SrTiO 3 using phase-field simulations and analytical theory will be presented. Switching of these vortex lattice states might produce other transient polar states such as polar skyrmions. It is shown that the stability of these vortex lattices involves an intimate competition between long-range electrostatic, long-range elastic,
and short-range polarization gradient-related interactions leading to both an upper- and a lower- bound to the length scale at which these states can be observed. We further predicted the periodicity phase diagrams that show excellent agreements with experimental observations by collaborators.

My escape from the lab: scientific publishing

Speaker(s): 
Dr. Matteo Cavalleri
Dates: 
Thursday, March 14, 2019 - 4:00pm

Across the world and across disciplines, numbers reveal that the term “alt-ac” – referring to positions within higher education and research alternative to the professoriate – is a misnomer. Permanent academic jobs are, in fact, the “alt-ac”. In this talk, I’ll share my (happy) experience going from a computational chemistry lab to my current career on the “other side” of scientific publishing, and explores roles for STEM Ph.D.s in the publishing industry.

Daniel Lambrecht receives a Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award

  • By Huiling Shao
  • 19 February 2019

Prof. Daniel Lambrecht has been selected to receive a 2019 Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award. The Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award recognizes teaching excellence by members of the University of Pittsburgh's faculty. Teaching is defined broadly and includes all activities that faculty members engage in to facilitate learning by undergraduate, professional, or graduate students: lecturing; clinical teaching; conducting seminars, tutorials, or recitations; etc. This award consists of a cash prize to the faculty member and a grant to support the faculty member's teaching activities. Daniel will be publicly recognized at the 2019 Honors Convocation.

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Phase-Change Photonics for All-Optical Memory and Computation

Speaker(s): 
Dr. Nathan Youngblood
Dates: 
Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 12:00pm

Phase-change materials have been used commercially as an optical storage medium in the last few decades owing to their high optical contrast and long-term stability, but only recently has a fully integrated photonic device been demonstrated. This approach not only enables all-optical memory on-chip, but also allows multilevel data storage with improved SNR, low switching energy, and high speed operation. In this talk, an overview of integrated, non-volatile photonic memory based on the phase-change material Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) will be presented, together with...

Lillian Chong Presented Protein-protein Binding Pathway using Fully-continuous, Explicit-solvent Simulations

  • By Huiling Shao
  • 12 February 2019

 

The latest study by Lillian Chong and Ali Saglam in her group demonstrated the power of the weighted ensemble (WE) strategy in enabling explicit-solvent MD simulation of a protein–protein binding process.(Click here for the protein-protein binding simulation video) Their results provide a number of insights regarding the binding mechanism that cannot be obtained by laboratory experiments.

The research by Lillian Chong group appeared in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Chemical Science (DOI: 10.1039/C8SC04811H). The WE strategy and others like it have great promise in providing insights involving binding kinetics for a variety of research areas, including biophysics, catalysis, protein engineering, and material design.

 

Quantum Day 2019

Speaker(s): 
Quantum Day 2019
Dates: 
Friday, April 12, 2019 - 9:00am

Schedule of Activities

9:30 am: Welcome session (hosted by Jeremy Levy)

9:45 am: Experimental demo (hosted by Gurudev Dutt’s group)

10:15 am: Break & Snacks

10:30 am: Mini Talks

10:30 am: Mini talk 1, David Waldeck

10:45 am: Mini talk 2, Sean Garrett-Roe

11:00 am: Mini talk 3, Thomas Purdy

11:15 am: Mini talk 4, David Pekker

11:30 am: Panel discussion and Lunch with...

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