Latest Updates


May 28 – June 1, 2017:  Graduate students, Monica Ripp and Preeti Sahu attended the UMass Amherst Summer School on Soft Solids and Complex Fluids.


May 26th, 2017: Graduate Student, Suraj Shankar awarded with the best poster for the contributed poster titled “Topological Sound and Flocking on Curved Surfaces” at the 7th Northeast Complex Fluids and Soft Matter Workshop, Friday, May 26th, 2017, at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA.


April 19, 2017: Prof. Cristina Marchetti signs the Ehrenfest wall after delivering the Colloquium Ehrenfestii in Leiden.


April 19, 2017: Our local Syracuse Museum of Science and Technology creates an educational video every few months. These “Science Minutes” are meant to be a simple reminder of how science influences our daily lives. In the most recent science minute, our SMP Graduate Student Michael Czajkowski explains the physics of bottle-flipping. Watch the video here


April 13, 2017:  Postdoc, David Yllanes published an article in Physical Review Letters titled, Matching Microscopic and Macroscopic Responses in Glasses.


March 22, 2017:  Graduate Student, Suraj Shankar was one of six graduate students to be selected as a KITP Graduate Fellow for the Fall of 2017.  Read more here.


March 3, 2017:  Graduate student Giuseppe Passucci was awarded an honorable mention for his poster entitled “Inhibition of ROCK Signaling Pathway Disrupts Cell-Substrate Alignment” at the Stevenson Biomaterials Research Poster Session.


March 12, 2017:  Numerous SMP grad students, postdocs, and faculty presented at the 2017 APS March Meeting in New Orleans.  For the full list, titles, and abstracts, click here.


March 12, 2017:  Postdoctoral associate Matthias Merkel was awarded the postdoctoral speaker award by the APS Group for Statistical and Nonlinear Physics (GSNP). He presented his work on a rigidity transition in three-dimensional confluent tissues in a dedicated award session at the APS March Meeting in New Orelans.


February 21, 2017:  Postdoc, David Yllanes recent article,  A statics-dynamics equivalence through the fluctuation–dissipation ratio provides a window into the spin-glass phase from nonequilibrium measurements, was published in PNAS.


February 8, 2017:  Prof. Joey Paulsen was awarded a five-year, $761,314 grant from the NSF. This grant allows Prof. Paulsen to work with his students and postdoc on the soft matter physics of how thin sheets wrap, crumple, wrinkle, and fold around small droplets of fluid and similar systems. CAREER grants fund both research work and innovative educational initiatives: Joey will connect with the public through lectures and a proposed installation at the Museum of Science and Technology.  More here.


January 18, 2017:  Prof. Joey Paulsen’s paper titled, Geometry-driven folding of a floating annular sheet. D Paulsen, V. Démery, K. B. Toga, Z. Qiu, B. Davidovitch, T. P. Russell, and N. Menon. was accepted by Physical Review Letters and will appear in 2017.


January 9, 2017: Postdoc Marco Leoni, former Postdoc Oksana Manyuhina, Professor Mark Bowick, and Professor Cristina Marchetti had their paper accepted in Soft Matter.  Read more here.


January 2107:  the National Science Foundation will support Prof. Joseph Paulsen’s project titled “Ultrathin sheets on curved liquid surfaces: Stress focusing and interfacial assembly”. This grant provides $761,314 over five years for Joey’s work with his students and postdoc on the soft matter physics of how thin sheets wrap, crumple, wrinkle, and fold around small droplets of fluid and similar systems. CAREER grants fund both research work and innovative educational initiatives: Joey will connect with the public through lectures and a proposed installation at the Museum of Science and Technology. Congratulations Prof. Paulsen!


January 2017:  Congratulations to postdoctoral associate Matthias Merkel, who was selected as a finalist for the APS Group for Nonlinear and Statistical Physics (GSNP) postdoctoral speaker award.  He is one of five finalists who will be giving a talk in the special award session at the APS March meeting in New Orleans.


December 2016:  Congratulations to Prof. Lisa Manning who was named a 2016 Simons Investigator.  The award, bestowed by the Simons Foundation, comes with a 5-year, $500,000 grant that is designed to support cutting edge research by outstanding scientists from around the world. The program emboldens work on high risk, high reward projects that have the potential to shift the paradigm of each researcher’s field of study.


November 19, 2016: Prof. Joey Paulsen gave an outreach talk, “Think Fast! The rapid motions of everyday liquids” Café Junior Scientifique (Public talk series for middle school students and families) at the Museum of Science and Technology, Syracuse, NY


November 12, 2016: Prof. Joey Paulsen gave a talk for undergraduates, titled, “Self-organization of non-Brownian spheres or: Writing memories in sludge” at the Undergraduate Research Day Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY.


October 14, 2016:  Prof. Joey Paulsen, awarded a two-year, $110,000, grant to study soft matter physics. The award, presented by the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund, will help to support his lab and research efforts throughout his current project titled, “Hyperuniform Dispersal of Non-Brownian Particles in Viscous Liquids”.  Read more here.


October 4, 2016: Prof. Joey Paulsen gave a contributed talk, “Sheets shaping liquids and liquids shaping sheets” Society of Engineering Science, Annual Technical Meeting University of Maryland, College Park, MD.


September 21, 2016:  Prof. Joey Paulsen gave an invited talk, “Making do with less: Optimal wrapping of liquid droplets with ultrathin sheets” Physics Department Colloquium
University of Rochester.


September 9, 2016:  Prof. Joey Paulsen gave an invited talk, “No instructions necessary: Thin sheets are optimal wrappers of liquid drops Surface activity driven by material geometry and elasticity
” at the University of Massachusetts Amherst


August 5, 2016: Physics featured an article on “Arts & Culture: A Quartet for Soft Matter“.  A write up from our Active and Smart Matter conference and the World Premier of Hexacorda Mollia. Read more here.


August 2016:  Congratulations to Prof. Cristina Marchetti the National Science Foundation will support Prof. Cristina Marchetti’s project titled “Dynamics and Mechanics of Active Matter”.   This grant provides $420,000 over three years for Cristina’s work on active soft matter (including phenomena such as the motion of cells, active colloids, or groups of fibers moved by molecular motors).


July 26, 2016:  Vice Chancellor and Provost Michelle Wheatly has appointed Prof. Cristina Marchetti as Distinguished Professor of Physics. This honor is for those few faculty members who have extraordinary scholarly achievements, as judged by national and international peers. It acknowledges that she is one of the most productive and distinguished faculty members, reflecting her “extraordinary accomplishments in teaching, student mentoring, service, and research”. Congratulations Prof. Marchetti on this very well-deserved honor!


July 25 2016: Prof. Joey Paulsen presented at the Gordon Research Conference on Thin Film & Small Scale Mechanical Behavior, Bates College, Lewiston, ME


July 2016:  Prof. Lisa Manning gave an invited talk “Glassiness and heterogeneity in biological tissues”, StatPhys 26 Lyon, France.


June 20-23, 2016:   Syracuse University hosted International ‘Active and Smart Matter: A New Frontier for Science and Engineering’ Conference.  Organized by Cristina Marchetti, James Henderson, Joseph Paulsen, Ashok Sangani and Jen Schwarz.


June 9 2016: Prof. Joey Paulsen presented at the 67th New England Complex Fluids Workshop, MIT


June 3 2016: Prof. Joey Paulsen presented at the 14th Northeast Granular Workshop, University of Massachusetts Amherst


May 2016: Prof. Lisa Manning gave an invited biophysics seminar, “The physics of collective cell motility” at UCLA.


May 2016: Prof. Lisa Manning gave an invited physics colloquium, “Jamming in biological tissues” at UCLA.


April 2016:  Prof. Lisa Manning gave an invited talk, “The human body as a living material”,  ACC Meeting of the Minds, Syracuse NY.


April 15 2016: Prof. Joey Paulsen presented at the DAMPT Fluid Mechanics Seminar, Cambridge University.


April 11, 2016:  Prof. Joey Paulsen presented at the Guliver Seminar, ESPCI ParisTech: Noise stabilization of multiple memories in sheared non-brownian suspensions.


April 8, 2016:  Prof. Joey Paulsen presented at the Séminaire PMMH, ESPCI ParisTech:  The Wavelength of wrinkles in elastic sheets on curved topographies.


March 2016:  Prof. Lisa Manning gave an invited public lecture, “The human body as a living material”, at the Physics of Development and Disease conference, Aspen CO.


March 16, 2016:  Prof. Joey Paulsen gave an contributed talk,  “Geometry-driven folding transitions in floating thin films” at the APS March Meeting, Baltimore, MD.


March 13, 2016:  Syracuse Soft Matter Program well represented  at 2016 APS March meeting.  A number of members of the Syracuse Soft Matter program gave presentations at the  2016 March Meeting of the APS in Baltimore: Faculty members Mark Bowick and Joseph Paulsen Postdocs Matthias Merkel, Matteo Paoluzzi, Oksana Manyuhina and former postdoc Max Bi Graduate students Giuseppe Passucci, Michael Czajkowski, Adam Patch, Kazage Utuje,Tao Zhang, Prashant Mishra, David Mayett, Suraj Shankar, Duanduan Wan and former student Xingbo Yang


Profs. Cristina Marchetti and Jen Schwarz, and postdoc David Yllanes all gave invited talks at the meeting.


March 9, 2016:  Prof. Mark Bowick and Prof. Jen Schwarz’s recent work on, “Shape-Shifting Droplet Networks” was featured in Physical Review Letters.


March 4, 2016: Graduate Student, Adam Patch won 3rd place at the Stevenson Biomaterials Lecture & Research Poster Session. “Finite-size effects on pressure and dynamics of motility-induced phase separation” by Adam Patch, David Yllanes, M. Cristina Marchetti


March 2016:  Prof. Lisa Manning has been selected for recognition with a “Young Scientist Award” by the Commission on Statistical Physics of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics. Prof. Manning has been invited to present her work in Lyon, France at this summer’s StatPhys meeting.


February 23, 2016:  Prof. Cristina Marchetti presented at KITP, “Jamming in cell momolayers“.  UC Santa Barbara, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics


February 22, 2016:  Prof. Mark Bowick presented at KITP, “The Statistical Mechanics of Sliced Graphene Ribbons“.  UC Santa Barbara, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics


February 8, 2016:  Prof. Joey Paulsen presented at KITP, “The wavelength of wrinkles in curved tensioned sheets“. UC Santa Barbara, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics.


December 2015:  Prof. Joey Paulsen’s publication was the December cover photo in Nature Materials for, “Optimal wrapping of liquid droplets with ultrathin sheets”


October 30, 2015: Prof. Cristina Marchetti presented at an invited seminar, “Active glasses: from colloids to living cells”, University of Leipzig


October 29, 2015:  Prof. Lisa Manning participated in a panel discussion, “Value of an Intense Liberal Arts Education at Syracuse University” with the CAS Board of Visitors.


October 26-28, 2015:  Prof. Cristina Marchetti was an invited speaker at the conference Women in Applied Maths and Soft Matter Physics, Mainz, Germany. She spoke on “Active glasses: from colloids to living cells”. She also served on a panel discussion on career development.


October 26, 2015: Prof. Lisa Manning gave an invited talk, “Glassiness and Jamming in biological tissues”, Frontiers in Pattern formation and Complex Materials, National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC


October 23, 2015: Prof. Lisa Manning gave an invited talk, “Predicting the mechanical properties of dense or confluent tissues”, Quantitative Cell Biology conference, Chicago, IL


October 13, 2015: Prof. Lisa Manning presented a colloquium, “The physics of how cells move in biological tissues” at Hamilton College


October 1, 2015: Prof. Lisa Manning presented at a colloquium, “Understanding asthma and developing embryos using insights from mayonnaise” at Vanderbilt University


September 21-25, 2015: Prof. Cristina Marchetti was an invited speaker at the Lorentz Center Workshop on Active Liquids, Leiden, Netherlands


September 9, 2015:  Prof. Lisa Manning gave an invited talk, “Jamming and Glassiness in Dense Biological Tissues”, at the Physics of Cancer conference in Leipzig, Germany.


September 11, 2015:  Prof. Lisa Manning gave an invited seminar, “Jamming and Glassiness in Dense Biological Tissues”, at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden, Germany.


September 7, 2015:  A paper from Prof. Joseph Paulsen’s postdoc work was recently published in Nature Materials (doi:10.1038/nmat4397). This work was featured in two news articles and a UMass Amherst press release, which was picked up by many news sites.


September 3, 2015:  Prof. Cristina Marchetti presented a non-linear dynamics seminar, “Collective mechanics of epithelial cell layers”, Duke University.


September 2, 2015:  Prof. Cristina Marchetti gave a physics colloquium, “Self-Organization and Mechanics of Active Matter”, Duke University.


August 2015:  Prof. Lisa Manning was elected as vice-chair of the Gordon Soft Matter Conference for 2017, and will serve as chair in 2019.  She agreed to serve as chair of the membership committee for the new GSOFT topical group of the American Physical Society.


August 13, 2015:  Prof. Joey Paulsen presented a talk selected from posters, Gordon Research Conference on Soft Condensed Matter Physics, Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH Gordon Research Conference on Soft Condensed Matter Physics


August 2015:  “Syracuse Physicists Excel at Gordon Research Conference in New Hampshire”, Mark Bowick, Lisa Manning, Cristina Marchetti and Joseph Paulson were among the presenters. Link: Headlines from the Hall (College of Arts and Sciences)


August 2015:  A proposal co-written by Prof. Duncan Brown and Prof. Lisa Manning, along with Samuel Scozzafava (Interim Chief Information Officer and VP for ITS), Eric Sedore (Associate CIO for Infrastructure Services), and Melissa Green of ECS, has been funded. The proposal is titled “CC*DNI Engineer: Leading the Way for Research Computing at Syracuse University and Beyond”. The grant of $396,098 will be used to provide technical support for research computing, including a permanent staff person over two years with the intent of continuing support from SU, and will be of general benefit to our department and others.


August 13, 2015: Prof. Lisa Manning, and Dapeng ‘Max’ Bi, a postdoctoral researcher, were mentioned in MedicalXpress.com coverage of asthma cell research.


August 12, 2015: Prof. Cristina Marchetti: chaired a session on “Biological Active Matter” at the Gordon Research Conference on Soft Condensed Matter Physics, New London, NH.


August 12, 2015:  Prof. Lisa Manning: invited talk “Jamming and glassiness in biological tissues”, Gordon Soft Matter Conference, New London, NH.


August 11, 2015: Prof. Mark Bowick: invited talk “Shape-shifting Droplet Networks”, Soft Matter Gordon Research Conference, New London, NH.


August 9, 2015:  Prof. Lisa Manning served on as a panelist on a “Careers in Physics” panel at the Gordon Soft Matter Seminar for graduate students and postdoctoral associates.


August 4, 2015:  Prof. Lisa Manning has been awarded a RO1 grant for the NIH in the amount of $1,020,785 over 4 years.   This grant will support the Manning group on a project titled “Quantitative Modeling of Cell Shape Changes During Organogenesis”. Where they will develop theoretical models of tissue and organ formation in collaboration with Jeff Amack at SUNY Upstate.  Congratulations, Lisa!


July 24, 2015:  Prof. Lisa Manning gave an invited seminar, “Glassiness and Jamming in biological tissues” at the Condensed Matter Summer School at CU Boulder in Boulder, Colorado.


July 10, 2015:  Prof. Lisa Manning gave an invited talk, “Increasing diversity in STEM via interventions in introductory physics courses” at the Cottrell Scholar Conference in Tucson Arizona.


June 29 – July 3, 2015:  Prof. Cristina Marchetti was an invited speaker at the, Advances in Complex Systems, Lake Como School of Advanced Studies.


June 29-July 3, 2015:  Prof. Mark Bowick gave an invited talk, “Shape-shifting droplet networks”, at the Advances in Complex Systems, Lake Como School of Advanced Studies


June 23 & 24, 2015:  Prof. Cristina Marchetti was an invited speaker at the Physics and Biology of Active Systems, University of Aberdeen, Scotland.


June 23 & 24, 2015:  Prof. Mark Bowick gave an invited talk, “Shape-shifting droplet networks”, at the Physics and Biology of Active Systems, University of Aberdeen, Scotland.


June 11, 2015:  Prof. Mark Bowick gave an invited talk, “Graphene Statistical Mechanics”,  at the 20th Itzykson Meeting, Saclay, Paris, France.


June 10, 2015:  Prof. Cristina Marchetti presented a seminar, “Collective Mechanics of Epithelial Cell Layers” at the Institut Curie, Paris.


May 2015:  A proposal by Prof.  Lisa Manning and collaborators at the University of Chicago and Cold Spring Harbor has been approved for funding by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The proposal is titled “Immersive DNA force sensors and predictive mechanical modeling for tissue morphogenesis”. The funds are distributed evenly, with $56,250 for Syracuse University


May 2015:  The Board of Trustees has approved the Provost’s decision that Prof. Lisa Manning be granted tenure and promoted to the rank of Associate Professor.


May 29, 2015:  Prof. Mark Bowick gave an invited talk titled, “Polyhedral Order in Soft Systems’, at the Statistical Physics and Mechanics of Forms and Shapes, in Mariehamn, Aland, Finland.


May 18, 2015:  The Simons Foundation has awarded Prof. Cristina Marchetti with $472,636 to support her efforts in the study of biological matter.  The project is titled, “Models of collective cell migration and sorting”.


May 12-16, 2015:  Prof. Cristina Marchetti gave an invited talk at the International Conference on Physics of Active Matter, Suzhou, China.


May 5, 2015:  Postdoc Dapeng “Max” Bi: presented a talk on, “Rigidity and glassy dynamics in confluent biological tissues”, at the Physics of Active Matter meeting in Suzhou, China


May 4-5, 2015:  Prof. Cristina Marchetti gave an invited talk at The Tony and Pat Houghton Conference on Non-Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics, Brown University


April 29, 2015:  Prof. Cristina Marchetti gave a physics colloquium, “Self-Organization and Mechanics of Active Matter”, City College of CUNY.


April 15, 2015:  Prof. Cristina Marchetti presented a seminar on Liquid Crystal Institute, “Dynamics and Topology in Active Liquid Crystals”, at Kent State University, OH.


April 7, 2015:  Prof. Mark Bowick presented, “Polyhedra as Ground States of Liquid Crystalline Shells”, an invited research seminar, at ICERM, Brown University.


April 3, 2015:  Prof. Cristina Marchetti presented at the biophysics seminar on, “The collective mechanics of epithelial cell layers”, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL.


April 2, 2015:  Prof. Cristina Marchetti presented at the physics colloquium on, “Self-Organization and Mechanics of Active Matter”, held at The University of Chicago, IL.


March 20, 2015:  Prof. Mark Bowick gave an invited talk, “Unusual Minima on Curved Surfaces” at the ICERM workshop, Small Clusters, Polymer Vesicles and Unusual Minima, Brown University.


March 16 – 20, 2015:  Prof. Mark Bowick was the principal organizer of the workshop, Small Clusters, Polymer Vesicles and Unusual Minima, held at ICERM, Brown University.


March 14, 2015:  Prof. Lisa Manning gave an invited talk, “Connecting biomolecular mechanisms to tissue mechanics” at the Scialog: Molecules come to Life conference in Tucson AZ.


March 14, 2015:  Prof.  Cristina Marchetti was an invited panel facilitator in the Scialog: Molecules come to Life conference in Tucson, AZ.


March 6, 2015:  Graduate student, David Mayett (in Schwarz group): gave two contributed talks,  “Growth morphologies in active elastic bilayers” and “Interacting active elastic dimers: Two cells moving on a rigid track”.


March 6, 2015:  Postdoc, Dapeng “Max” Bi gave an invited talk, “Glass transition originating from a rigidity transition in confluent biological tissues”, at the APS March Meeting, San Antonio TX.


March 6, 2015:  Graduate student, Kazage J. C. Utuje (in Marchetti group): gave a contributed talk, “Propagating Stress Waves in Spreading and Confined Cell Monolayers


March 2, 2015:  Prof. Lisa Manning gave an invited talk, “Glassiness and Jamming in biological tissues” in the Frontiers of Soft Matter seminar at the APS March Meeting.


February 2 – May 8, 2015:  Prof. Mark Bowick is one of the principal organizers of ICERM Semester Program on “Phase Transitions and Emergent Properties”, Brown University, Providence, RI.


February 2015:  Prof. Lisa Manning received a Cottrell Scholar Award. Her proposed work is“Using Single-Cell Mechanical Properties to Predict Pattern Formation and Mechanical Response in Biological Tissues”. Cottrell Scholar Awards recognize early career faculty with exceptional potential in both research and academic leadership and provides $75,000 over three years for research support.


February 7, 2015:  Prof. Lisa Manning gave an invited talk, “A random matrix definition of the boson peak”, Unifying Concepts in Glass Physics Conference in Aspen, CO.


January 2015:  Kazage Utuje (graduate student) wrote a report “Two stand-out models of physics education and outreach in South Africa”, together with two fellow attendees of the I-CAMP in South Africa which is featured in physicstoday/news.


January 26, 2015:  Prof. Cristina Marchetti presented at the MRSEC colloquium, “Active granular matter: phase separation, sorting and jamming”, Penn State.


January 9-11, 2015:  Prof. Cristina Marchetti gave an invited talk, “Dynamics and Topology in Active Liquid Crystals” at Berkeley Mini Stat Mech Meeting, UC Berkeley.


January 12-13, 2015:  Mark Bowick represented the Cornell-SyracuseHarvard Graphene Metamaterials Origami and Kirigami collaboration at the DOE/NSF Materials Genome Initiative (MGI) Principal Investigators’ Meeting in Bethesda, Maryland.


January 2015:  Graduate Students, Kazage Utuje and David Mayett are among this year’s recipients of the Shirley Chan Student Travel Award from the Division of Biological Physics (DBIO) of the American Physical Society (APS). This year, 11 students were awarded the same travel grants of up to $400 per each student as the first author of contributed paper (talk or poster) in sessions sponsored by DBIO at the upcoming March Meeting. The recipients were chosen on the basis of the quality of their work and will be honored at the DBIO Business Meeting in San Antonio, Texas on Tuesday March 03, 2015.


December 15, 2014:  Prof. Manning gave an invited talk, “Glassiness and Jamming in biological tissues”, 112th Statistical Mechanics Meeting, Rutgers University


December 14, 2014:  Prof. Marchetti gave an invited talk, “Topology and Dynamics in Active Nematics” at the 112th Statistical Mechanics Conference, Rutgers University.


December 6, 2014:  Mark Bowick, Cristina Marchetti and Jen Schwarz were among the co-organizers of the 14th New York Complex Matter Workshop, held at Cornell University on Mark Bowick gave a talk, “Graphene Statistical Mechanics”. Sound Bites (3-minute talks) were given by Oksana Manyuhina (postdoc) and graduate students Xingbo Yang, Avinash Thakur, David Mayett, Giuseppe Passucci, and Tao Zhang (who won a prize for the Best Sound Bite).


December 3, 2014:  Prof Marchetti gave an invited talk, “Active granular matter: phase separation, sorting and jamming”, at the KITP program on Avalanches, Intermittency, and Nonlinear Response in Far-From-Equilibrium Solids”.


Syracuse University has been selected as a host institution for a regional Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) for January, 2016. The Department will host around 100 undergraduate students for 3 days for career exploration, undergraduate research posters, and faculty presentations. The co-chairs are Lisa Manning and Jedidah Isler and the conference is co-sponsored by SU, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy.


November 19, 2014:  Prof. Manning gave a colloquium talk at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self Organization, in Gottingen, Germany on, “Glassy behavior and jamming transitions in biological tissues”.


November 18, 2014:  Prof. Manning presented at a theoretical physics seminar, “Dynamical arrest of cell motion: a constant density phase transition in biological tissues”, in Université Paris Sud, Paris, France.


November 17, 2014:  Prof. Manning gave a lecture, “Glassiness and Jamming in biological tissues”, at the Multiscale Integration in Biophysics school, Institute Curie, Paris, France.


November 11 – 14, 2014:  Prof. Marchetti gave an invited talk, “Spontaneous flows and defects in active liquid crystals”, at the Jülich Soft Matter Days 2014, in Bad Honnef, Germany.


October 29, 2014:  Prof. Manning presented a public lecture, “The Sound of Disorder”,presented by the Syracuse Soft Matter Program, Syracuse University at Watson Theater. [video]


October 22, 2014:  Prof. Manning gave an invited talk:  “Glassy behavior in biological tissues”, at the conference on Complexity in Mechanics at the KITP at UC Santa Barbara


October 20, 2014:  Prof. Marchetti gave a talk at New Horizons in Science 2014 in Columbus OH on “Not just flocking: “Active matter” studies aim to understand wound healing, metastasis”.


October 14, 2014:  The Soft Matter Program hosted Sriram Ramaswamy, Director of the TIFR Centre for Interdisciplinary Science, Hyderabad, India, for a week-long visit (10/13-27). As part of his visit, Prof. Ramasawmy delivered a public lecture entitled “Motile Matter” at 7pm in Watson Theater. [video]


October 10, 2014:  Prof. Manning was invited to KITP workshop on Avalanches, intermittence and nonlinear behavior at UC Santa Barbara to give a seminar on:  “Defects in disordered solids:  Building blocks for avalanches?”


October 10, 2014:  Prof. Marchetti presented at Tufts University’s physics colloquium on “Active Matter”.


September 23, 2014:  Prof. Manning was invited to the Physics and Biology seminar at Rockefellar University to present on, “Dynamical arrest of cell motion in tissues: a
constant-density rigidity transition”


September 5, 2014:  Prof. Marchetti and Prof. Bowick’s article Topology and dynamics of active nematic vesiclesFelix C. Keber, Etienne Loiseau, Tim Sanchez, Stephen J. DeCamp, Luca Giomi, Mark J. Bowick, M. Cristina Marchetti, Zvonimir Dogic, Andreas R. Bausch, published in Science (2014).


September 2, 2014:  Prof. Manning was invited to Widely Applied Math seminar at Harvard University to give a lecture on: “A constant-density jamming transition in biological tissues”.


August 2014:  Prof. Mark Bowick has been awarded a new grant from The National Science Foundation.  The award is for a project titled “Graphene Based Origami and Kirigami Metamaterials” and is in the amount of $300,000 over four years.  This is a collaborative grant with parallel awards at Cornell and Harvard totaling another $1.3M.  These awards will support the study of cutting and folding single layers of carbon to construct meta-materials with designed mechanical and thermal properties.


August 11-22, 2014:  Prof. Marchetti was an invited lecturer at the Pan-American Advanced Study Institute (PASI) on Frontiers in Particulate Media:  From Fundamentals to Applications held in La Plata, Argentina.  She delivered her lectures remotely using video conferencing.


July 21, 2014:  Postdoc Dapeng “Max” Bi gave an invited talk titled “Rigidity in Shear Jammed States”  at the Gordon Research Seminar on Granular and Granular-Fluid Flow help in Easton, MA.


July 19-20 2014:  Postdoc Dapeng “Max” Bi organized and chaired the Gordon Research Seminar on Granular and Granular-Fluid Flow held in Easton, MA.


July 8, 2014:  Prof. Lisa Manning gave an invited podium presentation, “Energy barriers to cell migration in dense tissues” at the World Congress of Biomechanics in Boston, MA.


June 29-July 18 2014:  Prof. Mark Bowick was co-organizer of the Graduate Summer School and Research Program of the IAS/PCMI (Park City Math Institute).


June 24, 2014:  Prof. Manning & Prof. Marchetti’s new paper is published and recommended by JCCM:  Xingbo Yang, M. Lisa Manning and M. Cristina Marchetti, “Aggregation and Segre- gation of confined active particles,” Soft Matter DOI:10.1039/C4SM00927D, (2014).Recommended with a commentary in the Journal Club for Condensed Matter.


June 22, 2014:  Prof. Lisa Manning gave an invited talk entitled “Defects and the boson peak in disordered solids” at the ACS Colloids and Surface Science Conference in Philadelphia, PA.


June 22-July 4, 2014:  Prof. Cristina Marchetti delivered 4 lectures at the 2014 Summer School on Active Systems, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Gwangju, South Korea.


June 22-25, 2014:  (graduate student) Xingbo Yang was selected to give a contributed oral presentation on “Aggregation and Segregation of Confined Self-Propelled Particles” at the ACS Colloid & Surface Science Symposium, 2014, Philadelphia, PA


June 15-29, 2014: 

  • Prof. Mark Bowick was a co-organizer of  I-CAMP 2014: “Summer School on Geometry and Topology in Soft Matter, Optics and Biological Systems”, Stellenbosch, South Africa. He also delivered 4 lectures at the School.
  • Prof. Cristina Marchetti lectured at  I-CAMP 2014: “Summer School on Geometry and Topology in Soft Matter, Optics and Biological Systems”, Stellenbosch, South Africa (4 lectures).
  • (graduate student) Kazage Utuje presented a poster at I-CAMP 2014: “Summer School on Geometry and Topology in Soft Matter, Optics and Biological Systems”, Stellenbosch, South Africa. On the basis of his poster, he was selected to give an oral presentation on “Wave Propagation in Expanding Cell Layers” in a 2-day Workshop at the African School of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in Cape Town, SA, that followed the School.


June 11, 2014:  Prof. Lisa Manning and group published their manuscript: R. M. Baker, M. E. Brasch, M. L. Manning, J. H. Henderson, “Automated, contour- based tracking and analysis of cell behavior over long timescales in environments of varying complexity and cell density,” in press J. Roy. Soc. Interface, doi: 10.1098/rsif.2014.0386 (2014).


May 20, 2014: Prof. Lisa Manning gave a seminar talk entitled, “How do cells move through dense tissues?”, Stanford University Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology.


May 14, 2014: Prof. Cristina Marchetti gave a public lecture, “The Physics of Flocking”, The KITP Public Lecture Series, Kavli Institute For Theoretical Physics, Santa Barbara, CA.


April 2014: The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has elected Prof. Cristina Marchetti as a new member! Read more here!


April 20-26, 2014:

  • Prof. Mark Bowick was co-organizer of the 7th FAPERJ School: The dynamics and assembly of soft structures, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and also presented on “Introduction to Topological Defects”.
  •  Prof. Cristina Marchetti gave a presentation on “Active Matter” at the 7th FAPERJ School:  The dynamics and assembly of soft structures, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

March 2014:

  • Prof. Mark Bowick discussed an upcoming summer school in physics in an ICAM interview.
  • Prof. Cristina Marchetti has been selected as one of this year’s 143 Outstanding Referees of the Physical Review and Physical Review Letters journals. The journal editors recognize referees based on timeliness, quality, and quantity of reports, as deduced from the editors’ long-term database of 80,000 international referees.

March 20, 2014 – Prof. Cristina Marchetti gave a presentation on ‘Defect Dynamics in Active Nematics’ at the KITP Program: Active Matter: Cytoskeleton, Cells, Tissues and Flocks at UCSB.


March 6, 2014 – Prof. Cristina Marchetti gave an invited talk on “Defect Dynamics in Active Nematics” at the 2014 March Meeting of the American Physical Society.


March 3, 2014 – Prof. Mark Bowick gave an invited talk, “Faceted structures in liquid crystalline vesicles” at the 2014 March Meeting of the American Physical Society.


February 2014 :

  • Prof. Mark Bowick is named as a co-organizer of the Research Program for the Graduate Summer School of the PCMI which will be held June 29-July 19, 2014.
  • Prof. Lisa Manning has been awarded a 2014 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship.  She is being recognized for her accomplishments, research potential, and academic leadership.  The Sloan Foundation will provide $50,000 to support her research.  Prof. Manning is one of the only 126 early-career scientists (one of 23 physicists) in the US and Canada to receive this recognition this year.

February 15, 2014 – Prof. Cristina Marchetti gave an invited talk on “Active Matter”’ at the KITP Teachers’ Conference, The Physics of Flocking: from Cells to Crowds’ 


February 7-9 2014 – Prof. Mark Bowick attended the Steering Committee Meeting of the Park City Math Institute (run by the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton) in Midway, Utah.


January 2014:

  • Prof. Cristina Marchetti is named Outstanding Referee of the Physical Review and Physical Review Letters journals.
  • Prof. Cristina Marchetti Elected to the Nominating Committee of the American Physical Society.
  • Prof. Lisa Manning was awarded a new Faculty Early Career Development grant from the National Science Foundation to support work on a project titled “Flow, Failure, and Migration in Glassy Materials”.

January 6 – May 16, 2014 – Prof. Cristina Marchetti is co-organizing a long program at the Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics (KITP) of UC Santa Barbara.  The Program includes a research conference on “Active processes in living and non-living matter”, February 10-14; and a Teacher’s Conference “The physics of flocking: form cells to crowds”, February 15, 2014.


January 27 – February 1, 2014 – Prof. Cristina Marchetti gave an invited talk  “Active Fluids: Bridging Complex Fluids and Biofluids” at the 2014 Aspen Winter Conference.  Aspen Center for Physics


January 13, 2014 – Prof. Cristina Marchetti gave an invited talk “Active Matter:  what is it?” at the KITP Blackboard Lunch. Read More Here


December 18, 2013 – Prof. Mark Bowick gave an invited talk “The Hard Science of Soft Matter”, at The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand


December 17, 2013  – Prof. Cristina Marchetti gave an invited talk “Active Matter”, at The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand


November 2013 – Prof. Cristina Marchetti has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This prestigious honor is for her “pioneering work on statistical mechanical systems far from equilibrium, ranging from vortices in high temperature superconductors to self-organization in biological systems.” This recognition is a very selective one. [Prof. Marchetti has also been just elected to the Nominating Committee of the American Physical Society, the group that sets up the slate for APS elections.]


November 18, 2013 – Prof. Lisa Manning presented at North Carolina State University’s physics colloquium, “The sound of disorder”.


November 14, 2013 – M. Cristina Marchetti was invited to represent the Division of Condensed Matter Physics (DCMP) of the American Physical Society (APS) at a special meeting of representatives from selected units convened by the APS to discuss the placement of soft matter physics within the Society. The meeting was held at the APS headquarters in College Park, MD.


November 9, 2013 – Prof. Cristina Marchetti presented on “Active Matter” at the 8th Undergraduate Research Day and Open House.


September 21, 2013 – Prof. Cristina Marchetti: participated in the Executive Committee Meeting of DCMP in Chicago for the selection of Invited Symposia for the 2014 March meeting of the APS.


August 2013 – The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant to Prof. Cristina Marchetti to work on a project titled “Self-organization of dense active matter”. This award will support research on the collective properties of active matter, which is composed of many interacting self-driven particles, such as swarms of swimming bacteria, self-propelled colloidal particles, and cell colonies or tissues.


August 17-18, 2013 – Prof. Lisa Manning was a panelist for a session on “Building Your Best Scientific Career” and a discussion leader at the Soft Matter Gordon Research Seminar, New London, NH.


July 2013 – Prof. Lisa Manning and Prof. Jay Henderson have been awarded a new grant by the National Science Foundation towards their project titled “Collaborative Research:  Utilization of Smart Materials and Predictive Modeling to Integrate Intracelluar Dynamics with Cell Biomechanics and Collective Tissue Behavior”.  This project will measure and simulate the motion of multiple cells on programmable substrates.


June 10-29, 2013 – Prof. Jemal Guven from the Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City will be visiting as a guest of the Soft Matter Program. During his visit he will be giving 4 lectures on “Geometric approach to fluid membranes and their interactions” in 202 Physics:

  • Friday, June 14, 2013 at 11:00 AM – “The geometry of fluid membranes and the stresses underpinning it” [pdf]
  • Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 11:00 AM – “Membrane mediated interactions; how they behave at boundaries and interfaces; conformal invariance of bending energy and the response of membranes to distributional external forces” [pdf]
  • Friday, June 21, 2013 at 11:00 AM – “Contact constraints and the binding of linear protein complexes to membranes” 
  • Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 11:00 AM – “Membranes as emergent equilibrium structures in a theory of gravity coupled to a symmetric tensor field”

June 12, 2013 – Prof. Cristina Marchetti gave an invited talk, “Phase Separation and Jamming of Active Particles” at the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Conference, Philadelphia, PA


June 5, 2013 – Prof. Cristina Marchetti gave a talk “Continuous descriptions of active matter: Where do we stand?” at MPIPKS Dresden, Germany


May 28, 2013 – Prof. Mark Bowick gave a talk “Order on Curved Surfaces” to the Wales group in the Chemistry Dept., University of Cambridge, UK 


May 23, 2013 – Prof. Cristina Marchetti served as a judge for the 2013 Blavatnik Awards of the New York Academy of Science, New York, NY


May 22, 2013 – Prof. Mark Bowick gave an invited talk “On Shape and Order in Soft Matter” to the MathLab group at SISSA, Trieste, Italy


May 21, 2013 – Prof. Mark Bowick gave a presentation “Open Problems” at the Young Researchers Meeting as part of the Mathematics of Liquid Crystals Program at the Isaac Newton Institute of Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK


May 9, 2013 – Prof. Cristina Marchetti gave an invited talk, “Phase Separation and Assembly in Active Systems,” at the Self-Assembly & Supramolecular Chemistry Gordon Research Conference, Les Diablerets, Switzerland


April 30, 2013 –  Prof. Mark Bowick gave a seminar  “Facets of Order in Liquid Crystalline Vesicles” at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge, UK as part of the Mathematics of Liquid Crystals Program where he spent April 22-May 30.


April 18, 2013 – Prof. Mark Bowick gave an invited talk, “Shape and Order in Soft Matter,” at the 2013 ICAM Annual Conference in Rio di Janeiro, Brazil

2013 ICAM


April 10, 2013 – Prof. Cristina Marchetti gave an invited talk, “Spontaneous flows and defect proliferation in active nematic liquid crystals”, at the Nonlinear Analysis of Continuum Theories: Statics and Dynamics (A Satellite Meeting at the University of Oxford), Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge, UK


March 18, 2013 – Prof. Cristina Marchetti gave a contributed talk, “Defect dynamics in active liquid crystals”, at the APS March Meeting in Baltimore, MD


February 25, 2013 – Prof. Cristina Marchetti gave an invited Biophysics seminar at Princeton University


December 14, 201213th New York Complex Matter Workshop


October 11, 2012 – Seminar speaker: Prof. Margaret Gardel (University of Chicago)


September 30, 2012 – NSF press release: Self-healing Curved Crystals


September 27, 2012 – Seminar speaker: Prof. Bob Meyer (Brandeis University)


August 19-24, 2012 – Prof. Cristina Marchetti speaks at ILCC 212, the 24th International Liquid Crystal Conference, held in Mainz, Germany

Cristina Marchetti at ILCC 2012

August 13, 2012 – Prof. Mark Bowick: “Facets of Order” Invited Talk in the Symposium: Soft Responsive Materials at IMRC 2012, Cancun, Mexico


August 9, 2012 – Prof. Cristina Marchetti: Plenary talk at Dynamics Days Asia Pacific 7 (DDAP7) in Taipei, Taiwan: Collective Dynamics of Active Matter: from “Living Liquid Crystals” to Migrating Cell Layers


July 25, 2012 – Prof. Lisa Manning: “Characterizing the statistics of structural flow defects in granular solids: towards a continuum theory” at the Gordon Research Conference on Granular and Granular-Fluid Flow