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From the Department Head

Nitin Samarth

Welcome to Physics@Penn State! I am proud to belong to a department of innovative scientists, inspiring teachers, creative students, and accomplished alumni. Whether you are an alumnus, friend, prospective student or a casual visitor, I invite you to browse our website and learn about the exciting discoveries Penn State physicists are making at the frontiers of knowledge. According to a multi-year study released by the National Research Council (NRC) in 2010, we are in the top echelon (10-15) of physics departments in the United States (see the website). We also invite you to visit the Eberly College of Science website for a comprehensive overview about the NRC rankings for all departments in our college.

We also seek to attract faculty, graduate students and postdocs to join our department. If you are interested in becoming part of our community, please consult the "Jobs" tab on our web page for current opportunities.

— Nitin Samarth, George A. and Margaret M. Downsbrough Department Head

nsamarth [at] psu [dot] edu

Meet Our Faculty

Reka Albert

Reka Albert

My research interest is in strongly interacting biological systems at the cellular level. My group combines theoretical and computational approaches with close collaboration with experimental groups. Our models incorporate the specific components and interactions of each biological system, and use a parsimonious mathematical description of their dynamics. After successfully describing the normal behavior of the modeled system, we use the models to predict previously unexplored conditions and to find the perturbations that lead to a desired behavior. This type of predictive modeling plays an important role in developing effective therapeutic strategies for complex diseases.

Research experience for undergraduates

The department provides many opportunities for undergraduates to get involved in research. Direct research experience is exciting, and a great way to prepare for careers in science and engineering.

Wei Huang makes adjustments to a microwave-electronicassembly for a laser spectroscopy setup used in a Bose-Einstein condensationapparatus.

If you're interested in doing research, feel free to explore the research programs in the department and our Research Experience for Undergraduates summer program.

Welcome to new colleagues

We were delighted to welcome our new graduate students, postdocs and faculty at the department picnic! They join us from diverse countries, including the United States, Brazil, China, India, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom! New faculty include Dr. B. S. Sathyaprakash, Elsbach Professor of Physics, Dr. Randall Mcentaffer, Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Professor of Physics, and Dr. Michael Smitka, Lecturer in Physics. Three more faculty will join in January 2017: Dr. Carmen Carmona (UCSB), Dr. Luiz deViveiros (UCSB) and Dr. Cui-zu Chang (MIT). 


 (Photo credits: Brett Green)