CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Research Awards Announced

Allie Hoch (honorable mention), John Silberholz (finalist) and Richard McCutchen (winner) received CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Research Awards for 2010. A copy of the announcement will appear in the January 2010 issue of Computing Research News. It will also be posted on CRA's website ( later this week.


ADM Conference Celebrating Arnowitt, Deser and Charles Misner’s Fundamental Contribution to the Field

Texas A&M University, supported by the Department of Physics and College of Science, is holding a three-day conference in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the ADM formulation. The ADM formulation, developed by Richard Arnowitt, Stanley Deser and Maryland’s Charles Misner, restructured the dynamics of general relativity. The conference will be held November 7 – 8 and will celebrate the contribution to the understanding of gravitation. Additionally, it will focus on current research and developments in the field.

In Dr. Misner's words: Einstein's 1915 gravitation equations had both unfamiliar content (spacetime is curved) but also a mathematical form that intimidated physicists (including Einstein) familiar with Newton's mechanics and Maxwell's electromagnetism.  In 1959 Arnowitt, Deser, and Misner (ADM) found a way to recast Einstein's equations in a ("Hamiltonian") form which allowed hard-won mechanical and electromagnetic intuitions to be applied to gravity. One result was to encourage attempts to solve Einstein's equations on computers, which in the last couple decades has grown into a major method for understanding black hole interactions.

For more information on the conference, visit

Kara Hoffman Awarded the 2009 Richard A. Ferrell Distinguished Faculty Fellowship

Assistant Professor Kara Hoffman has received the 2009 Richard A. Ferrell Distinguished Faculty Fellowship, which recognizes outstanding personal effort and expertise in physics as well as dedicated service to the UMD Department of Physics. The Fellowship, established in 2001, honors Dr. Richard A. Ferrell, a deeply-respected physicist who joined the University in 1953, served 40 years, and remained active in the department even after his retirement. Dr. Ferrell died in 2005 at his nearby University Park home.

Professor Hoffman is a particle astrophysicist whose current areas of focus are AURA (the Askaryan Underice Radio Array) and the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole. She was the recent recipient of an NSF CAREER award and in 2007 received the Board of Visitors' Distinguished Junior Faculty Award from the College of Computer, Mathematical and Physical Sciences.


Victor Galitski Awarded Board of Visitors Junior Faculty Award

Victor Galitski was awarded the CMPS Board of Visitors Junior Faculty Award.  Dr. Galitski is a highly-regarded theorist in our Condensed Matter Physics Group. The focus of his research includes diverse subjects of spin transport, many-body cold atom systems, graphene, strongly correlated systems, superconductivity, quantum phase transitions and topological phases of matter.

The award carries a cash prize of $2,500 and will be presented in October.

First Recipient Named for Richard E. Prange Prize

Nobelist Philip Anderson's inaugural lecture set for Oct. 20 at UMD

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Pioneering theorist and Nobel laureate Philip W. Anderson has been named the first recipient of the Richard E. Prange Prize and Lectureship in Condensed Matter Theory and Related Areas. Anderson will deliver a public presentation at the University of Maryland, College Park on Oct. 20, 2009.

The annual award, newly established by the UMD Department of Physics and Condensed Matter Theory Center (CMTC), honors the late Professor Richard Prange, whose distinguished career at Maryland spanned four decades (1961-2000). The Prange Prize is made possible by a gift from Dr. Prange's widow, Dr. Madeleine Joullié of the University of Pennsylvania.

Anderson, currently Joseph Henry Professor of Physics at Princeton University, made indispensable contributions to what is known about the behavior of charges in different sorts of "solid state" systems such as those employed in transistors and other electronic devices. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1977 for "fundamental theoretical investigations of the electronic structure of magnetic and disordered systems." In 1982 he received the National Medal of Science from President Ronald Reagan for "fundamental and comprehensive contributions to the theoretical understanding of condensed matter."

Anderson's lecture, titled "Presenting Unpopular Theories," will be delivered at the University of Maryland's John Toll Physics Building at 4:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Oct. 20 in the Physics Lecture Hall, Room 1412. The event is open to the public.

Dr. Richard Prange did his graduate studies at the University of Chicago, where he worked with Nobelist Yoichiro Nambu, among others. Prange was the editor of a widely known book on the quantum Hall effect, but his interests reached well beyond condensed matter, extending into every substantive aspect of theoretical physics including seminal work on quantum chaos. He was at complete ease discussing subjects as disparate as ferromagnetism and the cosmological constant. His interests also included history and travel.

At the University of Maryland, he played a vital role in the life of the Physics Department, leading a substantial reform of its undergraduate major program and serving as chair of crucial departmental committees.

"Richard enjoyed a fascinating and fulfilling career at the University of Maryland exploring condensed matter physics, and even after retirement was active in the department," said Dr. Joullié. "He spent the very last afternoon of his life in the lecture hall for a colloquium on graphene, followed by a vigorous discussion. And so I am happy to institute the Prange Prize, which will certainly generate its own robust discussions in condensed matter theory. Phillip Anderson is the ideal inaugural honoree."

Dr. Prange was a member of the Maryland condensed matter theory group for more than 40 years and was an affiliate of CMTC since its inception in 2002.

"The Prange Prize provides a unique opportunity to acknowledge transformative work in condensed-matter theory, a field that has proven to be an inexhaustible source of insights and discoveries in both fundamental and applied physics, said Dr. Sankar Das Sarma, a UMD Distinguished University Professor and director of the CMTC. "Much of that progress was made possible by the pioneering science of Philip Anderson, who had a profound influence on subjects ranging from the electronic structure of disordered materials to superconductivity and elementary particle physics."


The talk will be held in Room 1412 at 4:00 pm (preceded by light refreshments at 3:30). Directions to the College Park campus are available at: To locate the Physics Building, see the campus map at: Parking is available in Parking Garage 2 (P202), across the street from the Physics Lecture Hall. An attendant will give you a parking permit at the garage. For further information, please call the Physics Department at 301.405.5946.

University of Maryland Physics:
Condensed Matter Theory Center:
Center for Nanophysics and Applied Materials:
College of Computer, Mathematical and Physical Sciences: