In Memoriam: C.P. "Gus" Vlahacos

We were very sorry to learn that C.P. “Gus” Vlahacos died on Monday, following a heart attack the previous week. Gus received his three degrees here in College Park: B.S. Physics, 1996; M.S. Physics, 1999; and in 2010, his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. In addition to his work in the Cryogenics and Fluids Branch at NASA, he was a visiting assistant research scientist—and treasured colleague—in CNAM.

As an undergraduate, he played a crucial role in developing the very successful scanning near-field microwave microscope. As a graduate student, he worked to develop a niobium superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) that shows changes in the magnetic field of a pulse propagating down a 200-micrometer wide microstrip test line at 2 gigahertz, creating images at intervals of 1/20th of a nanosecond.

Gus was the husband of Sophia I. Zanakos and the father of Lia and Irene.

We offer our condolences to the family, and to his many friends in CNAM, the Department, campus and NASA.

Funeral arrangements are listed below. And articles about Gus’ work with Fred Wellstood and Steve Anlage are linked here.

Gates Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Professor S. James Gates was elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. This is a well deserved honor that highlights Dr. Gates' stellar career.

"Professor Gates is just an extraordinary person," said Physics Chair Drew Baden. "His research is at the very cutting edge of theoretical physics, probing the fundamental structure of nature, looking for exotic connections between string theory and information theory and anything else he can think of. On top of that, he finds the time and energy to give a huge number of invited public talks on science at all levels, communicating the excitement of science, and working hard to demystify. I believe that in 2005, the 100 year anniversary of Einstein's famous papers (one that introduced the theory of special relativity), he gave about 90 such talks in a single year! And on top of that, he finds the time contribute to society as a member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), advising the President on science policy, and as a member of the Maryland Board of Education."


Department Mourns the Loss of John S. Toll

John S. Toll has passed away. It is not easy saying anything that will do justice to the warmth, intelligence, humility, generosity, and overall humanity to the single most important person in the history of this department, if not the University at large.

Debbie Toll said that John passed away peacefully in his sleep last night. There will surely be more information to come, and we will surely pass it along. Meanwhile, here's a very nice bio you can read.

With sadness,

                      Physicists John A. Wheeler and John S. Toll

Alessandra Buonanno Selected as 2011-2012 Radcliffe Institute Fellow

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University has selected Alessandra Buonanno to be a Radcliffe Institute fellow for the 2011–2012 academic year. Alessandra Buonanno joins 51 distinguished women and men at the forefront of the sciences, humanities, social sciences, arts, and professions to convene at the Institute for a full year. With only 6 percent of applicants selected to this program, Buonanno and her accomplished colleagues will focus on innovative individual projects and research while benefiting from a multidisciplinary community of fellows in the enriching University setting.