By Research Area-Dept of Physics - Carnegie Mellon University

Current and Past Students by Research Area

This page lists our current and past graduate students working on thesis research in the various research areas of the department.

Current Graduate Students by Research Area as of Fall 2013


Astrophysics and Cosmology


Shadab Alam
Advisor: Shirley Ho

Yu Feng
Advisor: Rupert Croft

Arun Kannawadi
Advisor: Rachel Mandelbaum

Mao Sheng (Terrence) Liu
Advisor: Tiziana Di Matteo

Paul La Plante
Advisor: Hy Trac

Michelle Ntampaka
Advisor: Hy Trac

Melih Ozbek
Advisor: Rupert Croft

Sukhdeep Singh
Advisor: Rachel Mandelbaum

Ananth Tenneti
Advisor: Rachel Mandelbaum, Tiziana Di Matteo

Tabitha Voytek
Advisor: Jeff Peterson


Biological Physics

Kiyotaka Akabori
Advisor: Stephanie Tristram-Nagle, John Nagle

Patrick Diggins
Advisor: Markus Deserno

Marilia Cabral do Rego Barros
Advisor: Mathias Loesche

Krista Freeman
Advisor: Alex Evilevitch

Robert Haussman
Advisor: Markus Deserno

Mingyang Hu
Advisor: Markus Deserno

Michael Jablin
Advisor: Stephanie Tristram-Nagle, John Nagle

Brian Josey
Advisor: Mathias Loesche

Zachary McDargh
Advisor: Markus Deserno

Udom Sae-Ueng
Advisor: Alex Evilevitch

Xin Wang
Advisor: Markus Deserno

Huizhong Xu
Advisor: Maumita Mandal

Experimental Condensed Matter Physics

Rulin Chen
Advisor: Robert Suter

Sergio de la Barrera
Advisor: Randy Feenstra

Guowei He
Advisor: Randy Feenstra

Jun Li
Advisor: Randy Feenstra

Siddharth Maddali
Advisor: Robert Suter

David Menasche
Advisor: Robert Suter

Patrick Mende
Advisor: Randy Feenstra

Samuel Oberdick
Advisor: Sara Majetich

Stephan Piotrowski
Advisor: Sara Majetich

Amy Stetten
Advisor: Steve Garoff

Nora Swisher
Advisor: Steve Garoff

Xi (David) Tan
Advisor: Robert Suter

Ying Zhang
Advisor: Steve Garoff


Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics

Matthew Daniels
Advisor: Di Xiao

Qin Gao
Advisor: Michael Widom

William Huhn
Advisor: Michael Widom

Nikhil Sivadas
Advisor: Di Xiao

Sanxi Yao
Advisor: Michael Widom


Experimental High Energy Particle Physics

Onur Albayrak
Advisor: Roy Briere

Aristotle Calamba
Advisor: Manfred Paulini

Benjamin Carlson
Advisor: James Russ

Yutaro Iiyama
Advisor: Manfred Paulini

Bai-Cian Ke
Advisor: Roy Briere

Menglei Sun
Advisor: Manfred Paulini

Zhen Tang
Advisor: James Russ


Theoretical High Energy Particle Physics

Alexander Bell
Advisor: Richard Holman

Xianglin Liu
Advisor: Ira Rothstein

Varun Vaidya
Advisor: Ira Rothstein

Tereza Vardanyan
Advisor: Richard Holman


Experimental Medium Energy Physics

Dao Ho
Advisor: Reinhard Schumacher

William Levine
Advisor: Curtis Meyer

William McGinley
Advisor: Curtis Meyer

Michael Staib
Advisor: Curtis Meyer

Brian Vernarski
Advisor: Curtis Meyer


Theoretical Medium Energy Physisc

Brendan Fahy
Advisor: Colin Morningstar

You-Cyuan Jhang
Advisor: Colin Morningstar


Quantum Theory

Daniel Stahlke
Advisor: Robert Griffiths

Recent Past PhD's by Research Area


Physics PhD degrees granted during the last few years are listed by research area.

Astrophysics and Cosmology

Degraf, Colin (Aug 2012)
Supermassive Black Holes in Cosmological Simulations
Advisor: Tiziana DiMatteo

Bandura, Kevin (Aug 2011)
Pathfinder for a Neutral Hydrogen Dark Energy Survey
Advisor: Jeff Peterson

Altay, Gabriel (Aug 2009)
Cosmological Radiative Transfer
Advisor: Rupert Croft

Bock, Daniel (Dec 2006)
Superconducting Nanowire Bolometers
Advisor: Jeff Peterson

Sabirli, Kivanc    (Dec 2006)
Confirmation of Self-Similar Evolution in the X-ray Luminosity -- Temperature Scaling Relation of Clusters of Galaxies
Advisor: Kathy Romer

Kim, Young-Rae (Aug 2006)
New Probes of Dark Matter and Dark Energy
Advisor: Rupert Croft

Kulkarni, Gauri (Aug 2006)
Measurements and Models of the three Point Correlation Function of Luminous Rd Galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey
Advisor: Robert Nichol

Knudson, Adam (Dec 2003)
X-Ray Luminosity Evolution of Normal Galaxies
Advisor: Richard Griffiths

Zabel, Shane (Aug 2003)
The Physical Optics of Caustic Crossings in Gravitational Lensing
Advisor: Jeff Peterson


Biological Physics

Goh, Haw Zan
Solid-Supported Lipid Membranes: Formation, Stability and Applications
Advisor: Mathias Loesche

Yolcu, Cem (Aug 2012)
Effective Field Theory of Surface-Mediated Forces in Soft Matter
Advisor: Markus Deserno

Shekhar, Prabhanshu (May 2012)
Neutron Reflectometry from Interfacial Molecular Architectures: Structural Modeling and Application to Sparsely Tethered Bilayer Lipid Membranes
Advisor: Mathias Loesche

Shenoy, Siddharth (May 2012)
Structure and Kinetics of the PTEN Tumor Suppressor: Investigation of Solution and Membrane-Associated States
Advisor: Mathias Loesche

Sauerwine, Benjamin (Aug 2011)
Secondary Structure Models of Nucleic Acid Folding Kinetics
Advisor: Michael Widom

Bereau, Tristan (May 2011)
Unconstrained Structure Formation in Coarse-Grained Protein Simulations
Advisor: Markus Deserno

Misra, Navodit (Aug 2010)
Algorithms for Reliable Computing in Molecular Biology
Advisor: Russell Schwartz

Gong, Haijun (Aug 2009)
Computational Models of Protein Sorting in the Golgi Apparatus
Advisor: Russell Schwartz

Pan, Jianjun (Aug 2009)
Supramolecular Organization of the Antimicrobial Peptide Alamethicin in Fluid Membrames
Advisor: John Nagle

Liu, Yufeng (Dec 2002)
New Method to Obtain Structure of Biomembranes Using Diffuse X-Ray Scattering: Application to Fluid Phase DOPC Lipid Bilayers
Advisor: John Nagle


Experimental Condensed Matter Physics

Booth, Ryan (Aug 2012)
Inter- and Intraparticle Interactions in Magnetic Nanoparticle Systems
Advisor: Sara Majetich

Hefferan, Christopher (Aug 2012)
Measurement of Annealing Phenomena in High Purity Metals with Near-Field High Energy X-Ray Diffraction Microscopy
Advisor: Robert Suter

Hu, Weihua (Aug 2012)
Tip Based Nanofabrication Using Multi-mode Scanning Probe Microscopy
Advisor: David Ricketts, Randy Feenstra

Srivastava, Nishtha (May 2012)
Interface Structure of Graphene on Silicon Carbide for Various Preparation Conditions
Advisor: Randy Feenstra

Evarts, Eric (Aug 2011)
Conductive Atomic Force Microscopy Analysis of Sub-30 nm Magnetic Tunnel Junction
Advisor: Sara Majetich

Li, Shiu Fai (Frankie) (May 2011)
Imaging of Orientation and Geometry in Microstructures: Development and Applications of High Energy X-ray Diffraction Microscopy
Advisor: Robert Suter

Zheng, Peng (May 2011)
High Temperature Langasite Surface Acoustic Wave Sensors
Advisor: David Greve

Luxmi (Dec 2010)
Structural Studies of Epitaxial Graphene Formed on SiC{0001} Surfaces
Advisor: Randy Feenstra

Hogg, Charles (Aug 2010)
Pattern Transfer from Nanoparticle Arrays
Advisor: Sara Majetich

Wei, Yuli (Aug 2009)
Dynamic Wetting of Viscous and Viscoelastic Fluids
Advisor: Steve Garoff

Gaan, Sandeep (May 2008)
Scanning Tunneling Spectroscopy of Molecular Thin Flims and Semiconductor Nanostructures
Advisor: Randy Feenstra

Nie, Shu (Dec 2007)
Morphology and Electronic Properties of Silicon Carbide Surfaces
Advisor: Randy Feenstra

Kaya, Ahmet (Aug 2007)
Experimental Measurements of the Magnetic Recording Head High Frequency Response and Comparison to Quantitative Models
Advisor: James Bain

Sachan, Madhur (Aug 2007)
Magnetostatic Interactions in Highly Ordered Self-assembled Structures of Epsilon-Co Nanoparticles
Advisor: Sara Majetich

Ding, Yi (Aug 2006)
Phase Transformation of FePt Nanoparticles
Advisor: Sara Majetich

Dong, Yang (May 2006)       
Nanoscale Electronic Properties of Semiconductor Surfaces and Interfaces
Advisor: Randy Feenstra

Draganov, Dimitar (May 2006)       
Transition Region and Precursing Films of Polymer Melts
Advisor: Robert Suter

Hennessy, Daniel (May 2006)
Three Dimensional X-Ray Diffraction Microscope Studies of Bulk Materials Microstructure
Advisor: Robert Suter

Xiao, Changshi (May 2006)
A Microstructure Reconstruction Approach for Three Dimensional X-Ray Diffraction Microscopy
Advisor: Robert Suter

Tanase, Mihaela    (Dec 2005)
Electron Microscopy Characterization and Structure Optimatization of FePt Self-Assembled Nanoparticles for Ultrahigh-Density Magnetic Data Storage
Advisor: Zhu Laughlin

Varanasi, Kalyani (Dec 2005)
Dynamic Wetting at Receding Contact Lines of Soluble Surfactant Solutions: Hydrodynamics and Molecular Assemblies
Advisor: Steve Garoff

Brahme, Abhijit    (Aug 2005)
Modeling Microstructure Evolution during Recrystallization
Advisor: Tony Rollet

Chong, Shang-Shan (May 2005)       
Predicting Nanoporous Gas Separation Membrane Performance from Atomistic Simulations
Advisor: David Sholl

Zhang, Li (May 2005)   
Characterization of Heat-Assisted Magnetic Probe Recording on CoNi/Pt Multilayers
Advisor: James Bain

Anderson, Meredith (May 2004)
Measuring the Atomic Kinetics of Cu Surface Alloys Using Scanning Tunneling Microscopy and Low-Energy Electron
Advisor: Randy Feenstra

Ashutosh, Ashutosh (May 2004)
Growth of Gallium Nitride on Porous Silicon Carbide Substrates
Advisor: Randy Feenstra

Humfeld, Keith (May 2004)
Interface Shapes and Thin Film Structures of Complete, Partial, and Pseudo Wetting Systems
Advisor: Steve Garoff

Chen, Xia (Aug 2003)
Effects of Thin and Ultra-Thin Liquid Films on Dynamic Wetting
Advisor: Steve Garoff

McKay, Hugh (Aug 2003)
Nanoscale Microscopy of Semiconductor Epitaxy
Advisor: Randy Feenstra

Liu, Yi-Kuang (Dec 2002)   
Magnetic Anisotrophy and Permability in Sputtered FeAIN Thin-Film Materials
Advisor: Mark Kryder

Farrell, Dorothy (Dec 2002)   
Magnetic Properties of Self-Assembled Fe Nanoparticle Arrays
Advisor: Sara Majetich

Guan, Lijie (Aug 2002)   
Micromagnetic Study of Advanced Magnetic Thin Film Media for Ultra-High Density Recording
Advisor: Jimmy Zhu

Suo, Yue (Dec 2001)
Unsteady Spreading of Newtonian Fluids and Dynamic Wetting of Shear-Thinning Fluids
Advisor: Steve Garoff

Qu, Dan    (Aug 2001)
Hydrodynamics of Dip-Coated Thin Films in the Presence of Evaporation and Surfactant Structured Controlling Spontaneous Dewetting
Advisor: Steve Garoff

Luokkala, Barry    (May 2001)
Interfacial Structure and Rearrangement on Nonionic Surfactants near a Receding Contact Line
Advisor: Steve Garoff

Shi, Changqing (May 2001)   
High Data Rate Degradation and Medium Thermal Stability in Ultra-High Density Magnetic Recording
Advisor: Jimmy Zhu

Chen, Huajie (Dec 2000)
Growth and Scanning Probe Microscopy of III-V Semiconductor Alloys
Advisor: Randy Feenstra

Li, Gang (Aug 2000)
Computer Simulation of Magnetic Tape Recording
Advisor: Jimmy Zhu

Ramachandran, Vidhya (Dec 1999)
Molecular Beam Epitaxy of Gallium Nitride on Silicon Carbide
Advisor: Randy Feenstra


Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics

Lin, Chang-You (Aug 2012)
Mean-Field Density Functional Theory of a Three-Phase Contact Line
Advisor: Robert Sekerka

Stojanovic, Vladimir (May 2008)
Novel Ordered States of Matter in Ultracold Atomic Gases
Advisor: Vincent Liu

Fore, Alexander    (Dec 2007)
Lattice Boltzmann Models for Binary Solutions: Models for Diffusion between Species with Unequal Masses and Models for Flow of Immiscible Species in a Hele-Shaw Cell
Advisor: Robert Sekerka

Ganesh, Panchapakesan (Aug 2007)
First-Principles Study of Liquid and Amorphous Metals
Advisor: Michael Widom

Kozan, Oner (Dec 2004)
A New Approach to Critical Properties of Site and Bond Percolation
Advisor: Robert Swendsen

Fasnacht, Marc (Aug 2003)
Adaptive Monte Carlo Methods
Advisor: Robert Swendsen

Al-Lehyani, Ibrahim (Aug 2002)
First-Principles Study of Decagonal Quasicrystals
Advisor: Michael Widom

Diggs, Brian (Aug 2002)
Bayesian Analysis of Thermodynamics Series Expansions
Advisor: Robert Swendsen

Bi, Zhiqiang (May 2002)   
Directional Solidification of a Binary Alloy Using the Phase Field Model
Advisor: Robert Sekerka

Lee, Hwee Kuan (May 2001)
Monte Carlo Simulations of Liquid-Liquid Phase Transition and Quasicrystals
Advisor: Robert Swendsen

Banerjee, Shubho (Aug 2000)
Study of Morphological and Thermodynamic Properties of Dipolar Fluids
Advisor: Michael Widom


Experimental High Energy Particle Physics

Akgun, Bora (May 2012)
Upsilon(nS) Cross Section Measurement in pp Collisions at 7 TeV Center of Mass Energy with the CMS Detector
Advisor: Thomas Ferguson

Thome, James (Aug 2011)
A Measurement of Helicity-Frame Spin Alignment of Inclusive Upsilon(nS) Mesons in Proton-Antiproton Collisions at 1.96 TeV
Advisor: James Russ

Pueschel, Elisa (May 2010)
Measurement of the CP Violating Phase sin2betas using Bs -> J/Psi Phi Decays at CDF
Advisor: Manfred Paulini

Galyardt, Jason (Dec 2009)
Correlations in Bottom Quark Pair Production at the Fermilab Tevatron
Advisor: James Russ

Chung, Kwangzoo    (May 2008)
Hadronic Production of Psi(2S) Cross Section and Polarization
Advisor: James Russ

Watkins, Michael (Aug 2007)
Inclusive Measurement of Upsilon(1S) Decays to Open Charm Hadrons
Advisor: Roy Briere

Tiwari, Vivek (May 2007)
Measurement of the Bs anti-Bs Oscillation Frequency Using Semileptonic Decays
Advisor: Manfred Paulini

Gibson, Karen (May 2006)
Measurement of the Relative Fragmentation Fractions of B Hadrons
Advisor: Manfred Paulini

Giurgiu, Gavril    (Dec 2005)
B Flavor Tagging Calibration and Search for Bs0 Oscillations in Semileptonic Decays with the CDF Detector at FermiLab
Advisor: Manfred Paulini

Hirschfelder, Jessica (Aug 2003)
Quark Pair Production in Electron-Positron Collisions at 192-208 GeV
Advisor: Tom Ferguson

Mattson, Mark (May 2002)
Search for Baryons with Two Charm Quarks
Advisor: James Russ

Kushnirenko, Alexander (May 2001)
Precision Measurements of the Lambda_c+ and D0
Advisor: James Russ


Theoretical High Energy Particle Physics

Chen, Chien-Yi (Aug 2012)
New Physics Beyond the Standard Model with Weakly Interacting Particles
Advisor: Lincoln Wolfenstein

Neill, Duff (Aug 2012)
Apply Effective Field Theory to Higgs Production and Renormalizing SCETII
Advisor: Ira Rothstein

Hutasoit, Jimmy (Aug 2010)
Time-dependent Backgrounds in String Theory and Dualities
Advisor: Richard Holman

Porto, Rafael (Aug 2007)
An Effective Field Theory of Gravity for Spinning Extended Objects
Advisor: Ira Rothstein

Wu, Feng (Aug 2005)
Next-to-leading-order Analysis of the Decay B -> X s gamma
Advisor: Fred Gilman

Naidu, Siddartha (May 2005)
Alpha-Vacuum Decay and Linear Equation of State Cosmology
Advisor: Richard Holman

Martin, Matthew    (May 2004)
Two Cosmological Scenarios in Spaces of Maximal Symmetry
Advisor: Richard Holman

Low, Ian (May 2001)
Determination of V_ub from Inclusive B Decays
Advisor: Ira Rothstein

Chiang,    Cheng-Wei (Dec 2000)
Study of CP Violation in K and B Mesons
Advisor: Fred Gilman


Experimental Medium Energy Physics

Friend, Megan (May 2012)
A Precision Measurement of the Proton Strange-Quark Form Factors at Q^2 = 0.624 GeV^2
Advisor: Brian Quinn

Dey, Biplab (Aug 2011)
Differential Cross Section and Polarization Extractions for gamma p going to phi p Using CLAS at Jefferson Lab, Towards a Partial Wave Analysis in Search of Missing Baryon Resonances
Advisor: Curtis Meyer

Dickson, Ryan (Aug 2011)
Photoproduction of the f_1(1285)/eta(1295) Mesons Using CLAS at Jefferson Lab
Advisor: Reinhard Schumacher

Seymour-Parno, Diana (May 2011)
Measurements of the Double-Spin Asymmetry A1 on Helium-3: Toward a Precise Measurement of the Neutron A1
Advisor: Gregg Franklin

Moriya, Kei (Dec 2010)
Measurement of the Lineshape, Differential Photoproduction Cross Section, Spin and Parity of the Lambda(1405) Using CLAS at Jefferson Lab
Advisor: Reinhard Schumacher

McCracken, Michael (Aug 2008)
A Study of K+ Lambda Photoproduction in the CLAS g11a Dataset: Differential Cross Section, Recoil Polarization, and a Partial-Wave Analysis
Advisor: Curtis Meyer

Riordan, Seamus    (May 2008)
Measurements of the Electric Form Factor of the Neutron at Q2 = 1/7 and 3/5 GeV/c^2
Advisor: Gregg Franklin

Krahn, Zebulun (Dec 2007)
A Partial Wave Analysis of Eta and Etaprime Meson Photoproduction Using CLAS at Jefferson Lab
Advisor: Curtis Meyer

Williams, Michael (Dec 2007)
Measurement of Differential Cross Sections and Spin Density Matrix Elements along with a Partial Wave Analysis for gamma p -> p omega Using CLAS at Jefferson Lab
Advisor: Curtis Meyer

Lachniet, Jeffrey (Aug 2005)
A High Precision Measurement of the Neutron Magnetic Form Factor Using the CLAS Detector
Advisor: Brian Quinn

Bradford, Robert (May 2005)
Measurement of Differential Cross Sections and Cx and Cz -> K+A and Yp -> K+E using CLAS at Jefferson Lab
Advisor: Reinhard Schumacher

Parker, Joseph (May 2005)
The Weak Decay of the 4He Lambda Hypernucleus
Advisor: Gregg Franklin

Feuerbach, Robert (Dec 2002)
Measurement of the Unpolarized K+ Lambda and Sigma0 Electroproduction Cross-Sections and Interface Terms from the Proton with the CLAS Detector
Advisor: Reinhard Schumacher

McNabb, John (Dec 2002)   
Photoproduction of Lambda and Sigma0 Hyperons off Protons in the Nucleon Resonance Region Using CLAS at Jefferson Labs
Advisor: Reinhard Schumacher

Paschke, Kent (Dec 2001)
Measurement of Spin Transfer Observables for AntiLambda-Lambda Production from Antiproton-Proton Annihilation at 1.637 GeV/c^2
Advisor: Brian Quinn

Koran, Phillip (Dec 2000)
BNL-E813: Search for the H-Dibaryon Through Chi- Capture on the Deuteron
Advisor: Brian Quinn


Theoretical Medium Energy Physics

Wong, Chik Him (Ricky) (Aug 2011)
The Stochastic Laplacian Heaviside Method in Lattice QCD and its First Applications to Hadron Spectroscopy
Advisor: Colin Morningstar

Bulava, John (Dec 2009)
An Improved Variance Reduction Technique for Stochastic All-to-All Quark Propagators in Lattice QCD Spectrum Computations
Advisor: Colin Morningstar

Lichtl, Adam (Aug 2006)
Quantum Operator
Design for Lattice Baryon Spectroscopy
Advisor: Colin Morningstar

Harey, Andrew (May 2004)
Pion Cloud Contributions to Nucleon Masses in Finite Nuclei
Advisor: Leonard Kisslinger

Linsuain, Otto (Dec 2002)
A Study of the Quark Schwinger-Dyson Equation in Minkowski Space in a Light-Cone Approach
Advisor: Leonard Kisslinger


Quantum Theory

Yu, Li (Dec 2011)
Nonlocal Quantum Gates, Graph Codes and Information Splitting
Advisor: Robert Griffiths

Looi, Shiang Yong (Aug 2011)
Quantum Error Correction Using Stabilizer States and Graph States
Advisor: Robert Griffiths

Gheorghiu, Vlad (Aug 2010)
Bipartite Entanglement, Separable Operations and the Location of Quantum Information
Advisor: Robert Griffiths