Congratulations Class of 2015

Our department's Class of 2015 Physics and Astronomy Majors included 16 well-rounded individuals who plan to utilize their Bachelor of Science degree in graduate-level research, software engineering, medical physics, and aerospace engineering studies. Most of our 11 PhD graduates this calendar year have already accepted Post-Doctoral positions around the world. We congratulate them on a job well-done and wish them the best in their future endeavors. Follow some of their histories in the department through this 2015 Commencement Breakfast Reception Presentation.

PhD Defense--Zhen Liu

Research Advisor: Dr. Tao Han

"Beyond Standard Model Physics at Current and Future Colliders"

Friday, April 24th 2015 Allen Hall

Room 419



PhD Defense--Richard Ruiz

Research Advisor: Dr. Tao Han 

"Hadron Collider Tests of Neutrino Mass-Generating Mechanisms"

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Allen Hall, Room 321



PhD Defense--Gendith Sardane

Research Advisors: Dr. David Turnshek and Dr. Sandhya Rao 

"Probing Low-Redshift Galaxies using Quasar Absorption Lines with Emphasis on CA II Absorption"

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Allen Hall, Room 106 1:00pm


PhD Defense--Shonali Dhingra

Research Advisor: Dr. Brian D'Urso


Monday, April 13th, 2015

Allen Hall, Room 419 10:00am


PhD Defense--Feng Bi

Research Advisor: Dr. Jeremy Levy

"Scanning probe microscopy investigation of complex-oxide heterostructure"

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Allen Hall, Room 321 2:30pm

Patrick Gallagher Offically Installed as Chancellor

Alum Patrick Gallagher, PhD Physics 1991, was officially installed as the University of Pittsburgh Chancellor at the Honors Convocation held Saturday, February 28, 2015.

This date also marked the 228th anniversary of Pitt's founding. Click here to watch the video.

PhD Defense--Elliot Jenner

Research Advisor: Dr. Brian D'Urso

"Multiscale Structured Surfaces And Their Effect On Drag & Fluid Flow"

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Allen Hall, Room 319 3:00 pm


Fireball Detected at Allegheny Observatory

A very bright fireball over New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania on February 17th was captured from a NASA camera located at our own Allegheny Observatory. Click here for youtube video.

LSST M1/M3 Completion Event

The M1/M3 completion event for the LSST was recently celebrated at the University of Arizona Mirror Lab. The upper left shows the completed M1/M3 mirror combination. At the event Dave Turnshek, Pitt Chair of Physics and Astronomy, met with Peter Strittmatter, former Director and Head of the University of Arizona Steward Observatory and Department of Astronomy, Tony Tyson of UC Davis, who originated the idea for the LSST, and Roger Angel, Director of the University of Arizona Mirror Lab. The LSST (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope), which is a partnership that includes the University of Pittsburgh, will see first light in about five years. It is the top-rated ground-based astronomy project of the future.

Adam Leibovich Named University Honors College (UHC) Faculty Fellow

The University Honors College recently extended invitations to faculty members appointing them as UHC Faculty Fellows. This honorific title is for faculty members who have made substantial contributions to the UHC during the past 5 years. Faculty fellows will make recommendations for improving current UHC programs and for establishing new programs. In addition, Faculty Fellows will serve as ambassadors of the UHC. Congratulations Adam!  

Congratulations to Arthur Kosowsky on APS Fellowship

Arthur Kosowsky was recently named an APS Fellow. He was nominated by the Division of Astrophysics for landmark contributions to cosmology, including pioneering work on the use of CMB fluctuations for precision cosmology and pioneering work on the origin and detection of primordial gravitational waves.

This high honor is restricted to 0.5% of the membership in a given year.

Congratulations Arthur!


Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Receives NSF Award for Bridges Supercomputer

$9.65-Million Supercomputer Will Enable Analysis of Vast Data Sets, Ease Entry for New Research Communities into High-Performance Computing

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) award to create a uniquely capable supercomputer designed to empower new research communities, bring desktop convenience to supercomputing, expand campus access and help researchers needing to tackle vast data to work more intuitively. Called Bridges, the new supercomputer will consist of three tiered, memory-intensive resources to serve a wide variety of scientists, including those new to supercomputing and without specialized programming skills. Bridges will offer new computational capabilities to researchers working in diverse, dataintensive fields such as genomics, the social sciences and the humanities.

Bridges represents a new approach to supercomputing, emphasizing research problems that are limited by data movement and analysis, in addition to computational performance as measured by floating-point operations per second (“flops”), and thereby serves new communities of scientists.

“First and foremost, Bridges is about enabling researchers who’ve outgrown their own computers and campus computing clusters to graduate to supercomputing with a minimum of additional effort,” says Ralph Roskies, PSC scientific director and professor of physics, University of Pittsburgh. “We expect it to empower researchers to focus on their science more than the computing.”

A $9.65-million NSF grant will fund the acquisition, to begin in October 2015, with a target production date of January 2016. The system will be architected and delivered by HP® and will feature advanced technology from Intel® and NVIDIA®.

For more information, click here.

PhD Defense-Joseph Meyers

Research Advisor: Dr. Eric Swanson
"The Schwinger-Dyson Equations and Gluon Bound States of QCD"
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Allen Hall, Room 321 1:00 pm

PhD Defense--Seth DeVore

Research Advisor: Dr. Chandralekha Singh

"Using Tutorial Approach to Improve Physics Learning from Introductory to Graduate Level""

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Allen Hall, Room 319 2:30 pm