Tag Archive for Starr

Hsu ’10 Honored by American Physical Society

The Department of Physics hosted a reception Oct. 8 in the Walter Cady Lounge to honor Wade Hsu ’10 (pictured at left), who received the LeRoy Apker Award from the American Physical Society. Hsu was the only student from a Ph.D-granting institution in the country to receive the award. (Photos by Brian Stewart)

The American Physical Society awarded Chia Wei “Wade” Hsu ’10 with its prestigious LeRoy Apker Award for his achievements while at Wesleyan.

The American Physical Society awards the Apker Award to only one student from a Ph.D-granting institution each year. Reinhold Blümel, the Charlotte Agusta Ayres Professor of Physics, calls it a “mini-Nobel Prize.”

The award provides encouragement to young physicists who have demonstrated great potential for future scientific accomplishment.

“This means that Wade out-competed students from MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Princeton and CalTech,” says Wade’s former advisor Francis Starr, associate professor of physics. “He’s the best of the best.”

On Oct. 8, the Physics Department hosted a reception in his honor.

“The celebration that people in physics department threw for me was a total surprise. I did not expect an event with such a scale, with so many professors, grads, undergrads and cheese and wine,” he says. “I felt like crying that so many people came, and that they seemed to be even happier than me. It was great. And certainly I had never felted as honored as on that day.”

The Apker award came with a $5,000 award,

NSF Grant Improves Numerical Modeling Capacity at Wesleyan

Francis Starr, associate professor of physics, co-authored a grant proposal, which was recently funded by the NSF to support growth of the computer facilities for the university’s Scientific Computing and Informatics Center.

A $298,736 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will allow Wesleyan to remain competitive in numerical modeling research and education on an international level.

Francis Starr, associate professor of physics, David Beveridge, the Joshua Boger University Professor of the Sciences and Mathematics, and Michael Weir, professor of biology, director of the Hughes Program in the Life Sciences, received the grant for a project titled “Major Research Instrumentation – Recovery and Reinvestment program (MRI-R2): Acquisition of Shared Cluster and Database Computing Facilities at Wesleyan University.”

The grant, awarded over three years beginning May 1, will fund growth of the computer facilities for the university’s Scientific Computing and Informatics Center (SCIC), including expansion of the university’s high-performance computer cluster and a new genomics database server.

Wesleyan currently runs 36 Dell computer nodes for the academic computing cluster known as “Swallowtail.” Each machine is capable of processing eight jobs simultaneously, for a total of 288 jobs. Another 129 computer nodes called “Sharptail,” recently donated by Blue Sky Studios, are capable of processing two jobs simultaneously each, for a total of 258 jobs.

“With the NSF grant, we anticipate roughly doubling our capacity,” Starr says. “Think of it as setting up a virtual laboratory in the computer where we can perform experiments that might be challenging

NSF Grant Funds Cluster, Database Facilities

Francis Starr, associate professor of physics; David Beveridge, the Joshua Boger University Professor of the Sciences and Mathematics; and Michael Weir, professor of biology, director of the Hughes Program in the Life Sciences, received a grant from the National Science Foundation for a project titled “MRI-R2: Acquisition of Shared Cluster and Database Computing Facilities at Wesleyan University.” The grant, worth $298,736, will be awarded over three years beginning May 1, 2010. The grant was awarded as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Hsu, Starr Authors in Academy of Sciences

Chia Wei “Wade” Hsu ’10 and Francis Starr, are co-authors of “Hierarchies of networked phases induced by multiple liquid-liquid critical points,” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 105, 13711-13715. Hsu and Starr showed that by attaching specific single strands of DNA to nano-sized particles to create customizable “nano-atoms,” they could generate new materials with phase diagrams never previously seen in nature. Their work is based on a massive set of computations on the new university computer cluster. Fred Ellis, professor of physics, is Hsu’s faculty advisor.