Chair's message

Sambandamurthy Ganapathy, Chair.

Dear alumni and friends,

I hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. The last time I wrote to you, I had just started as the department chair and we were entering an unknown and a difficult period due to the pandemic. With everyone’s efforts, resilience, and cooperation, I am proud to say that the department rode out the challenging time and we emerged stronger and more focused than ever. 

Though there were many challenges in the way we operated, the faculty members, the staff and most importantly our students have shown grit, flexibility and creativity needed to overcome an uncertain time. UB is back to near-normal operation in fall semester 2021 with in-person classes and laboratory operations. 

Exciting news: UB Physics is 101 years old! While the 100th year celebrations had to be cancelled in 2020, we celebrated the 101 years of UB Physics through a virtual celebration in June 2021 with our alumni, friends and colleagues. It is humbling to revisit the history and achievements of our students, alumni, faculty and staff members. The department is stronger and vibrant today due to the support and guidance from the friends of the department.

There are so many inspiring stories from our department community and these stories are the ones that keep us motivated for the future. Xiucheng Wei (Advisor: Professor Zeng) received the Best Symposium Oral Presentation award at the MRS meeting in 2021. Nathaniel J. Fuller (Advisor: Professor Sen) won a DoD SMART fellowship. Dasharath Adhikari (Advisor: Professor Ganapathy) and Bilal Tariq (Advisor: Professor Hu) won the Gasparini Thesis Prize in 2021, set up through a generous donation by Emeritus Professor Frank Gasparini and Lucile Gasparini. Paul Dewan and Austin Marga are selected as the College of Arts and Science Ambassadors.

We are delighted to announce that Professor Andrea Markelz received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, one of the prestigious SUNY-wide awards recognizing consistently outstanding scholarly and creative productivity. Professor Xuedong Hu received the UB Exceptional Scholar: Sustained Achievement Award and Professor Priya R. Banerjee received the NIH Outstanding Investigator Award (R35/MIRA). We are excited to welcome Professor Changjiang Liu who will join as a tenue-track assistant professor in January 2022. Prof. Liu’s research interests are in experimental condensed matter physics in the field of synthesis of quantum materials (superconductivity, spintronics).

The department is excited to resume our popular public lecture series after a two-year break. Professor Sean Carroll visited the department from Caltech and presented the 26th Moti Lal Rustgi Memorial Lecture on October 1 in an auditorium filled to the brim. The faculty members and students enjoyed the visit and the interactions with Professor Carroll.

Stay in touch with us and we would love to hear about your work and life. Be safe, stay healthy and I am sure we will have more stories to share in the future.

Best regards,
Sambandamurthy Ganapathy
Department Chair
Professor of Physics

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