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Undergraduate and Graduate Studies

SLAAM seminars

The UC Merced Physics department and the CCBM are proud to bring to you a seminar series exclusively by postdocs from different institutions on Soft, Living, Active and Adaptive Matter (SLAAM).  The series aims to promote inclusion by providing a forum for a diverse set of stellar speakers early in their careers and opportunities for faculty and graduate students to interact with them.  Unless otherwise noted, SLAAM seminars will be held every other Monday, starting at 9:00 AM Pacific Time (11 am CST, 12 noon EST). 

Each talk will be about 40 minutes with plenty of time for questions and discussion. The talks will be recorded with the speaker's consent and recordings of past talks can be found below on this page.


Everyone is welcome to attend! 

Please sign up at  this form  to be included in the mailing list where talk announcements and zoom passcodes will be sent. Postdocs should indicate their interest in presenting through this form.

UC Merced Physics Department and CCBM members and affiliates will receive announcements by default.

Faculty and postdocs: Kinjal Dasbiswas, Daniel Beller, Suraj Shankar, Hannah Yevick
Graduate students: Niranjan Sarpangala, Madhuvanthi Athani, Fereshteh Memarian, Abhinav Kumar, Jane B. Garcia, Patrick Noerr


Fall 2022

Sep 12th: Krishna Shrinivas (Harvard) [flyer]

Sep 26th: Guang Shi (UIUC) [flyer]
                 Title: Data-driven reconstruction of 3D genome from experimental data

Oct 10th:  Yimin Luo (UCSB) [flyer]
                  Title: Programming structural transitions in soft matter: physics and data driven approaches

Oct 24th:  Miguel Ruiz Garcia (UPenn)

Nov 7th:  Noah Mitchell (UCSB)

Dec 5th:  Varda Hagh (U. Chicago)


Summer 2022

Jun 6th:    Ido Levin (University of Washington) [flyer]
                  Title:  New prospects in shape morphing sheets: unexplored pathways, 4D printing, and autonomous actuation [Recording]

Jun 20th:  Leroy Jia  (Flatiron Institute) [flyer]
                   Title: Membrane mechanics meet minimal manifolds [Recording]

July 18th:  Peter Foster (Brandeis University) [flyer]
                   Title:  Active mechanics of sea star oocytes [Embargoed]

Aug 1st:     Chrisy Xiyu Du (Harvard University) [flyer]
                    Title: Magnetic Handshake Materials [Recording]

Aug 15th:  Alexander Mietke (MIT)  [flyer]
                   Title: Odd dynamics of living chiral crystals [Recording]

Aug 29th:    Kalpana Mandal (Terasaki Institute]  [flyer]
                    Title:  Oxygen-releasing microparticles improve cardiomyocyte contractility under hypoxia [Embargoed]



Spring 2022

Jan 31st:  Mike Norton (Rochester Institute of Technology) [flyer ]
                  Title: Towards model-based control of active matter: active nematics and oscillator networks [Recording]

Feb 14th:  No speaker

Feb 28th:  Caleb Wagner (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) [flyer]
                   Title: Exact coherent structures and transition to turbulence in a confined active nematic [Recording]

March 7th: Anna Lappala (Harvard University]  [flyer]
                   Title: 4D Chromosome Organization: Combining Polymer Physics, Knot Theory and High Performance Computing [Recording]

March 14th: APS (no seminar)

March 28th: Eldad Afik (California Institute of Technology) [flyer]
                    Title: Intrinsic Rhythms in a Giant Single-Celled Organism and the Interplay with
                            Time-Dependent Drive, Explored via Self-Organized Macroscopic Waves [Recording]

April 4th:  Jonathan Michel (Rochester Institute of Technology) [flyer]
                  Title: Making a Mesh of Things: Using Network Models to Understand the Mechanics of Heterogeneous Tissues [Recording]

April  11th:  Eduardo Vitral (University of Nevada, Reno) [flyer]
                   Title: Better energies for low-dimensional elastic systems under combined bending and stretching [Recording]

April 25th:  Haicen Yue (Emory University) [flyer]
                    Title: Non-regular behavior during the coalescence of liquid-like cellular aggregates [Recording]

May 9th:   Erin Teich (University of Pennsylvania) [flyer]
                  Title: Crystallinity characterization of white matter in the human brain [Recording]

May 23rd:  Vikrant Yadav (Yale University) [flyer]
                  Title: The Equation of State of a Tissue [Recording]


Fall 2021

Aug 30th: Zhihong You (UC Santa Barbara) [flyer]
                  Title: Theory of activity-powered interfaces [Recording]


Sep 13th: Ed Banigan (MIT) [flyer]
                 Title: How polymer-loop-extruding motors shape chromosomes [Recording]


Sep 27th: Severine Atis (University of Chicago) [flyer]
                 Title: Growing in flows: from evolutionary dynamics to microbial jets [Recording]


Oct 11th: Fabian Jan Schwarzendahl (Heinrich Heine University, Dusseldorf) [flyer]
                Title:  Mutation induced infection waves in diseases like COVID-19 [Recording]


Oct 25th: Hannah Yevick (MIT) [flyer]
                Title: Making connections: how epithelial tissues guarantee folding [Recording]


Nov 8th:  Anton Peshkov (Rochester) [flyer]
               Title: Metachronal waves in swarms of nematode Turbatrix aceti [Recording]


Nov 22nd: Navish Wadhwa (Harvard) [flyer]
                  Title: Mechano-adaptation in a large protein complex [Recording]


Dec. 6th:  Weikang Wang (Pittsburgh) [flyer]
                 Title: Reconstruct cellular dynamics from single cell data [Recording]



Summer 2021

May 24th:  Brian Chang (Clark University) [flyer]
                 Title: The life of a mucosalivary droplet: Lessons from synthetic breaths and sneezes [Recording]


Jun 7th :  Suraj Shankar (Harvard University) [flyer]
                 Title:  Flocking through complex environments [Recording]


Jun 21st: Tapomoy Bhattacharjee (Princeton University) [flyer]
                Title: 3D Printing Cellular Communities: Mammalian Cells, Bacteria, And Beyond [Recording]

July 5th: No seminar

July 19th: Olga Shishkov (University of Colorado Boulder) [flyer]
                 Title: Internal structure of honey bee swarms for mechanical stability and division of labor [Embargoed]


Aug 2nd:  Sulimon Sattari (Hokkaido University) [flyer]
                  Title: Do leader cells drive collective behavior in Dictyostelium Discoideum amoeba colonies? [Recording]


Aug 16th: Mehdi Molaei (University of Chicago) [flyer]
                  Title: Flow singularities in soft materials: from thermal motion to active molecular stresses [Recording]


Spring 2021

Feb. 1st :  Katherine Copenhagen (Princeton University) [copenhagen_slaam.pdf]
                 Title: Topological defects promote layer formation in bacterial colonies [Recording]

Feb. 15th:  Salem Al Mosleh (Harvard University) [flyer]
                   Title: The finch beak: growth, form and function [Recording]

March 1st: Handuo Shi (Stanford University) [flyer]
                   Title:Chiral twisting in a bacterial cytoskeletal polymer affects filament size and orientation [Recording]


March 15th   APS (no seminar)


March 29th: Stewart Mallory (Caltech) [flyer]
                    Title: Phase Behavior and Self-Assembly of Active Colloids [Recording]


April 12th: Danilo B. Liarte (Cornell University) [flyer]
                   Title: Geometry, topology and soft matter: Emerging complex behavior of matter with disorder [Recording]


April  26th:  Alexandra Tayar (UC Santa Barbara) [flyer]
                     Title: Liquid-liquid phase separation out of equilibrium [Recording]

May 10th: Ritu Raman (MIT) [flyer]
                 Title: Light-degradable hydrogels as dynamic triggers for implantable devices [Recording]